April 06, 2018
Watching your waistline and your recycling bin? You’ll like this product.
Simply Good Jars is debuting its new menu of cold meals in a jar next week, and they promise to amaze.
Chef and founder of Simply Good Jars is Jared Cannon, formerly of Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Honeygrow and Philly’s Tria restaurant chain. The concept behind Simply Good Jars is simple: Create healthy, sustainable meals in plastic jars using local ingredients and offer consumers incentive to recycle the jar.
How it works:
Hungry people looking for healthy meals or snacks can start by subscribing, choosing any variety of already-prepared lunches or snacks throughout the week and have them delivered to your home or work. You can then send your empty container back to Simply Good Jars (with your next order) after giving it just a rinse, and the company will reuse it. This way, says Cannon, he can predict generally how much produce is required to curate each meal each week. It’s like the modern-day milkman, but with food.
“We’re really focused on making an impact on the communities we serve. We’ve donated over 3,500 meals as part of our zero-waste movement,” he said.
For every jar returned to Simply Good Jars, the company donates one meal to Philabundance or the Salvation Army to help fight local hunger.
“Right now, our subscription base is really Center City. We go to Temple [University] Bala Cynwyd, but right now, we’re capped on the waiting list," he said.
“Return a jar, we donate-a-meal-kind-of pledge. So, it’s been pretty humbling how involved it can be and it’s nice to make it easy for people to give back.”
Here’s your sneak peek for what’s on deck next week:
Aim to Peas is made up of roasted butternut squash, carrots, fresh, spring peas with raisin mostarda and a carrot puree.
Then there's smoked turkey tabbouleh with a lemon vinaigrette and baby arugula.
Get ready for a five-bean salad with baby kale, raw zucchini and finished in an oregano vinaigrette.
Launched in November, Simply Good Jars just celebrated its five-month birthday, and Cannon has plans of expanding. With 100 subscribers and a waiting list of 500, he is at max capacity.
The latest concept for Simply Good Jars? The European-style vending machines.
“We’ve taken our jars and gone right into co-working spaces, gyms, hospitals, places where people want healthier food options right where they live, work, play and eat, and we have five of those locations,” he said.
“We’re delivering 10 more this month. That’s really become a very powerful play in the market where we can take these vending machines that act like fridges. They open up. You can interact with the product. We’re putting it right where people need healthy food the most. Things are crazy. It’s so hard to find time, so we’re making healthy food faster in a fast-paced world.”
Ahh, logistics. How to return the jar?
According to the website, Simply Good Jars will deliver to Center City and that fee is baked into the subscription price for deliveries ($26/week) within the city limits. For everywhere else, the jars are mailed, and that includes a pre-paid return pouch for your jar, should you choose to return it to the headquarters for recycling.
But remember, don't try to toss your jar in the microwave. They're meant to be cold.
"You can eat any of this for breakfast, lunch or dinner," said Cannon.
"Really, what it’s about is having a healthy food option right at your fingertips. No need to heat it. Just grab it, open it, and enjoy."