We are a weekly meal membership that stocks your fridge with exceptional prepared foods for life’s busy moments.
Tell us about yourself?
As a kid, I loved to scrutinize businesses and products that I was passionate about. In my teens and early 20s, I worked in sales and had the opportunity to work closely with some great business owners. At the end of the day, I always fantasized about being able to make the calls from a strategy standpoint and saw a major opportunity in the food space. I was always very passionate about food. I was always in restaurants, cooked some pretty mean dinners, and frequently ordered Uber Eats. Even living in Toronto, which has one of the best food ecosystems, I saw a clear gap for those busy moments in life when you want something fantastic but don’t want to splash (then $25, now $40) on an average Uber Eats meal. That’s when I met my business partner, Kevin Le, who was slinging these incredible prepared meals that could sit in a refrigerator for days and still knock people’s socks off. The beauty of it was that when customers ordered in advance, we could source the exact ingredients needed to make our meals without any food waste. This allows us to deliver incredible quality to our customers at very attractive prices (under $14/meal, including all fees, etc.). From then on, I focused on the nerd stuff and just did whatever I could to give Kevin the resources he needed to execute the food program, which I strongly believe is the best in the industry. Short answer, Kevin is what made me get into this line of work. I saw incredible talent and a great person and knew I had a complementary skillset to build something that I believe solves a big problem for people.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Honestly, not to waste time looking for investors and getting distracted by the idea of a cash injection and short-term comfort. Thankfully, we didn’t find any and had to roll up our sleeves which I think was for the best. Kind of a “diamonds are formed under pressure” thing.
What problem does your business solve?
We stock your fridge with high-quality prepared meals when you don’t have time to cook and also don’t want to spend a fortune on food.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We’re trying to take the passion and excellence from the restaurant scene to prepared meals, which traditionally has a very compromised product.
What is your magic sauce?
We keep it simple. We are obsessed with our product and never stop innovating. We don’t ever play it safe or accept “good enough”. We charge fair prices and aren’t trying to get rich quickly, and, most importantly, we care about our customers and always make sure we do the right by them, especially when it’s inconvenient.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We want to be an app that lives on your phone harmoniously with the big three. There’s Open Table when you want to book an experience at Toronto’s amazing restaurants. Instacart for your groceries when you want to cook. Uber Eats when you want to satisfy that food craving fast. And Yumba when you want to make sure your fridge is stocked with the best-prepared meals for those busy moments.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Honestly, not giving in to going down the venture funding route while watching other companies skate past us temporarily. We believed that profit and quick decision-making were more important than revenue growth. I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t feel the pressure to change course. When you see that bank account dwindling, a million-dollar investment sure does seem attractive, but thankfully, we stood our ground and are better for it now. We are profitable now and can make quick decisions and avoid a too many cooks in the kitchen scenario.
How can people get involved?
Try our food at www.yumba.ca. We’re willing to prove ourselves to you first by giving you 40 per cent off your first delivery.