Hi Cookie we are really excited for our interview with you and to learn more about Coco Box.
We’d love to get an idea of your background story first. Can you share a bit about you , where are you from, based out of and share a bit on your schooling/ education with health and wellness?
Hi Joy! Thank you so much for taking an interest in CocoBox. I am currently a senior in NYU, studying Nutrition and Dietetics. I am originally from Brooklyn, but now live on the Upper East Side in New York City.
When did the idea of creating Coco Box first emerge? What was your inspiration ideally with creating Coco Box?
This is sort of a funny story. My husband and I were in Vail celebrating my 21st birthday when the idea came to us. Before the trip, I was offered a job at a Registered Dietitian’s private practice. They needed an RD, or an RD in training to assist in seeing/counseling clients at the office. Unfortunately, they needed an RD to start as soon as possible, and work full time. I had to turn down the job at the time because I was a full-time student.
I had previous experience counseling clients, both on my own and working for dietitian. For some reason, I had always felt a disconnect with my clients. In my opinion, formulating a diet plan and actually sticking to one are two very different and challenging tasks. My clients always seemed to understand the plans we had written out together, but for some reason it was so difficult for them to actually stick to eating the foods we chose. Of course, there are so many factors that go into “dieting.” Shopping for foods, cooking the foods, and actually coming up with ways to incorporate them into your daily life is extremely difficult.
And so, while thinking about what to do that upcoming summer, my husband listened to my concerns about clients and said, “Hey, why don’t you see clients on your own and offer pre-portioned meal kits as an add-on service.” He paused, and continued, “Why don’t you just offer this service to EVERYONE?” And the rest was history.
Are there other founder’s and how many are on the team at Coco Box?
My husband is actually the Marketing and E-Commerce manager at his father’s company, Earthbound Brands, a brand management and licensing agency. He has been my partner from day one. I attribute all of our success to his amazing ability to build a beautiful brand from the ground up. As far as the rest of our team, we have been blessed to find an amazing food photographer, food stylist, and web designer as well as people who assist in actually packing the boxes each day. Every position at CocoBox is so crucial for the success and growth of the company.
For those that aren’t familiar, what is Coco Box and how can it improve someone’s life?
If you’re not familiar, CocoBox is a new, kosher, health conscious meal kit. Everything in your box comes pre-chopped and portioned out so it’s super quick and easy to create a delicious meal. We’re non-subscription based, so customers can place orders whenever they’d like, for as early as next-day delivery. We’re delivering exclusively in Brooklyn & Manhattan now, but hope to be expanding soon. I believe that CocoBox can improve someone’s life in a multitude of ways. For starters, it is a simple and easy way to eat and lead a healthy lifestyle. Dinner can be a challenge, we find this is true for most people. Being given the tools to provide your loved ones or yourself with a nutritious meal makes it that much easier.
How is the Coco Box structured proportionately with Nutritional value?
CocoBox is not meant to be a weight loss plan. We always want to make sure that the components in each dish are nutritionally adequate, but never too much. We believe in providing our customers with a protein, a starch and a vegetable in every meal. We assess each meal to make sure that there is proper fiber, sodium and total sugar levels as well. We do all of the math, so our customer doesn’t have to!
Is it possible for someone who doesn’t have experience with cooking to execute cooking a meal?
Totally! Each of our meals have no more than 7 steps. Every step is super simple and really clear. One of the main purposes of our recipes is making them easily replicable for anyone from a top chef to someone who has little to no experience at all.
Where do you draw your inspiration creating recipes from?
This is a tough question. I am constantly searching for inspiration everywhere I go. I would say that dining out and traveling is where I find most of my inspiration. I’ll ask the waiter to speak to the chef and try to get as much info about each recipe as I possibly can. Being able to recreate amazing cuisine in a simple way is one of my biggest challenges when coming up with new recipes.
Where is the produce and products sourced from?
Our produce supplier has been so amazing. He makes sure to supply us with only top quality, all of our produce is Grade A. Most of our produce is sourced locally when in season. However, when some of our veggies are not in season, they are sent in from California. Our meat, fish and poultry are all sourced from the Prime Cut, a local kosher butcher who provides only the highest qualities for their customers and ours.
Can you share a behind the scenes peak into what goes into the preparation of these order’s?
Sure! Our produce comes in fresh at least twice a week. Our meat, fish and poultry come in every single day. Once an order is placed through the site, we take down the order and add it to our list for the following day. Each night we place orders with our produce and meat suppliers to ensure that everything comes in fresh for the following day. Every morning boxes are hand packed and delivered locally. A lot goes into the making of these boxes, and at times it is definitely stressful, but it’s all worth it when I receive texts and pictures of everyone cooking homemade, healthy meals for themselves and loved ones.
Where do you feel the growth of Coco Box is headed?
I see CocoBox growing rapidly in NYC. This is something that I feel the city lacks. It’s tough to always have time to grocery shop here, and find especially good produce and meat at an affordable price.
What is your favorite testimonial that Coco Box received?
Thankfully, we really do receive tons of amazing feedback from customers. However, this one is a personal favorite of mine:
“Hi! I couldn’t wait to message u! But i had to run out after I made the dinner. It. Was. Sick!! U r so sweet and were so nice to accommodate me with delivering it at 6:00. I get home from work so late I don’t always have time to prepare dinner in the morning and by the time i get home I’m exhausted and not in the mood to start cooking but i was siked to make dinner tonight and having everything prepared and ready and so neatly packaged and the recipe so clear was really perfect! It helped me so much to get dinner ready and at a normal time! Loved the whole box and how everything was packaged! Really came out sick and my husband loved it. I asked him if he liked it and he said “I wouldn’t have finished it if I didn’t LOVE it”. His whole plate was clear and I’m so happy I was able to make him a sick delicious dinner”
I find this one so relatable to my own life. Working one job during the day and another when you get home (being a wife) is difficult to manage. I am constantly trying to provide my husband with dishes that impress him, but it can be difficult when I have a busy day. This message just made me feel that anyone can achieve that task without stressing about it beforehand.
How is Coco Box in alignment with your personal lifestyle?
I needed CocoBox in my life when I was first married! Being a student, coming home after my husband some days, I needed something that was easy and convenient but also delicious and healthy.
So many things at once! Firstly, working with my husband has been the most challenging, yet gratifying experiences. Being partners in life, but also partners in business can be difficult, but learning to just take a step back and enjoy our accomplishments together is truly amazing. We’re both really excited to tell our kids that mommy and daddy started a company together. Another thing would be seeing people making these boxes. I feel like that would be an obvious one, but it really makes it all worth it. Seeing a family eat healthy together, or a couple enjoying spending time together making a box- it really is something really special.