A Tasty Delivery

area meal kit delivery service focuses on local

Marie Anthony, photos by Andrea Paulseth

MEALS IN THE MAIL? Delivery Bistro got its start in late 2015 when Steve Dye decided he was tired of losing time with his family to minutes or hours spent hemming and hawing in the produce aisle trying to figure out what make for dinner. The service sends ingredients and instructions for meals to cook at home.
MEALS IN THE MAIL? Delivery Bistro got its start in late 2015 when Steve Dye decided he was tired of losing time with his family to minutes or hours spent hemming and hawing in the produce aisle trying to figure out what make for dinner. The service sends ingredients and instructions for meals to cook at home.

When I find myself unable to silence the noise that drowns out all reason, there is only one thing that gives me a sense of peace: my family … and tiny, edible pearls forming crooked smiles on sugar cookie Easter bunnies. I remember my grandma softly kissing me on the head as she sweetly praised my efforts, “The Easter Bunny will love these!” 

“The meal kits teach me about the foods that I eat; so not only am I learning how to cook, I also find myself encouraged to try new foods at each of the restaurants I visit.” – Kendall Williams, creative director of Delivery Bistro

Even now, that memory fills me with joy. There’s something so healing about cooking and family. When I learned that family was the driving force behind what is Delivery Bistro, I found myself ready to embrace the idea of a “make your meal” food kit delivery service.

Companies like HelloFresh and Blue Apron may have been in the industry for a while, but after chatting with Kendall Williams – the creative director of Delivery Bistro – I can confidently say that they don’t have as much heart.

Delivery Bistro got its start in late 2015 when Steve Dye (who also founded/oversees Senasys and Cliff Industries) decided he was tired of losing time with his family to minutes or hours spent hemming and hawing in the produce aisle trying to figure out what on earth to do for dinner. Steve wanted to start Delivery Bistro not only to bring families closer together, but also to support local vendors and nearby farming communities.

Delivery Bistro works with many people on freelance to grow their new business, but at its core (besides Dye) are Eileen Peterson (the head chef), Carlos Garcia-Ruiz (project manager), and, of course, Williams. She just celebrated her one-year anniversary with the company and has been working hard to help expand Delivery Bistro’s presence.

With the recent popularity surrounding meal kit delivery, I was curious to know what made the Delivery Bistro family so confident about their success. What sets them apart from the others? “We want to support local families,” Kendall said. “We do our very best to find vendors solely within the Midwest. In fact, Eileen will go to different farmers markets throughout the region in search of suppliers. She’s also a farmer herself, and so many of our suppliers are farmers she already works with.”

When she’s not visiting farmers markets, Eileen is busy in the kitchen creating new recipes and crafting delectable meal kits (that Kendall gets to try before she photographs them for the website). There are over 300 recipes available, so choosing a favorite was tough. However, Kendall’s current favorite is the Cube Steak Parmesan. “The steak is smothered in gourmet cheeses and a homemade tomato sauce,” she said excitedly.

While I tried not to drift away into Cube Steak Parm daydreams, Kendall filled me in on how their whole delivery system works. “It’s really important to us that we keep waste to a minimum,” she said. Anyone who lives within a 15- to 20-minute radius of downtown Eau Claire receives their kit in an insulated bag. “It actually works a lot like old-school milk delivery,” Kendall said. “When it’s time for the next delivery, you just leave your insulated bag on your doorstep and we’ll pick it up when we drop off your new kit.”

Families who live further away receive boxed kits, but Delivery Bistro makes sure much of the packing materials are recyclable. Options for delivery are also easily customizable. “Unlike some services, you can choose to receive as little as one kit delivery per week. Most meal delivery services require a minimum of two meals per week,” Williams told me.

What defines success for Delivery Bistro is much more about what this service brings to our city. Kendall shared that she’s actually native to North Carolina and very new to the Eau Claire area. “When I first came here, I noticed that there were a lot of beautiful, vibrant restaurants that serve these amazing, gourmet meals, but I wasn’t going to eat out every day of the week,” she said. “My Delivery Bistro meals help fill a gap. The meal kits teach me about the foods that I eat; so not only am I learning how to cook, I also find myself encouraged to try new foods at each of the restaurants I visit.”

Kendall is confident about what the future holds. The core Delivery Bistro family will continue to grow the business throughout Eau Claire and the Midwest. Kendall says it’s important that, “We maintain that small company, family feel. We do not want to grow too much too fast and lose that.” She also wants to remind everyone that Delivery Bistro is still very new. “We want customers to visit our site, try our service, and most-importantly leave feedback. We listen because we genuinely want our customers to have a positive experience.”

Learn more about Delivery Bistro at deliverybistro.com.

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