Ratatouille lasagna is one item available on Cookin. Photography courtesy Sobeys
With the launch event at Cirillo’s Culinary Academy in Toronto attended by online influencers and featuring chefs on the app whipping up creations from tostones, a Latin American treat of fried plantains, to chicken paneer, the partnership was brought to market in record time for Sobeys.
“We signed it in October/November, and while maybe not as quick a timeline for a startup, the launch was in very quick order for us – lightning fast,” Nathanson tells Canadian Grocer.
He also doesn’t see it cannibalizing Sobeys’ home-meal replacement offerings in-store and online with Voilà.
“People also go to restaurants, and this is just another alternative for them,” explains Nathanson. “And so, we don’t think this detracts from anything we do or what Cookin does – it’s an enhancement for both of our customers.”
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For its part, Cookin had been looking to partner with a major grocery chain. “We ultimately chose Sobeys to partner with nationally because there was strategic alignment,” says Morley Ivers, co-founder and CEO of the two-year-old, Toronto based company.
To date, Cookin has boarded nearly 500 chefs in Toronto alone, and is vetting home chefs and bakers from across Canada in expanding the app’s service.
He says it is getting massive uptick from local food providers of all kinds, from new Canadians to former restaurant owners.
“People are starting their home-based business with Cookin as opposed to working in a restaurant, where the hours are crazy, or having to take out an enormous loan to open their own restaurant,” explains Ivers.
“The industry was ready for disruption,” he adds. “Cookin allows talented individuals to make food for other people and be an entrepreneur without any startup costs, because we stand up their store, handle the delivery and give them the tools to market the business.”