Uyen-Uyen “Winnie” Tong and her husband, Alan Razzaghi, opened the doors to Fresh Lunches in 2006 to provide fresh, delicious, and nutritious food to students while fully supporting the environment through sustainable business practices. Freshlunches is a daily meal delivery company servicing roughly 4500 daily customers in over 20 schools and camps throughout Los Angeles. With 14 years’ history offering healthy and delicious “house-made” meals, Food Love was initially launched as a catering arm to their current business. As such, the company is now uniquely positioned to transition their existing infrastructure and business practices to meet the current individual and family food delivery needs of the Los Angeles community. Food Love by Freshlunches specializes in creating delicious, made-from-scratch, heat-and-serve meals, delivered directly to your doorstep.
1. What made you and your spouse get involved in the food industry and create Freshlunches?
Food is one of the main centers of our busy family life. We believe in scratch-made meals using clean ingredients and working with local partners to build sustainable relationships that support the local economy. As parents, we wanted to create healthy and delicious meals full of variety, nutrients and seasonal ingredients for our students at school. We believe good food is an important factor in creating a lifetime of healthy habits. In addition to an easy ordering platform, Freshlunches provides convenient deadlines and up to seven menu choices each day including vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Freshlunches has evolved from just providing lunchtime meals to encompassing full breakfasts, live grill stations and catering needs for our many schools and parent partners.
2. How did you come up with the concept for Food Love?
Food Love was launched two years ago as our official catering division of Freshlunches. During this pandemic, we were forced to shut-down Freshlunches due to the school closures. We lost over a hundred employees overnight. It was devastating. Within the first days, we realized that the needs of our own family to be able to have access to healthy, delicious, safe and affordable meals during this time was even more paramount. Food Love was relaunched to provide reliable, safe and beautiful scratch-made meals that are designed for individuals and families seeking nourishment, convenience and comfort in knowing the people behind their food source and delivery.
3. What are Food Love’s best-selling dishes that your customers cannot get enough of?
Our best entrees are as varied as our clients. Consistently at the top are Grilled Salmon, Taco Buffet Package (featuring Beyond Meat Taco), Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs, Asian Meal Package (featuring Korean Short Ribs), Farmer’s Market Grilled Veggie Board, Roasted Rainbow Cauliflower, Rosemary Grilled Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Rollups.
4. Where does Food Love’s produce come from and what standards do you follow in ensuring the quality of your food?
We feature an extensive and rotating menu that features clean, fresh all-natural ingredients, including organic grains, locally grown fruits and vegetables, hormone-free meat, grass-fed beef, and dairy options. We have long-standing partnerships with local farmers for our organic fruit. Freshlunches sources produce from various sources. Food Love sources locally grown produce from various farms including Cuyama Orchards, Weiser Farms, County Line Harvest, Arnett Family Farms and others. By working with farmers, Food Love is able to control the specs for fruits and vegetables we purchase and allows us to plan seasonal and weekly rotations according to the best available fruits and vegetables. With the decline and restructuring of farmer’s market spaces, we have tapped our produce distribution partner Vesta Foods to help in the transportation and distribution of locally sourced produce so that we have consistency and predictability with deliveries. All produce entering our facility is inspected for quality. Locally grown produce is not always perfect looking but they taste amazing.
5. What distinguishes you from other food delivery services?
Meal Offering/Packaging/Variety Our meals are designed for a generous serving of 4-6. Additionally, we offer a cryovac option for ordering multiple meals at a time. The vacuum sealing extends the shelf-life to 7-10 days and allows for freezing. Especially during this time, Food Love meals will help our clients stay home longer knowing they have access to fresh meals for a few days. Our menu is designed for clients to customize each meal by choosing their main protein from chicken, grass-fed beef, grilled salmon, korean short ribs or brisket. You can mix and match your vegetable sides from options like roasted brussel sprouts or a seasonal grilled veggie board. You can continue building your meals by selecting salads, starches, and desserts. This flexibility offers our customers the ability to address the range of eating preferences at home.
We also offer beautifully arranged artisanal cheese boards, charcuterie boards and mezze boards for when you want to celebrate with something extra at mealtime.
Service and Delivery We utilize only dedicated Food Love Delivery Trucks, solely maintained by our team and sanitized for each drop-off. We hire dedicated Delivery Team members who enter the premises by one entrance, remain in sectioned “work quarantine” and have daily physical and mental check-ins with our Management. Staffers change gloves for each customer and maintain safe distancing with contactless doorstep delivery.
Safety Standards: Food Our sanitation process for the past 15 years has always been stringent. In this new environment, we have added an ozone water treatment to wash all our fruits and produce and to sanitize. Ozone is more powerful than chlorine as a disinfectant and eliminates food pathogens without leaving chemical residue on our vegetables or fruits. Due to a short life of 10-20 minutes, it will break down into the water. Our water used for washing is free of disinfectant chemical residue as it enters the city system.
Production: Our Kitchen We observe and enforce 6 ft+ social distancing with work stations. All-access to the kitchen is restricted to production members only. We have created a separate area for customer pick-up and deliveries. Please refer to our full safety standards and procedures -https://www.foodlovela.com/food-safety
Nut-free Facilty We are a nut-free facility. Our house-baked goods contain no nuts.
6. What areas in Los Angeles are your services offered?
We deliver to a range of areas in greater Los Angeles – from Calabasas to Hollywood and West LA. We also do custom deliveries outside our current range. Please contact us for information HERE. 7. How is Food Love by Freshlunches dedicated to giving back to the community?
Giving back has always been a part of our DNA and we have a long-standing relationship with the Los Angeles Fire Department, the local Red Cross and the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation (LAEPF) who we have recently aligned with to better manage our community donations. We were honored to supply meals to our city’s firefighters, evacuation shelters and local volunteers during recent years’ natural disasters. Today, we feel fortunate to be able to continue in this giving spirit and donate weekly meals to some incredible causes in the community to support our first responders, healthcare workers on the front lines, local veterans and the American Red Cross volunteers at LAUSD distribution centers. With generous and continued donations, we increased our giving from 100 meals to over 400 weekly to those most at-risk and vulnerable in our community.
In addition, it is important for us to take care of our FL team as much as possible. We provide a weekly grocery care package for our recently furloughed staff. This is partly funded by Food Love Gratitude Boxes which feature local organic and seasonal produce. For each purchase of a gratitude box, our family provides a bag of basic provisions for as many staff as possible.
Tags: Alan Razzaghi, Arnett Family Farms, County Line Harvest, cryovac, Cuyama Orchards, Food Delivery, Food Love, Food Love by Freshlunches, Food Love Gratitude Boxes, Freshlunches, LA Guestlist, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation, Nut-free Facilty, Uyen-Uyen Tong, Weiser Farms, Winnie Tong
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