Delivery From Inconvenience

This Startup Delivers Ingredients For Top Chef-Worthy Meals to Your Kitchen

9 Photos

Step 8: Put Everything Together

Trying new recipes — it’s a pain in the butt, right? You have to pore over a cookbook, schlep to the grocery store, and then spend a small fortune on full jars of saffron and garam masala when all you really need is a single tablespoon of each. The whole process is also really time consuming, especially if — like me — you work till 6 p.m. and then have to commute back to Queens before you can even think about preparing food.

That’s why I was compelled to test out Blue Apron, an online service that delivers fresh, perfectly portioned-out ingredients with accompanying recipes directly to your door. For $9.99 per person per meal, customers can subscribe to receive the ingredients for three meals per week, each catering to their personal tastes and — as much as possible — dietary restrictions. (To my dismay, Blue Apron hasn’t started intentionally making gluten-free meals, but I did find some that were naturally gluten-free, or that could be tweaked, slightly, to accommodate my allergy.) Read More

Smartphones Make You Lazy

Have WunWun Deliver Your Halloween Costume For Free So You Can Start Pregaming Earlier

A WunWun helper prepares his client's redditor costume, we guess. (Photo: WunWun)

Everyone’s approach to Halloween is different. Some dorks toil for weeks to create clever homemade costumes that will live in Instagram infamy. Others are just there for the booze, virtually forgetting the whole costume part until they duck into a Spirit Halloween store at the last minute.

If you’re the lazy type, we’ve got some good news. On-demand delivery service WunWun is offering free delivery of Halloween costumes, Halloween candy, pumpkin beer–really, anything Halloween you can think of.  Read More

Crowd Power

Wal-Mart’s Foolproof New Way to Beat Amazon Prime Is to Just Have You Deliver Stuff for It

(Photo: Daily Finance)

Between Amazon Prime, Google Shopping Express and eBay Now, the next-day delivery wars are heating up, leading big box store Wal-Mart to unleash a chorus of “me too’s!” But in order to become a legitimate competitor, Wal-Mart has to devise a creative scheme to make it stand out. That scheme? Just having its customers do the deliveries and calling it “crowd sourcing.” Read More

Techies Be Snackin

Silicon Valley Favorites Cater2Me Expand to New York, Want to Feed You

Note the "lunch" sign, in case someone was confused. (Photo: courtesy of Cater2Me)

Founded a year and a half ago in San Francisco, Cater2Me quickly found its niche feeding the ravenous techies of Silicon Valley, nabbing clients like Dropbox, Square and Klout. “You can call it the Google effect, if you want,” cofounder Alex Lorton told Betabeat, and “that idea is becoming the norm in New York, as well.”

Hence the company’s decision to expand to New York City. The service just launched yesterday, but it sounds like Mr. Lorton is already halfway to going out for the cheerleading team.

“I think it’s cool to be part of the expansion of Silicon Alley, to use the phrase, to be part of that startup community,” he said. “People in startups are, I think, more willing to embrace something that’s new, something that’s initially not as tested.”

Well, hopefully it’s not that untested. Read More

Deliver Us From Evil

FreshDirect Lobbies Congress for Ability to Accept Food Stamps

(Photo: Apartment Therapy)

FreshDirect, the online grocery service that offers next-day delivery on your bounty of veggies (and cookies), has become so ubiquitous in New York that some apartment buildings advertise “FreshDirect storage” as a lust-worthy amenity. For the torturously busy (or–okay–the lazy), FreshDirect is a godsend, delivering produce, toiletries–even beer!–with the click of a button.

But in recent months, FreshDirect has seen its own share of scorn over some pretty serious issues. Though slated to relocate its Long Island City warehouse facility to the South Bronx, FreshDirect only began delivering to residents there back in May. And in February, aggrieved South Bronx residents launched a petition protesting the relocation, listing a history of discriminatory and unfair labor practices, as well as the fact that the company does not accept food stamps.

Of course, that the government is providing FreshDirect with $130 million in tax breaks to relocate doesn’t make them look any better. Read More