Real Talk With Chef Pete

"I want people to eat good food that is delicious and healthy. But having a positive impact on the environment is important to me as well. It turns out lowering food waste is the best way to do that!"

Pete's is Sustainable

GUESS WHAT?!? Meal kits have a 33% smaller carbon footprint* than meals cooked from the grocery store. We order the perfect amount of ingredients each and every time, so no food waste. And if there happen to be any leftovers, they are donated to our local community kitchen.

  • Less Food Waste

    When most folks grocery shop, almost a third of the food never makes it into our mouths. Most food operations order food first and hope they sell it. We break that cycle by ordering ingredients after we receive your orders!

  • Shorter Supply Chain

    Grocery stores receive food shipped from all over the world. Pete's works exclusively with local food purveyors.

  • Efficient Delivery

    Our packaging materials are specifically selected for being environmentally friendly and are delivered by FedEx, which has lower last-mile transportation emissions.

Food that tastes good. And does good.

From the beginning, Pete's has set out to make a difference in the world of food. From where we source our ingredients to how we pay our staff, we try and do our part to make things a little better. There is, of course, however some things that we have to make compromises on. It turns out getting the meals directly to your door requires a bit of packaging.

Our Packaging

We don't stop with just low food waste. All of our packaging is environmentally friendly, and it has been since we started in 2012.

  • Pete's Meal Trays

    Our trays are curbside recyclable, just be sure to peel off film and wash out first.

    *40% LESS WASTE than standard Thermoform trays
    *30% LESS ENERGY used in production process
    *20% LESS EMISSIONS generated in production process
    *Up to 20% PCR (post consumer recycled) content

  • Pete's Liners

    Our liners curbside recyclable. They are made with a 100% paper interior, cased inside a recyclable plastic outer lining.

    They are custom sized to our various box sizes, so we optimize the packaging process based on your order size.

  • Pete's Gel Packs

    Made with a tough, recyclable polyethylene plastic that is proven to be puncture-resistant and resist tears during rigorous handling.

    Our gels can be reused, donated to local food pantrys or drain the contents into the trash and curbside recycle the outer lining.

  • Pete's Boxes

    Our boxes are curbside recyclable and made from approximately 65% recycled materials.

    Our manufacturer is FSC certified and corrugated manufacturing and recycling is one of the most environmentally friendly processes!

Our Green Shipping Partner

All jokes aside, we've partnered with Corso to provide Green shipping protection for our customers. This means that not only is your package protected against delays, theft, etc but also your carbon emissions are offset for your order!

Why Choose Pete's Real Food?

Who is Pete?

Ever since I made an apple pie with my grandma when I was 7, I’ve wanted to be a chef.

I remember insisting on peeling all the apples myself even though it made my hand crampp into a claw. I’ll never forget the satisfaction of pulling the pie out of the oven and seeing it bubbling and golden brown. What a feeling. 

When I was a little older I would run home from school to watch “great chefs of the world” on the Discovery channel.

I graduated culinary school from Le Cordon Bleu and got very lucky to land my dream job. It was at a place called Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta. We used every part of the animal and everything was made from scratch. And I mean everything, from the tobasco sauce (you ferment it for a year) to the worstechire it was all made in house. While I was there we were awarded Best New Chef from Food and Wine magazine, nominated for a James Beard award and won Bon Apetit Cuisine of the Year. 

It was incredible and I will always be grateful for what I learned there. But I will say I did see an issue with farmers driving 100 miles to sell two cases of kale while people paid $50 a plate. It seemed there wouldn’t be that much of a net gain to the food system if that’s all we were doing. My mind started spinning and I was determined to make a difference in how people ate. 

Then I met Sarah and it all came together from there.  I fell in love in about two seconds, two seconds after that she made me do CrossFit with her. Then she made me do a paleo challenge. At first I bristled at a diet stifling my cooking but paleo and fine dining are actually pretty synonymous. 

We started dropping off meals at local gyms within a few months of landing in San Diego. Then within two years we were shipping nationally. There’s a lot of details and heartache I skipped over what it took to make that happen but suffice it to say I believe very strongly the only way to truly fail is to quit. 

Now we have truckloads of kale brought to the kitchen. Our staff is paid a living wage. And our customers get fine dining quality food for less than $20 bucks a meal. That, I believe, is making a small but important difference in the food system. 

Thanks so much for your support and business,  it’s the only thing that makes any of this possible. 

What Goes Into Our Pricing?

Yes, we will say it upfront. We are more expensive than our big competitors and your local school lunch provider.

Let me tell you why, because it's not about more profits for us.

We are a small business with no outside investors. Pete has been in the food business his entire career. We know this industry inside out.

Amazon and other big retailers have shifted consumer's perspectives of the true cost of selling online and shipping. And as a small business, we simply cannot absorb it all.

In order to provide our customers with high quality, no junk, time saving meals with menus that change seasonally, and to pay our staff a living wage, this is the true cost of those meals.

We know your kiddos will love them.

Our Competitors

Since 2012, we have been a family owned and operated company. In fact, we were the first nationwide meal delivery company! We are completely boot strapped and have not taken on any investors or funding.

There have been a ton of meal companies big and small since we started our little company in 2012. But with that said, we still feel that there’s quite a bit that makes us different and honestly better than the rest.

Most of the large meal kit and meal delivery companies in this space have major investors, which enables them to spend a ton on marketing and offer very low meal pricing (because they don't have to make a profit, they just need to show increase in sales).

While we will never be able to compete on price (because our prices reflect what it costs to make high quality food, ship it directly to you and pay our employees an actual living wage), we blow the other guys out of the water when it comes to flavor, variety and diet offerings. And don't forget about our ingredients. Look at our nutrition panels, they will show we only use real food ingredients. No fake meats, no processed foods, no preservatives or fillers. Just real food. And you can taste the difference.

Our Food Philosophy

We make everything from scratch, including sauces and spice blends. Only whole real food ingredients will be found in our meals. No franken foods, nothing processed, no fillers or preservatives. This has been our approach since 2012 and we believe our customers are better off for it.

Our number one rule is if you wouldn't serve a meal to your grandmother, it won't be served to our customers. The other main rule is that we are only as good as the last meal we make. No one enjoys the flavors of a good reputation, they enjoy or don’t enjoy whatever meal was made for them that week.

Sustainability

The good news for our industry is that we actually have a smaller carbon footprint than grocery shopping! Read that again.

The study determined that meal delivery produces less food waste than those who choose to grocery shop. Flash to the meme of buying salad kits and leafy greens to only be thrown out because they went bad in our fridge.

But seriously, this is a big deal for our industry but even bigger for Pete's Real Food specifically. We intentionally cook everything fresh to order, to avoid food waste. We do not buy ingredients for all the meals on the menu and wait to see what meals customers decide they want to order. We get our weekly customer orders and then cook fresh to ship out fresh. What little food waste we have is donated to local community kitchens.

In addition, our boxes, liners, trays and gel liner shells are all eco friendly!