Flea Maker Spotlight: Prefare
These days, we're all busy people - rushing to and from home and work, while also fitting in family activities, workouts, and social gatherings somewhere in between. As the pace of daily life continues to quicken, it becomes harder to find the time or the energy to plan meals, go grocery shopping, and cook a full meal at home. Luckily Prefare, a local meal delivery company, makes dinnertime easier for Denverites. Founded by Colorado native Doug Humble in 2012, the company brings gourmet, seasonal meal kits, crafted by Chef Susan Wysocki in the company's HQ just east of Stapleton, to hundreds of hungry folks in the Greater Denver area.
Prefare offers a variety of flexible meal plans ranging from 3 meals per week to a la carte ordering options, as well as a new weekly menu of dishes sure to please everyone from picky eaters and vegetarians to the meat-and-potato types and gluten-free folks. Once Prefare meal kits are in customer's hands, getting dinner on the table is a breeze - all one needs to do is unpack the fresh ingredients, follow the simple cooking steps, and dinner is ready to enjoy in 15 minutes. The Prefare team also strives for minimal waste - their containers are recyclable or compostable and they reuse their coolers and ice packs, too.
We chatted with founder Doug Humble to learn more about Prefare and what makes the company such an awesome addition to the Denver Flea family. Dig in!
BONUS FOR Denver FLEA FANS
Getting hungry? Well, you're in luck - the Prefare team is offering Fleaks the chance to receive two free meals by using the code denver121 through April 27. Head to www.prefare-denver.com to learn more about how you can be serving up easy, delicious dinners very soon.
WHAT was your inspiration for starting prefare?
Our food system doesn’t work for the busy family, couple or individual looking to have a healthy meal at home without it being terribly over-processed. We wanted to give our our members - whom we call our "extended family" - the ability to create a perfectly-made-from-scratch and healthy meal all while spending more time at the dinner table with the people they love.
In doing this and by giving our customers exactly what they need, we start to collectively change the wasteful food system into a more efficient one.
who are the core members of your team?
I (Doug Humble) founded Prefare six years ago - and then failed after one and a half years in business. One year later, I reconnected with Edwin Moreno (Hungry President of Prefare) to relaunch the company. We then teamed up with Susan Ardito to run all of culinary operations. Prefare is now growing at a nice pace with the additions of our Production Lead Sandra Altamirono and Head Sous Chef, Jay Good.
first product you created?
When I was 10, I watched Ritchie Rich and saw the kid catapult - so, I tried to build one in my backyard by stringing together rubber bands. I ran out of rubber bands.
For Prefare, our first dish was a NY Strip sirloin steak with garlic roast potatoes, haricot vert, and compound butter, almost 6 years ago. It was expensive but good!
WHO IS THE AVERAGE PREFARE CUSTOMER?
Our customers are anything but average - but tend to range from young millennial couples and families to older professionals and families.
HOw Has your process evolved?
We started selling through grocery stores only to realize that we had to educate folks on what we were doing - hence the decision to be a direct-to-consumer company. At this same point, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh were pioneering a subscription-only model, which we now offer alongside a fully a la carte program.
Why do you do what you do?
At risk of sounding trite, we think we can collectively enable people to be the change they want to see, not only at home at the dinner table, but throughout society.
What's your favorite dish that you've created for prefare?
Our Chicken Pad Thai has been made into 20 iterations so far and, at last, I think it’s current version is sublime. The tamarind paste we use is sourced from halfway around the world in order to deliver on our promise to our customers for a "clean" pad thai sauce. Following this, we partnered with a local chicken processor to create pre-marinated and diced chicken that has Mile High flavor.
WHAT's the best part of your day?
Getting personal emails/pictures of folks thanking us for what we do.
what does your brand truly mean to you?
We are true to who we are and genuinely believe we are helping people have a healthy and balanced dinner, while at the same time working to achieve a more effective food system in Colorado.
advice to others seeking a similar path in life?
Be a sponge when you start, listen twice as much as you talk, get mentors who have done it, everything takes twice as long, and costs three times as much
What's the best part of being a colorado company?
Coloradoans have a genuine desire to help their neighbor and in our case, we provide a local meal solution.
sample prefare meals you could making at home:
- Juicy BBQ Chicken with sweet corn and a green pepper side salad with lemon herb dressing
- Steak with divine lo mein sauce, crimini mushrooms, freshly shredded carrots and onions
- Colorado asparagus risotto with leeks and basil pesto pea salad (vegetarian and gluten-free)
- Lasagna Bowl with mushrooms and organic spinach (vegetarian)