We talk to the founder of Tuckrbox, a nutrition-focused, farm-to-table meal delivery that lets children plan their own lunches through an app.
The food delivery industry may be saturated, but there haven’t been many innovations that focus entirely on kids. That’s why we were excited to write about Tuckrbox — not only does the farm-to-table meal delivery service prioritise nutrition and health, but it lets children be in charge of selecting what they eat. Children order their lunches through an app, and all of the ingredients are sourced from local farmers. After approval from a parent, their meal boxes will be scheduled for delivery.
Tuckrbox recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund their business, which has already won the App Idea Awards and been a part of the Google 30 Weeks incubator. We talk to founder Meghan Carreau about building a kid-centric app, being advertised Gusher’s Fruit Snacks on Nickelodeon, and how her Art Direction experience feeds into her own business.
1. Where did the idea for Tuckrbox come from?
Growing up I took a packed lunch everyday for 12 years and it was things like peanut butter and jelly, sugary yoghurts and juice boxes. Over time my childhood diet took a real toll on my body. I was feeling sick, tired, grumpy and unfocused. Around the time I entered high school, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. This is when a major shift happen in mine and my family’s eating habits. We began to really take notice about where our food was coming from and the ingredients in our packaged foods.
Fast forward to one year ago, I was thinking about how many options there are in meal delivery healthy lunches for parents…but what about their kids? I thought, what if we could empower children and inspire healthy eating habits at a young age? What if they got to choose what’s for lunch all on their own? That is where the idea for TuckrBox came from.
2. What were some of the things missing in delivery meal services currently on the market that you wanted to address?
I felt three main things were missing from existing meal delivery services: kid-centric foods, food education, and FUN!
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
Currently we are still in the pre-seed stage and working on our newly launched crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. A typical day begins with the TuckrBox team riding the train from Brooklyn to our co-working space at Google’s incubator in Soho. We have a team status meeting for the day and a review of any exciting news, findings and updates. Then we divide and conquer our separate tasks. My background as an Art Director has me busy with designing the UI/UX of the TuckrBox app and all the graphic design work for our Indiegogo campaign and our social media strategy. My co-founder Alexandra Payne has been very busy with interviewing chefs, connecting with local farms and putting together our fun food menu. Our wonderful intern Mistoura Dada has been working on loads of PR outreach, fundraising outreach and market research.
4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Tuckrbox?
I love going for long runs, or spending some time at the beach with friends.
5. What’s the most important characteristic for being an entrepreneur?
Having a vision and believing in yourself.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
One thing that would get under my skin is when people asked, “Why do you care about healthy lunches if you don’t have children?” It really bothered me because, one, I do intend to be a parent one day, and two, you don’t need to have children to care about kids and their health. Moreover, I think the future of food is everyone’s responsibility.
7. What motivates you to keep going? What do you do when you hit a block?
The thing that motivates me most are the small victories. When we get a bit of press or even when I see people signing up to learn about TuckrBox on our website (even though we haven’t launched yet), it’s that little reminder that it’s a great idea and the kids need it and parents want it.
When I hit a block I try and remove myself from the situation for some headspace. Sometimes turning the music up in the studio and dancing around can make things more manageable.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
This question stumped me for a second because it’s sort of the butterfly effect — if everything had not happened exactly how it did, I mean the good and bad, the wins and the failures, maybe I wouldn’t be where I am with TuckrBox. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learned so much and I have grown as person.
9. Do you have any habits or routines, which help you in your working life?
I go to the gym, eat healthily and try to laugh a lot. I also make time for my friends. New York can really beat you down, and being a founder in New York is 2x the pressure — I’ve learned the hard way that you have to keep your body healthy and your spirit healthy too.
10. What book are you reading, or writing now?
A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman.
11. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
In five years we hope to have TuckrBox in four major cities and on its way to becoming a national brand that kids know and love. We have a strategic plan that involves partnerships and hiring the best talent in food logistics, shipping, operations, growth, community outreach. My vision is to grow a brand that is always first and foremost, kid-centric.
12. If you weren’t working on Tuckrbox, what would you be doing?
If I were not working on TuckrBox I would likely be working in Advertising still as an Art Director/Sr. Digital Designer, but hopefully for food.
13. Tell Springwise a secret…
When I was a child, at the lunch table, I would sometimes trade an entire lunch for a bag of sugary Gusher’s Fruit Snacks. My mom wouldn’t buy them for us because they were unhealthy. Also, Gushers were marketed heavily to us on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, I thought they were most awesome snack ever but I would get home grumpy and starving.
14. How did you get your initial round of funding to get your company off the ground?
We are currently raising our pre-seed/angel round and have just launched an Indiegogo campaign.
15. How do you feel about your journey ahead and do you have any wise words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I feel that it’s a long road ahead, but that continued good work and genuine effort toward something you believe always pays off in the end. One piece of wisdom is: If it feels like the train is moving too fast, good, you’ve probably got a great idea.
2nd August 2016