If you like the idea of cooking, but not, y’know, the actual work (or the fact that the food might turn out pretty badly), then Gobble may be the startup for you.
And I don’t mean that in a condescending way. When I try to cook, I do a decent job of frying an egg or boiling spaghetti, but anything more than that and I start to get nervous. So I feel like I’m on Gobble’s wavelength.
In some ways, the Gobble model sounds similar to services like Blue Apron and Plated — it takes the pain of meal-planning and shopping out of the cooking process by delivering the ingredients and recipes for a set number of meals each week.
However, there’s a difference between Gobble and what founder Ooshma Garg called the “ingredient boxes.” Basically, Garg’s team takes care of a lot more of the prep work, cleaning and cutting the vegetables, as well as marinating the meat, to give you a “dinner kit” that can be prepared in 10 minutes or fewer, with just one pan. (You can see the steps going from kit to dinner in the collage below.)
Gobble has actually been around for a few years, raising funding from some high-profile investors and participating in Y Combinator. It’s also cycled through different models, including a marketplace for home-cooked food and a subscription meal delivery service.
The current model, Garg said, was an attempt to combine her own fear of cooking with the “cooking prowess” of Gobble’s executive chef Thomas Ricci.
To further illustrate why she settled on this mix of cooking and not-cooking, she pointed to the history of cake mix. Apparently, during the early days of cake mix, there were versions that actually required less work than cake mix does today, but customers preferred mixing in the water, oil and eggs themselves. It struck the right balance between making things easier and allowing home chefs to still take pride in the results.
Garg added that behind the scenes, Gobble is sourcing its ingredients from “longtime local producers” who “deliver their fresh produce, poultry, and meats directly to our kitchen.”
After a month of beta testing, Gobble just launched its new service in California and Nevada, with plans for expanding to Washington and Oregon. It costs $11.95 per person per meal, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.