“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that scratchDC will cease dinner kit delivery operations on September 22nd”

by Prince Of Petworth September 9, 2016 at 9:55 am 33 Comments


Thanks to a reader for passing on: “Well this sucks.”

For those that use meal delivery services – who’s your favorite?

From scratchDC:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that scratchDC will cease dinner kit delivery operations on September 22nd, 2016 in order to focus on our other recently launched ventures, TinyGrocery and TasteLab.  

The past four years have been a remarkable adventure for me and my team. With very little cooking experience, we set out to make making dinner easier and more delicious for home chefs like ourselves.  With you, we grew from renting space in a tiny bar kitchen to opening our very own commercial facility that we now get to share with over forty incredible food companies. 

Over four years we helped thousands of Washingtonians cook smarter. We connected our customers with local farms to help them understand how great ingredients really make a difference. We employed dozens of our talented neighbors who planned, prepped, packed, marketed and delivered these little bundles of joy to your doorsteps. 

But while this might be the end of scratchDC, it is just the beginning of what we want to accomplish in the food industry. We will now be shifting our focus to the rapid growth of our ready-to-eat foods company, TinyGrocery, and incubating the amazing companies working from TasteLab.

It is crazy to think that all of these wonderful opportunities came from a single frustrating trip to the grocery store and we eagerly await the next twist that sits around the bend.

I want to thank each and every client for their feedback, support and loyalty. I want to thank my current and former staff for their drive, commitment and passion. I want to thank my family for their love, support and constant motivation. It takes a city to build a company and there is no better place to make something special than Washington, DC.

So while this is the end of a chapter, we have never been more excited to turn the page. We will continue to build a better food system one bite at a time and do everything we can to be sure that each bite is more delicious than the last.

Thank you for sharing your kitchens, dinner tables, taste buds and tummies, and as always:

Love and happy cooking!

Ryan Hansan
Founder and CEO, scratchDC

  • Kara

    I’m devastated. Scratch is SOOOO yummy. Had to call my husband to cry a little.

  • Anon Spock

    Roomie likes blue apron, but it’s expensive for something I still have to cook.

  • I was an early patron of ScratchDC and really enjoyed their meal kits. That said, it’s been probably about 8 months or so since I last ordered one. I found the menus got pretty repetitive in the last year, and once I’d ordered a meal once or twice, I was familiar enough with how to make it on my own to not want to spend the money on the kit. I wish Ryan and his team the best, though, on their new food ventures.

  • Andie302

    I’m a big fan of Blue Apron – and a little birdy (my best friends husband, who is high up there) says they are going to start letting people have more choices of combinations of meals in the near future. (Right now it’s sort of limited, but since we’re not picky I always just cook whatever they send.) For us, it’s the difference between spending $20 for two on dinner, or going out and spending $30+ on the low end, and sometimes much more (helllooo beers).

    • Pixie

      I’ve been hearing rumors about having more meal choices from Blue Apron for months now! I’m sort of picky and hate when I can’t choice the one good meat option along with the veggie options I want. I end up skipping the entire week. SIgh. #firstworldproblems.

  • DF

    I hate the phrase “home chef”. Some of us went to culinary schools and have spent years working our asses off to gain that title. What did these people do? Order some semi homemade meal kit online?
    Why does one need a title to friggin cook dinner at home?

    • Rachael M

      Really? This cannot be a realhot take.

      Ryan’s group deserves a ton of credit for recognizing this market existed first within DC. There were far fewer options for meal kit (or even grocery delivery) back when they started then there are now. The recipes were not overly difficult, delicious, locally-sourced and got a lot more people cooking on weeknights that otherwise wouldn’t. I wish them all the best in the future.

    • Anon

      Well, this is rather awkward…. you’re really reaching with your feigned outrage, and it not even the afternoon!

    • jaybird

      I agree DF. A chef is specific. Its not just someone who can follow a recipe. I think home cook is more accurate. You could fill in whatever job title you want and it would be the same. Any home doctors out there? Or home lawyers?

      • Cleveland Park runner

        LegalZoom and webMD makes that possible!

        • jaybird

          Right. You might know something about something from reading a website but it doesn’t make you an attorney, doctor, or chef.

          • Rachael M.

            I’ll be sure to tell my grandmother to STFU the next time she starts that “chef” business. Thanks for the correction!!!

      • There is no officially licensed certification process for using the title “chef” like there is for being a lawyer or doctor. Just because there are places of higher learning where you can hone your skills doesn’t mean the guy at Applebee’s can’t call himself the same thing for following a predesigned recipe with a bunch of frozen, packaged ingredients.

    • Anon

      I hate it too. My girlfriend uses the word “chef” to describe me, and while I appreciate the compliment it’s grating (and confusing when used in the presence of someone who doesn’t know that’s not my job).

    • Hill Denizen

      I hate it too, but for a different reason (your reason’s totally legit though). I hate that cooking a decent meal at home makes you chef. We shouldn’t look at cooking at home as special or something that requires unique talents and skills. It should be a completely commonplace activity. The idea that every home meal needs to be a Food Network-type extravaganza is off-putting and impacts how many people cook for themselves on a regular basis.

      • I’m pretty sure the market of people who think every home meal needs to be an extravaganza pales in comparison to the number of families who cook “regular” meals. If it weren’t I doubt they would be getting out of the business. Just because some people enjoy cooking things that require more of a challenge than meatloaf doesn’t mean you can’t keep at it.

  • Anon

    Oh man, I kept meaning to try this place and forgot. I use Blue Apron occasionally. GREAT customer service, nice amount of flexibility. It’s good for when you’re trying to transition to using your kitchen more rather than eating out every night. Hello Fresh is like throwing a can of Chef Boyardee on the stove (though they’ve hooked up with a new chef so maybe it’s better) and Plated has interesting recipe options but I had such a bad experience with customer service I will never use them again

  • skaballet

    I’m really sad about this even though I didn’t order super frequently. I liked Scratch better than the other options because you can order only 1 meal at a time. Everywhere else I’ve tried you have to order at least 2 and that’s just too much food for my purposes. I also found their recipes to be much faster than other options. And I do agree that the customer service was AWESOME.

  • also anon

    I use Blue Apron about twice a month. I think they’re big enough that they can source really interesting, unique and high quality ingredients. I also love their monthly wine club pairings. I’ve glanced at other meal delivery options but they seem kind of boring. Blue Apron is more adventurous and I cook things I wouldn’t cook on my own.

  • CHGal

    A little off topic, but it’s kind of amazing to me that we have:
    – Dinner kit services like Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Chef
    – Delivery services like Postmates, Door Dash, Caviar, Grub Hub. uberEats
    – Galley which is sort of an in-between
    – Restaurants that deliver
    – Grocery delivery like Peapod and Instacart
    – New restaurants opening every week
    Yet somehow there are still long lines at the grocery stores. But I suppose given all those options, I’m not surprised that Scratch didn’t make it. I’d assume a few more will fail as well, especially in the delivery services which there seem to be a lot of.

    • Ampersand

      It’s because buying your own food and cooking it is, almost 100% of the time, cheaper than any of the options you listed. Specifically addressing Blue Apron: My friend gave me a code for a free Blue Apron and I tried it, but it bothers me when I’m sent $5-10 of ingredients for a $20 vegetarian meal. My current roommate is a longtime subscriber and she kept all of the recipe cards, so now I just occasionally grab a card and use it as a shopping list. Nothing against Blue Apron – they’re doing a great thing that helps a ton of people, and the quality is great. But you’re paying for a packaging and delivery service on top of the food, and you can skip that cost by going to the store yourself.

      • also anon

        I think it’s a much better value for meat-eaters than vegetarians. The meat is really high quality and I definitely taste the difference between what Blue Apron sends and the cheaper meats at the grocery store.

        • Anon Spock

          I’m sure this is true, but it’s still expensive. I guarantee you can save money while still getting high quality meat & fish.
          Blue apron is the 7-11 of meals; paying for convenience.
          It only makes sense to me if you’re too busy to grocery shop or you don’t live near any decent grocery stores.

          • Anon

            I thought about trying it as a way to get my girlfriend interested in cooking with me, but I can’t justify the prices either.

          • Anon Spock

            I bet if you look up something simple and have everything ready to go you can get her on board.
            Or find someone with a freebie blue apron to share.

      • CHGal

        I understand the difference in pricing, I’m just saying that’s a lot of vendors essentially selling the same product (dinner). There’s a fit that’s right for everyone, it’s just hard to see all of these options having enough volume to stay in business long-term.

    • jumpingjack

      I understand the appeal of all of these services, but I rarely use them (and have never tried a dinner kit). I really enjoy planning meals and grocery shopping (I especially don’t trust someone else to pick out produce, and I like to make decisions based on what looks good).
      I also agree with Ampersand that these services are for generally quite expensive – a lot of people don’t have that kind of disposable income.

    • Glover Park

      As an environmentalist, all of these meal services things, home grocery delivery, etc., give me heart palpitations. They are SO freaking wasteful. So yeah. That’s why.

      • Anon


    • Anon

      You also forgot all the CSAs!

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I love Scratch DC because they do all the Sous Chef work. That said, I have not used it in quite a while. I’ve been getting the Chef’s dinner at Whole Foods which is even less expensive and all I have to do is re-heat it.

  • ajr

    I’m a huge fan of Power Supply!

  • Tried them all and Hello Fresh is definitely my favorite. Better quality meals, better (environmentally friendly) packaging, fresher ingredients, local delivery hub, A+ customer service, they beat all the others by a mile for me. And they constantly give me codes to give friends free meals.


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