The Purple Carrot, Pears, a Mixer, and the SFDPH

In the spirit of understanding food delivery a bit more, my husband and I have enjoyed sampling a handful of Purple Carrot meals over the past two weeks. In general, the meals have pushed us to try new things and spend the time to cook together. Up until now, our typical weeknight meal is repeatedly a veggie rice bowl, or a combination of 5-10 types of sautéed or steamed vegetables on a bed of short grain brown rice with a cooked egg on top. It’s filling, hot, delicious, and makes us eat a wide range of unique vegetables (thank you, Farm Fresh to You!), and it’s always different. It also helps us maintain normal sleep habits – when we eat something new or a heavy meat dish, often times we can’t sleep well! It’s amazing what you notice when you’re used to eating healthy meals on a regular basis.

Anyway, back to Purple Carrot. Because of this new vegan meal delivery service, I’ve now cooked with jackfruit (yeah, so interesting!!) and made a yuba cake (yes, it feels like skin before you cook it), things I would have never thought to do (see above re: veggie rice bowl). I think some of their recipes were not well-written, which led to confusion (why is the oven on again?), and most of the recipes won’t be repeats for us due to the amount of time they’d take to find the ingredients, prep, and cook. But we’re appreciative to go outside our delightful rice bowl every now and then, so we are thinking this will become a monthly order (you order three meals at a time).

Panfried Yuba Cake with the First Taste of SpringIMG_7851

While rice bowls typically help me sleep well, I have woken up several times over the last week thinking about pears. I’ve wondered how I can get a large quantity of pears at the right stage of ripeness, or what day I’d need to get them to guide them to the stage of ripeness I desired. I’ve researched the pear growing season in Northern California (July through October), and what types of pears are most appreciated by the general American palate (unfortunately, for the most part, Bartlett). I’m not only curious about this, but I know that my customers will need to know what they’re getting when I suggest pears in my snack combinations. So much to know about pears. And broccoli. And tangelos. And cucumbers. And snap peas. YUM (not yawn). In the meantime though, I also handled a major first delivery of apple and pear combos… which is probably why I woke up thinking about pears.

Nibble snacks of fresh-cut apples, ready for delivery!IMG_7862.jpg

I attended a “Food Tech Mixer” at General Assembly earlier this week. Since I’m getting involved in a completely new industry, I’m trying to use local meetups as a way to meet more people in the food scene, understand what’s going on, and get the Nibble word out there! During the Mixer, I found myself asking people a lot of questions about what they do (“I’m a lawyer that specializes in food companies” … “I do PR for a lot of small food startups” … “I am a dairy farmer”… “I make videos for new companies”…”I am a chef that offers cooking classes”, etc.) and then excitedly asking them if I could drop off samples of healthy snacks to their offices. Certainly growing pains on my part: I needed business cards to hand out, specific asks of the 70+ people that were there (e.g. become a beta tester), and samples to share in person! I did come home excited to do what I’m doing, and with a few new connections.

A delightful lamp shadow on the way to the MixerIMG_7874.jpg

I leave you with one final thought from the last week, and a photo. I spent some time in the San Francisco Department of Public Health, to drop off my application for training and testing to get a Manager’s Food Safety Certification. This will allow me to work in a retail food establishment in California, and in addition to my food handler license (already taken), will help me continue to build my arsenal of credentials as I build my business. It was a quiet, but surprisingly efficient and busy place. While in the office, I took some time to look around and think more about how much my work life has changed in just a few weeks. I still have slight trepidation about what I am doing, but my fear about doing something new and outside of the corporate space has completely subsided. Being on this side of the fear is just overwhelming, exciting, and full of promise!

Signs of the food industryIMG_7875.jpg

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