Spatula Foods is hoping Canadians warm up to a new category in the food-delivery space.
The Toronto-based company creates gourmet, flash-frozen meals that are delivered to consumers’ homes through a subscription model. After a successful pilot, Spatula has just launched across the Greater Toronto Area following its raise of US$1.5 million in a pre-seed round.
CEO and co-founder Ian Weng, who is the former head of strategy at Uber Eats Canada, got the idea for Spatula while studying for his MBA at INSEAD in France during the pandemic. With restaurants closed and some challenges getting food during the lockdown, Weng realized that certain gourmet frozen food brands, like Picard’s, have massive market share.
“[Gourmet frozen meals] is something French people really love and it’s a complement to their family meals,” says Weng. “It’s like homemade cooking, made with fresh ingredients, and the quality is so much better [than North American offerings]. You can’t tell it’s previously frozen… I realized, if this is good enough for the French, there is something magical here.”
Weng saw a huge opportunity for gourmet frozen meals in Canada, since many Canadians are lacking in time and love convenience. He teamed up with Michelin-trained chef and Top Chef finalist Wallace Wong to launch Spatula. Wong heads up culinary operations and oversees recipe development. Many of the recipes are created by local chefs, who receive a portion of sales from their Spatula creations.