Combined, peeled, delivered: 12 meal delivery businesses you might not have heard of

Garden-of-Vegan-co-founders

Garden of Vegan's co-founders. Source: supplied.

A decade ago, the term ‘meal delivery’ might have conjured up images of dieting, freezers, lots of plastic and soggy carrots. 

Fast forward to 2019, and meal delivery was a thriving industry at the intersection of hospitality and retail, spurred on by the convenience movement.

What’s more, HelloFresh and Marley Spoon were fast becoming household names. 

In 2020 and a world battling COVID-19, however, meal delivery is no longer just about convenience; for many, it’s become a necessity too.

The ability to have healthy and hearty meals delivered to your door, contact-free, is a blessing for many Australians — especially those currently living under stage four restrictions in Melbourne.

In recognition of this surge in popularity, we wanted to shine a light on some of the small and micro businesses in the space that you can support during, and beyond, this pandemic

So, without further ado, here are 12 meal delivery businesses that you might not have heard of.

1. Garden of Vegan

Founders: Damien Turner, Melissa Phillips, Druen Dorn, Benny Walker and Gareth Sharples

Founded: 2019

Employees: 25

Delivers to: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Canberra

Point of difference: plant-based meals, made with certified organic ingredients, free from gluten, oil, refined sugar, additives or preservatives. Also, the business donates all its offcuts and food scraps to animal sanctuary Head over Hooves, and its leftover meals to organisations on the Gold Coast that support local people experiencing homelessness.

What looks good: mushroom arancini bolognese.

2. House Iberia

Owners: Rose, Pat and Tessa Mahoney

Founded: 2014

Employees: 7

Delivers to: Geelong area, Victoria.

Point of difference: simple meals made with local ingredients. You can have ‘brunch boxes’, pantry items (eggs, bread, etc) and drinks delivered too.

What looks good: baked beans with red rice, feta, avocado, spinach and house-made corn tortillas.

3. Lavana Wholefoods

Founder: Jess Travers-Johnson

Founded: 2015

Employees: 1

Delivers to: Victoria

Point of difference: wholefood, plant-based meals that just need to be heated.

What looks good: west African tofu peanut curry with steamed brown rice.

4. HerbiDoor

Founder: Matt Gloss

Founded: 2018

Employees: 6

Delivers to: greater Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, northern New South Wales and Sydney.

Point of difference: plant-based comfort meals.

What looks good: Tikka masala with spinach-infused rice.

5. My Goodness Organics

Founders: Warren Hammond and Rebecca Carden

Founded: 2012

Employees: 7

Delivers to: Melbourne metropolitan and greater metropolitan areas,

Point of difference: sustainable and organic meals, with the option to filter for various dietary requirements (such as paleo, pescetarian, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free).

What looks good: kingfish and caviar potato salad.

6. Activate Foods

Founders: Megan and Marty Bowden

Founded: 2016

Employees: 6

Delivers to: Central Coast, Newcastle and Sydney.

Point of difference: fresh and frozen meals, made from scratch with natural flavours, with paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free options.

What looks good: honey mustard roast pork.

7. Flave

Founders: Stuart and Sam Cook and Jan Pacas

Founded: 2019

Employees: 9

Delivers to: metro areas across New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

Point of difference: founded by three serial entrepreneurs, Flave specialised in “effortless” plant-based food. Scott Findlay is the chef behind the meals, who, fun fact, has been the private chef for Sir Paul McCartney, and toured with Pink, Madonna and Rihanna. 

What looks good: slow-braised rendang curry with baby potatoes, baby spinach, brown rice, pickled pineapple and crunchy cucumber.

8. Dinner Sorted

Owners: Lenny and Maritza Barbosa

Purchased: 2019

Employees: 4

Delivers to: Melbourne area.

Point of difference: meal kits complete with local ingredients and recipes built around your preferences.

What looks good: chicken meatballs with a creamy mushroom sauce.

9. Dietlicious

Founder: Janel Horton

Founded: 1994

Employees: 36

Delivers to: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane metro areas. Some areas in the ACT, regional NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are serviced by an external courier company too.

Point of difference: yummy meals you can build around a desired calorie intake or diet. This Australian-owned and -run business has been in the same hands for more than 24 years.

What looks good: vegetarian lasagna packed with eggplant, zucchini, mushroom, sweet potato, onion and carrot.

View this post on Instagram

@zoebingleypullin on our Asian beef stir fry with vegetables ⁠ ⁠ "While a stir fry is a relatively easy dish for even a beginner cook to make, it's surprising how many people mess it up. The meat's too tough or the balance of flavours isn't quite right. Not so with this edition from Dietlicious! ⁠ Here, the Asian flavours are perfected in their marinade of sweet soy, oyster sauce, ginger, coriander, mint and chilli. The fried rice is a much healthier version than your regular take away – it combines brown rice, quinoa and cauliflower rice with a bunch of other veges and herbs delivering low calories and high nutrition. Overall what you get is a ready made, healthy and flavoursome meal that you can fry at home in minutes. This is a high protein, low fat dish containing only top quality, wholefood ingredients and no additives or preservatives."⁠ ⁠ #stirfry #asianflavours #chilli #nopreservative⁠ #zoebingleypullin⁠ #pickoftheweek⁠ #100realingredients⁠ #healthymealsdelivered⁠ #atleastmydietisdelicious⁠

A post shared by Healthy Meals Delivered (@dietlicious_aus) on

10. The Dinner Ladies

Founders: Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood

Founded: 2007

Employees: 60

Delivers to: Victoria and New South Wales.

Point of difference: nutritious meals made using real ingredients, snap-frozen for your convenience.

What looks good: spinach, ricotta and feta filo pie.

11. Chefgood

Founders: Michelle Sievwright and Susan McKay

Founded: 2014

Employees: 40

Delivers to: Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney.

Point of difference: healthy everyday meals, or a calorie-controlled meal plan tailored to weight-loss. Co-founder Susan McKay is a fine-dining chef with more than 35 years’ experience working in Melbourne, San Francisco and London.

What looks good: Thai meatballs with coconut and lime vegetables.

12. EatByDesign

Founders: Thea and Sam Doyle

Founded: 2019

Employees: 90

Delivers to: Melbourne.

Point of difference: gluten-free and plant-based meal kits complete with fresh ingredients and recipes.

What looks good: Oven-baked eggplant rounds topped with spiced beef mince and rice mix, yoghurt dressing, pomegranate, pecans, parsley, mint and fresh dates.

NOW READ: Sweet success: A Melbourne bakery aims to fill a hole in home deliveries with Donut Dash virtual store

NOW READ: Calombaris’ former frozen yoghurt chain Yo-Chi finds new home with sons of Boost Juice founder Janine Allis

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