Belfast Telegraph

Meal delivery firm set to add Northern Ireland to the menu

By Mark Edwards

Irish meal delivery firm DropChef has announced plans to enter the Northern Ireland market within the next few months.

The subscription service currently delivers ingredients and cooking instructions to homes in the Republic of Ireland.

Roman Grogan, who co-founded the business in 2014, has revealed the company expects to start serving customers in Northern Ireland in the next couple of months before expanding elsewhere in the UK.

“We deliver over the whole length of Ireland and for the Northern Ireland expansion we partnered with Nightline. They will do the delivery and logistics,” Mr Grogan said.

“They have a depot in Newtownabbey. Out of that depot we are going to be able to service all of Northern Ireland.

“That’s really exciting for us. On a jobs front (in Northern Ireland), it would be the delivery type jobs for the local delivery drivers. For the moment we are still going to have our own unit in Dublin and our boxes will be delivered out of Newtownabbey.”

Mr Grogan added: “This is a starting point for us.

“We are only two years old. As things grow and as we become more recognised and people know us and our customer base grows, then for sure we would set up something in the north.

“That would be a more permanent unit.”

Mr Grogan founded the business with friends Ryan Scott and Sam O’Byrne while they were at Dublin City University. The firm currently employs five staff.

The company targets busy professionals who do not have time for a weekly shop and offers a new menu to choose from each week.

The ingredients and instructions are delivered to customers through contracts with courier services, with meals advertised as taking 30 minutes on average to prepare, with step-by-step recipes.

Ice packs are placed in the delivery boxes to keep the ingredients fresh until customers get home.

DropChef received €100,000 (£91,000) in funding from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office when it was founded, and now operates a service at Google’s headquarters in Dublin.

Mr Grogan said he expected DropChef to be operating in Northern Ireland by November.

“I will say it will in the next two months,” he said.

“We have very few things to iron out, the major one that we have got over was the partnership with Nightline, because logistically we have to be able to offer a really good service.

“We want customers to get their DropChef when they expect it, we want it to be fresh and we want it to be convenient.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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