By Nicole Di Tomasso
Launched in February 2021, Chefdrop brings Toronto’s top chefs and restaurants to customers across most of southern Ontario through meal kits called Drops. Each Drop is prepared by an acclaimed chef and comes with pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions.
“The concept was created after witnessing a strong demand for premium, restaurant-quality, chef-prepared meal kits during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Adam Teolis, founder and principal of Chefdrop. “Since launching, we’ve been committed to providing our customers with unparalleled access to the city’s top restaurants at home.”
Currently, Chefdrop partners with Top Chef Canada’s Nuit Regular of Pai, private chef and TV personality Adrian Forte, cheese expert Afrim Pristine of Cheese Boutique, head chocolatier Mariane Oliveira of Mary’s Brigadeiro, celebrity chef and head judge on Top Chef Canada Mark McEwan and many more.
“Our operations team is always searching for new restaurants and chefs to get involved given that we want to ensure that customers have a wide variety of options to satisfy whatever they’re craving,” says Teolis.
When it comes to the selection process, Teolis says there are many logistical elements to consider. “Our team conducts rigorous testing to ensure the dishes will translate well as a meal kit especially when it comes to transporting the ingredients and ensuring they remain fresh and safe for our customers,” says Teolis. “Additionally, we want to work with chefs and restaurants that align with our values and missions. Those that want to be a part of this culinary economy at home and who are committed to providing the best experience for their guests every single time.”
Since launching, Chefdrop has witnessed exponential growth and continues to expand its reach. Some customers turn to Chefdrop for Sunday dinners, weekend brunches or quick-and-easy lunches while others rely on its meal kits for holidays, weddings or anniversaries.
Chefdrop also helps to feed those in need through its Drop-for-Drop program. Partner charities and organizations include Second Harvest, Youth Forward Toronto, Out of the Cold, OYA:NA Youth Group and We Care. Through this program, Chefdrop has donated more than 1,500 meals.
For now, Chefdrop is focused on making its restaurant-quality meal kits accessible to as many people within southern Ontario. However, the future is bright with hopes of expanding into other regions in Canada and the U.S.
The ability of luxury meal kits to outlive COVID-19 is an important question that Chefdrop gets asked a lot. For Teolis, the answer is simple.
“It’s important to note that meal kits, or drops, don’t replace restaurants or the experience they offer. This ‘at home’ market is completely distinct and it’s ripe for innovation. This is where restaurants came into the picture and have contributed to the elevation of ‘meal kits’ by adding in exquisite chefs inside people’s homes,” says Teolis. “The short answer is: absolutely. Drops are here to stay.”