Subscription service make hosting simple
Lasting impressions are created through taste buds. Entertaining friends, a new client or anyone worthy of being impressed by the best food or drink creates a challenge to serve unique and memorable cuisine experiences. Chefs worldwide make a living off people’s taste buds. Sadly, most of us are not chefs.
Vino Pair, in Parkville, Mo. has created a business to address this problem. Owners Michael and Mindy Kearns have created packages of wine, fine cheese, fruit, gourmet crackers and other items to provide the finest hors d’oeuvres created by chefs. The package may include thyme or the desired spice for this finished product. Pairing the right ingredients is the key to Vino Pair’s success.
A card is included in each package that pairs the right combinations. This card, with photos of each step, might read: Step 1: Slice the apple in half, top to bottom. Cut a V shape on each side to core it, then slice each half into two more pieces. Lay one of the four apple pieces flat and slice it cracker thin. Step Two: Slice a chunk of the Gouda cheese and place it over the top of the apple slice. The following three steps include how to prepare the blackberries, cashews and the appropriate amount of thyme to create a perfect hors d’oeuvre. An herb like thyme creates a taste bridge that delivers consumers to the pairing of the wine and hors d’oeuvres.
“We deliver chef-selected food and wine in a refrigerated box to your home or business on a monthly subscription basis,” Michael Kearns says. “The subscription economy has become popular. Consumers trust others to choose for them when they have limited expert knowledge of a certain type of food or drink. We enlisted chefs to show off their skills in pairing, I love pairing food and wine. We are the only company that ships both in the same box.”
The Kearns tested certain tastes and combinations on their neighbors with good success. They determined the right amount of all ingredients creates a superb product that goes with the wine. Shipping this exceptional kit was the next hurdle.
“There are always problems to face when shipping food or wine to other states,” Michael says. “So far we are only shipping to four states but we should add ten more states soon. Navigating legal issues in shipping alcohol to different states is complicated. California, Missouri, New Mexico and Idaho are the first states to receive Vino Pair products. New York, for example, has laws prohibiting companies to ship wine in the same box as food products, so we are learning how to work with their laws.”
Developing a shipping package that would deliver food and wine in perfect condition was another issue for Vino Pair. The Kearns found their packaging design as a key to this successful business.
“The box is made by the Pratt Company, an Australian company that recycles wood pulp,” Michael says. “The inside of each box includes a liner that fits inserts to hold ice packs and food. I may be shipping an apple, some kind of cheese or some completely different items in another box. Our box design allows me to safely ship any of our combinations. Stickers label each product and our pictured guide makes this easy for anyone to use. The unique insulated liners are encased in plastic and made from recycled blue jeans and recycled flooring material.”