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Vancouver grocery delivery service ups the game for local restaurant products

Taking packaged foods from Vancouver restaurants to the next level
nuba-falafel-at-home-spud
Falafel from Nuba, the popular Vancouver Lebanese restaurant, is among the new selection of local restaurant products available through grocery delivery service Spud.

One of the biggest success stories of the pandemic era in Vancouver's food scene has without a doubt been the massive expansion of what was once a niche sector: packaged foods from popular restaurants. 

Now Vancouver-based grocery delivery service Spud is upping the game by working with several local restaurant owners to get their items on its virtual shelves, and into the fridges, freezers, and pantries of customers. 

While it's not uncommon to pick up jars of sauce or take-and-bake pastries from familiar restaurants, cafes, and bakeshops in the city, businesses looking to scale up and make it official need to jump through a few more hoops to get their items ready for the mainstream marketplace. That includes things like proper labelling, for example, featuring nutritional information. 

“We wanted to help restaurants broaden the sales of their local products," said Spud CEO Peter van Stolk. "We know what a difficult time this is for small businesses and particularly restaurants, so we decided to use our expertise to help these businesses become shelf-ready, not only for our customers, but also for other grocers and distribution services."

One way to ensure the Vancouver businesses can realize more sales is being able to make their products available through multiple sellers. Spud has opted to not implement an exclusivity agreement with the restaurants the company works with so that those restaurants can also sell through other avenues.

Popular local Lebanese restaurant on board with the goods

Already on board with Spud is Nuba, the beloved Lebanese restaurant with a handful of locations throughout Vancouver. 

Other Vancouver restaurants Spud is working with include Old Bird, Kokomo, The Garden Strathcona, Jamjar,, Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Dosanko,  and Chambar. The grocery service is also carrying items from Pemberton's Mile One Eating House. 

“We are restaurateurs, and had done some meal kits in-house, but the precise labelling was all new for us. Spud has provided great support, giving feedback on our packaging, support on putting together nutritional information and barcodes, and greatly simplifying the process of going to the wholesale market," said Nuba's Darragh McFeely.

Nuba's products available from Spud include a nourishing lentil stew (mjadra), their house-made falafel and a red lentil soup. The mjadra is the backbone of a tasty breakfast bowl, for which all the ingredients are available through the grocery delivery service. Home cooks of any skill level can easily re-create the Nuba dish by warming up the lentils, topping with a poached egg and/or oven-warmed falafel, crumbled feta, avocado, and lemon juice. 

Nuba has graciously shared their recipe with us, in case you wanted to give it a go. It's simple and delicious.

nuba-bowl-lwrThe Mjadra Breakfast Bowl features lentils and falafel from Nuba with other ingredients like egg and avocado. By Lindsay William-Ross / Vancouver Is Awesome

Mjadra Breakfast Bowl

Recipe courtesy Nuba

Year in and year out, Mjadra has always been one of the most popular dishes in our restaurants. A classic Lebanese food, it was traditionally eaten by labourers in Lebanon due to its nutritional density. We’ve created this off-the-menu breakfast bowl to give you a taste of Nuba, with its own at-home spin. This high-energy dish will have you feeling invigorated and ready to take on your day!

Chef’s Tip: Add in a few pieces of Nuba Falafel to make this bowl even heartier.

Ingredients:

  • One package of Nuba Mjadra
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • ½ cup feta
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lemon
  • Sea salt (flaked salt if you have it)
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Optional: Nuba Falafel

Directions

1. Slowly heat the thawed Mjadra in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
2. Peel and slice avocado.
3. Bring 4 inches of water and a tablespoon of vinegar (optional) to a gentle boil. Gently crack the eggs into the water. Poach for 3 minutes, until the eggs are medium soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and dab the eggs gently on a piece of paper towel to remove excess water.
4. Divide the heated Mjadra into two bowls and add a poached egg to each serving.
5. Top with crumbled feta and avocado slices.
6. Cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze fresh lemon juice over each bowl. Hint: if you have a microplane or zester, you can zest the lemon skin over each bowl before cutting and juicing for added flavour.
7. Season each bowl with a little salt and cracked pepper.