Jonathan Ferrari is changing the way we approach food
When Goodfood entered the scene in 2014, they did so with a mission: to change the way we approach food. The company’s subscription meal-kit service operates at the intersection of the Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement, culinary exploration and subscription box popularity to provide its members with all the locally sourced ingredients they need to create homemade meals, delivered to their door every week.
“The business idea came from more of a personal need,” explains Jonathan Ferrari, Goodfood’s CEO and co-founder. “I love to cook; I love finding recipes. But, at the time, there was really no option to have anything delivered to your home. No option to simplify meal planning. I really felt like there was a gap for my own personal needs.”
The native Montrealer studied finance at McGill before starting his career in the investment banking group at RBC. There, he met his business partner, Neil Cuggy.
“We got pretty excited about the changes that we saw happening in the grocery landscape,” Ferrari says. “We have this incredible passion for food … and a pretty serious interest in understanding where our food comes from, and trying to create a more transparent supply chain as well.”
Transparency in the food industry can be seen in the CSA movement, where consumers support local farmers by pre-purchasing a season’s worth of produce-filled boxes directly from the farm and helping farmers financially that season. “The CSA movement was very influential,” says Ferrari. “We think about Goodfood as CSA 2.0, where we’re not only getting a box of fresh, locally sourced produce, but you have everything else that you need to prepare the dishes. We take it one step further and locally source, for example … handmade pasta from a family-run artisanal pasta maker.”
Goodfood’s ingredients come from providers in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Ferrari admits they occasionally need to go international to supplement some ingredients during the winter but they do it transparently, so members know when an ingredient is imported.
They’re also focused on nutritional value and culinary exploration. “What Goodfood means for us is food that is tasty and good for you,” explains Ferrari. “We try to make sure there is that balance. We love to help people travel through our dishes …. It’s exciting for that sense of discovery that comes along with it.”
That discovery also comes from different ways to cook and new ingredients. “If we can help you cook something that you’ve never cooked before, that makes it worth it,” Ferrari says. “Whether it’s ingredients you’re less familiar with, [or] cooking techniques you’ve never tried, we try to keep it as simple and foolproof as possible. The discovery aspect — it keeps coming back to us as one of the more interesting parts of the service.”