Blue Apron Founder Matt Salzberg Builds Private Chef Experience For The Masses

Learn how Matt Salzberg and his co-founders, Ilia Papas and Matthew Wadiak, turned their love of food and cooking into a successful business.

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It may come as no surprise that America is a ‘Fast Food Nation’. Studies show that Americans cook less than any developed country. And time-crunched professionals spend less time cooking today than ever before. It’s a dilemma that New York-based entrepreneur Matt Salzberg and his co-founders had personally encountered.

To alleviate the struggle of home cooking for both the novice and ‘iron chef’ alike, Salzberg and co-founders, Ilia Papas and Matthew Wadiak, launched New York-based startup Blue Apron.

The e-commerce food delivery service aims to change the way people cook at home.“Blue Apron makes cooking fun and easy,” said Salzberg, Blue Apron’s Founder and CEO. “We are an e-commerce company that delivers all of the ingredients you need to make a meal in exactly the right amounts. We design our own original recipes per week that we then go out and source all the ingredients in bulk and wholesale from really high-end purveyors to help our customers have incredible meals at home really easily.”

Blue Apron; Source: Courtesy Photo
Blue Apron; Source: Courtesy Photo

Earlier this year the startup “raised $3M in series A funding from First Round Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Dave Tisch and others,” according to TechCrunch contributor Anthony Ha, after raising an earlier $900,000 seed round.

While the company is poised to deliver on their experiential food delivery concept Salzberg admits, like most entrepreneurs, that they ran into significant challenges along the way.

Learn how Matt Salzberg and his co-founders Ilia Papas and Matthew Wadiak turned their love of food and cooking into a successful business and why Salzberg recommends that entrepreneurs remain focused.

Company: Blue Apron
Founders: Matt Salzberg, Ilia Papas, Matthew Wadiak
Location: New York, NY
Industry: E-Commerce, Food
Startup Year: 2012
Startup Costs: Undisclosed

How Blue Apron Got Started

Ilia and I have known each other for a while and we were working on business ideas. Blue Apron solves a a problem that we both personally had in our lives. First off, both of us absolutely love food and we wanted to cook at home more often, but we both were working long hours and it was very difficult for us to go out and get all of the ingredients that we needed. We really wished there was a service out there that would go out, plan great recipes for you and get the ingredients you need so you can cook fairly easily. That’s where the inspiration originated.

Blue Apron, a subscription-based food delivery service, offers a new concept in grocery delivery, built around incredible cooking experiences.  Delivering fresh ingredients to make 3 meals, in exactly the right proportions they aim to bring customers fresh and high-quality food at a competitive price.

Blue Apron; Source: Courtesy Photo
Blue Apron; Source: Courtesy Photo

Our founding team has a lot of relevant and diverse experience. My background is in business; I used to work in venture capital and I graduated from Harvard Business School. Ilia had previously built many e-commerce experiences for large e-commerce companies. And Matt has been a chef all of his life with an emphasis on home cooking. He was a private chef for many people and also did some catering and wholesale. So all three of us had different elements of the skill sets required to start a business.

Before we launched there were a lot of things we had to do to get off the ground, like creating the branding, getting the logistics together, loading the supplier base, creating incredible recipes, building a great website, and to start marketing.

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