How He Got 200,000 People To Buy Ugly Fruits and Vegetables

Imperfect Produce is a subscription home delivery service for "ugly" fruits and vegetables that are perfectly fine to eat.

“Four years later, Simon cofounded Imperfect Produce, a subscription-based home-delivery service for discounted “ugly” fruits and vegetables that are perfectly good on the inside, but otherwise rejected from the food supply chain for their looks.

“About 70 billion pounds of food is wasted annually in the United States. It’s from homes, cafeterias, farms, restaurants, grocery store and stadiums. Almost all of it is good food,” said Simon. “We wanted to think bigger about how to fight this food waste and create a more sustainable food system that was scalable.”
Simon partnered with his friend Ben Chesler, who shared his passion for social good, and the two homed in on farms as the starting point of their food recovery and delivery service. Up to 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown on farms in America is discarded because the produce doesn’t meet grocery stores’ aesthetic standards, said Simon.
“It’s often for discoloration, scarring on the surface caused by the fruit rubbing against a tree limb or an atypical shape,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the size. We see a glut of small avocados that go to waste because consumers tend to prefer larger avocados for guacamole.”

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Halal Guys, Wetzel’s Pretzel partner with Kitchen United

Image result for Halal Guys, Wetzel's Pretzel

Kitchen United, which offers off-premise kitchen centers for brands and franchises, now has two new partners as well as a new restaurant concept. Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels are now partners with Kitchen United, which also launched Fresgo, a fast Italian offering serving out of the Pasadena, California kitchen center.

The Halal Guys and Fresgo are now available for pickup, delivery and catering from the off-premise kitchen space, with Wetzel’s Pretzels officially opening April 1, according to a press release. Kitchen United’s Pasadena kitchen center opened last year and is home to Canter’s Deli, AmazeBowls, Cheat Day, Grilled Cheese Heaven, Mama Musubi and The Pizza Plant.

“One of Kitchen United’s goals from the beginning has been to leverage our collective restaurant experience to help our restaurant partners take a leadership position in delivery, a fast emerging growth opportunity in the industry,” said Jim Collins, Kitchen United CEO, in the release. “As a team of restauranteurs, we are thrilled to launch Fresgo in order to provide valuable insight and learnings to our partners. We are very pleased to add The Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels to our family of restaurant partners in order to help them expand their reach into the Pasadena market.”

See more here.

What To Expect From Hudson Yards’ Restaurant And Food Options

Anya Fernald is bringing Belcampo's burgers, bowls and

“(…) The majority of new restaurants are slated to open this Friday, an almost unfathomable feat in a city where opening day can be synonymous with delays and postponement.

“We have an absolutely incredible construction and tenant coordination team,” Stuessi says with a laugh when asked how they’re pulling off the large batch of openings. “They’re working with us to bring them all to life in one moment.”

Already, there’s a sense of community in the new neighborhood.

“You see people from different restaurants walking in each other’s spots, grabbing a coffee,” Stuessi says.

The benefit of proximity has also helped the restaurants work together on staffing and supply needs; Stuessi recounts that the hospitality businesses were able to share applicants with their neighbors when good candidates presented themselves but job openings were already filled. “There is a sense of camaraderie with everyone opening a restaurant in Hudson Yards at the same time,” says Sam Gelman, vice president of operations at Fuku, Momofuku’s fast-casual fried chicken sandwich mini-chain.

The Hudson Yards outpost will feature Fuku’s new bone-in fried chicken program and menu of sides, along with its signature spicy fried chicken sandwiches and chicken fingers.

Opening day eats

More than 25 restaurant and food concepts are planned for Hudson Yards, with a majority making their debut this week. (Some, like Sweetgreen, have already opened, while others, like new concepts from Danny Meyer in The Shed and Stephen Starr in the Equinox Hotel, as well as a Maison Kayser, will follow.) Here’s a look at everything on the food front that’s slated to open on Friday:

The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards

  • Teak Tearoom at The Conservatory: Choose from a variety of teas, as well as bites and baked goods, at this all-day cafe. Level 1
  • Blue Bottle Coffee: Get your java fix from the specialty coffee roasters. Level 2
  • Citarella Hudson Yards: Shop a selection of seafood, meat, cheese and produce, as well as wine and spirits, at the gourmet market. Level 2
  • The Drug Store: Try new beverages from Dirty Lemon at this cocktail bar. Level 2
  • Fuku: Find the latest location for the Momofuku fried chicken spot. Level 2
  • Kith Treats at Snark Park: The ice cream and cereal bar adds an outpost in this exhibition space. Level 2
  • Bluestone Lane: Another spot to get your coffee fix. Level 3
  • Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: The fancy ice cream shop continues its rapid NYC expansion. Level 3
  • William Greenberg Desserts: Pick up some black and whites from the kosher bakery. Level 3
  • Belcampo: Sustainably-sourced meats are the focus of this California chain. Level 4
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar: Fill up on boutique candy. Level 4
  • Hudson Yards Grill: The latest from chef Michael Lomonaco. Level 4
  • Jack’s Stir Brew: More in coffee. Level 4
  • Li-Lac Chocolates: The chocolate institution opens its newest chocolate bar and new flagship. Level 4
  • Queensyard: A restaurant and bar from the UK’s D&D London. Level 4
  • Shake Shack: Get the chain’s signature burgers and milkshakes. Level 4
  • Bouchon Bakery: Find a selection of French pastries and freshly-baked breads. Level 5
  • Kāwi: Chef Eunjo Park helms this new restaurant from Momofuku. Level 5
  • Milos Wine Bar: Get yogurt to go during the day, sip on Greek wines at night. Level 5
  • Neiman Marcus: The department store will feature a cafe (Cook & Merchants, level 5), bar (Bar Stanley, level 6) and restaurant (The Zodiac Room, level 7).
  • Peach Mart: Momofuku’s new to-go concept specializes in kimbap and sandwiches. Level 5
  • Wild Ink: Chef Peter Jin helms this new restaurant from the UK hospitality group rhubarb. Level 5
  • TAK Room: Chef Thomas Keller debuts a new concept in NYC. Levels 5 and 6
  • Estiatorio Milos: Chef Costas Spiliadis opens a second NYC location of his acclaimed Greek restaurant. Level 6

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Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. are bringing back Froot Loops Mini Donuts

Froot Loops Mini Donuts return to Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants for a limited time.

“Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are bringing back their popular Froot Loops Mini Donuts.

The miniature doughnuts, inspired by the Kellogg’s cereal, will be available for a limited time starting Feb. 25 at participating Hardee’s and Feb. 27 at Carl’s Jr. restaurants, parent company CKE Restaurants announced Tuesday. They come in five colors – red, yellow, purple, green and blue – and taste like their smaller cereal counterparts. A five-pack starts at $1.99 and they will be available all day, not just for breakfast.

“Froot Loops Mini Donuts are the perfect anytime snack and will bring any consumer back to their childhood,” Owen Klein, CKE Restaurants vice president global culinary innovation, said in a statement. “We know our fans craved these nostalgic treats, and we’re thrilled to bring this fun innovation back to our menu this spring.”

Read more here.