Relay Foods is an innovative online grocery company with a mission to bring the best in local produce, sustainable foods and everyday groceries directly to their customers. Relay offers about 8,000 products in their catalog; 30% of the catalog is sourced locally to the markets they serve. With simple online ordering and convenient home delivery or free pick up, Relay Foods is changing the way people get their groceries, simplifying the process and raising the standards for local quality. Launched in Charlottesville, VA in 2009, Relay Foods has quickly grown to serve much of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas. Now they are growing their market in the Triangle Area with pick-up sites in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Morrisville and Cary.
The Friends discovered Relay Foods at Pop-Up Sunday Market and signed up for their promotional offer. We were very pleased with our first experience and found Relay Foods to be a dynamic online grocery company. First we “shopped” at Relay Foods online from our home computer (you can also use you mobile device). After our cart was filled, our order was hand bagged, making sure of freshness, cleanliness and accuracy. It was then placed on one of the Relay trucks to be delivered at one of the many pick up spots.
Recently Relay Foods has added a new meal planning service that takes the ease of shopping with Relay one step further. With the meal planning, you can shop by meals rather than individual ingredients. There are several different meal plans with 3-4 meals in each plan. You can pick and chose meals from different plans, making menu planning a snap! For now, this service is still in beta mode; that means Relay is giving customers access to it in small groups. Relay Foods reached out to The Friends to see if we would like to participate in the beta testing. We were excited and happy to take part in this.
“The Meal Plan Beta Test”
We planned to do this for one of our Saturday at-home-dinners. Last weekend, Traveler and I tried out one of the meals from “Flavors to Fall in Love With” meal plans. Traveler selected the Simple Strip Steak with Mushroom Bacon Risotto meal. Relay Foods home delivery service brought our order right to the door late Friday afternoon. I could hardly wait to unpack our order see what we had to work with. I unpacked our groceries to take an inventory making sure we had everything called for in the recipes. After verifying we had everything needed, I put it away.
When Traveler arrived Saturday afternoon, we reviewed the recipes from the Relay meal plan and made our game plan for the Simple Strip Steak with Mushroom Bacon Risotto dinner from Relay Foods. Since the steak needed to marinate for at least 2 hours, we made the simple marinade of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, rubbed it on the steak and set it aside to rest for two hours. Using simple seasonings enhanced the rich pure flavor of this great steak.
According to our game plan, Traveler would take pictures and tweet out our prepping and cooking of the meal. Since the Mushroom Bacon Risotto would take longer, I would prep for and cook the risotto so Traveler would have time to do plenty of tweeting. As I finished up the risotto, Traveler would prepare the Strip Steak. Our planning and timing of meal prep and cooking was spot on. Both the steak and risotto came off at the same time and we plated a very eye-pleasing meal. We found the meal to be as tasty as it looked.
Traveler and I enjoyed our experience with Relay’s Meal Plan. Shopping by meals rather than individual ingredients is very convenient. You don’t have to worry about finding out you have forgotten something when you begin to prepare the meal because Relay’s Meal Planning has taken care of this. We found the recipes easy to follow using simple cooking techniques to complete a delicious meal. Traveler and I recommend giving Relay Foods Meal Planning a try. It’s great for busy people on the go.