This past year, dining-in took on a whole new meaning. When we weren’t ordering takeout or raiding the fridge for leftovers, we were heating up a frozen meal that wasn’t nearly as satisfying as the real thing. Unless of course that meal happened to come from In Good Company. Launched in San Diego, In Good Company is on a mission to redefine dining in with its lineup of freshly frozen meals crafted by local chefs and restaurants, delivered right to your doorstep.
In Good Company founder and CEO Ashleigh Ferran started the company in Fall of 2020 out of a desire to help restaurants hurt by the pandemic. “In Good Company was a little bit of a phoenix from the ashes in thinking about what does the future of dining look like for restaurants and for people at home. How could we take some of our combined expertise around reusable packaging, operations, logistics and my ideas to work together with people at a time where I really saw a need for brand new ideas,” she said.
As the former creator and CEO of Keko Box, a reusable food packaging startup, she thought meal drops seemed the perfect Covid-compliant vehicle to launch her innovative concept. After discussing the concept with friends in the industry and approaching local San Diego favorites like Galaxy Taco, Juniper and Ivy and Lucky Bolt, Ferran was pleased to find they were more than open to her concept. “The reception from both the food community, as well as individuals has been really powerful,” she said. “People really loved the idea – at home eating great meals and supporting restaurants you love. For restaurants, having a new way to make some really significant revenue in a different way made people really excited.”
In Good Company organized its first meal drop last December in San Diego. To date they have completed three in San Diego and two in Los Angeles, with more on the way. Every month will have a meal drop featuring a curated menu of limited-edition dishes available to order for one week only. With each drop, Ferran tries to incorporate a wide variety of cuisines and diverse dishes, many of which are created specifically for In Good Company.
“We imagined each drop being a bit of an exploration, so we want to pick a good variety for different dietary preferences, as well as cooking styles. So LA drops have a Filipino dish, some Italian, some comfort dishes,” said Ferran. “We look at what that is going to look like and how do we create a lineup that is going to speak to different people or give them different options to explore types of food at home.”
Past offerings include Guelaguetza’s famous chicken mole negra, Moroccan braised short ribs from Highly Likely Café and Hui Tou Xiang’s signature dumplings. It’s important to Ferran that the restaurants she selects share a similar “ethos” with In Good Company’s mission. This could be a commitment to sourcing great ingredients or working with other local purveyors. “Some of the brands we’re working with are also really thoughtful around sustainability. Others I really love are carrying on family traditions or are backed by a female chef,” she said.
Meals range from $25 to $35 and are packaged in reusable, stainless steel containers that customers return via pickup to be cleaned and used again for future meals. Customers can simply place the container in the oven to reheat or store in the freezer for up to two months to be enjoyed at a later time. Since each meal is prepared in set portions ahead of time, food waste is avoided. But for Ferran, sustainability is just the tip of the iceberg.
“It’s even more than just reducing waste. It’s putting our dollars to work in our community with jobs and in a way that is beneficial to the planet.”
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