Philippine Daily Inquirer
Why food subscription boxes are like personal shoppers
Ilike to think of food subscription boxes as my personal shopper. For one, they deliver the prepaid goods straight to my home in a contactless way. They not only limit my time outdoors (there’s still a pandemic, after all) but also help manage my schedule, as I only need to bother about it one at a time.
Best of all, the items are curated by people who know their stuff. Instead of you browsing through a shelf full of gourmet brands, the best ones have already been handpicked for you from the lot—with useful information to boot.
Instead of you browsing through a shelf full of gourmet brands, the best ones have already been handpicked for you by people who know their stuff
“I have always been interested to learn about different kinds of cheeses and I wanted an avenue to share this with others. It was my way of forming my own cheese club,” says Karla Reyes, COO of The Plaza Catering and owner of Swizzle Mobile Bar, a beverage catering company. Since 2018, she has been flying in a bulk order of cheeses every month and distributing the load to her subscribers.
It’s an extended service of her brand Le Petite Fromagerie, which was born out of chance.
“My mom was about to celebrate her birthday and she told me that all she wanted was a buffet spread of cheeses and charcuterie.
Being the only child, I obliged. Her friends loved it and, not long after, they asked me to do the same thing for them. Word got around and I was catering an average of four to five events per weekend.”
Her subscription box is composed of three kinds of cheeses, crostini and grapes, with an option for a bottle of wine. It also includes the delivery and tasting notes, which describes the cheeses, plus a short background on how they were made.
There is a half box, which is good for two to three people, and a full one, big enough for five to six. And the engagement is flexible. The subscription can be a one-time purchase or a three-, six- or 12-month commitment, often with discounts and extra gifts for the longterm plans. (Tel. 0917-1123668 lapetitefromagerie.ph)
Ice cream box
Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream was a father’s way of expressing his love for his children.
The father, Papa Diddi as he is fondly called, is a lawyer in his hometown in Cagayan. He often received gifts of harvests
from the farmers he counseled and out of these, he handchurned ice cream for his six children.
The brand opened its first branch in Maginhawa, Quezon City, in 2015. It has five branches around the Metro.
Three years into the business, a subscription service called the Pint Club was launched.
“Part of the experience is the anticipation of the flavor of the month. The flavors are kept a secret until the first week of every month,” says Paul Perez, president of C Valley Creamery, which owns the Papa Diddi brand as well as Kalye Sorbetes.
Variants they have released include Strawberry and Pretzels, Mangga’t Latik, Tipsy S’mores and Silvanas.
“For August, we are paying homage to a quintessential comfort food during the rainy season, Champorado,” says Perez’s wife Sigrid, vice president. There are two variants, thick and creamy ube ice cream and tsokolate tablea. Both have malagkit, and come with pouches of powdered milk and sweet and spicy dilis.
Each club member gets two pints every month, delivered directly to their homes. There are three subscription plans: three, six and 12 months. (Tel. 0977-3722503; email scoops@ cvalleycreamery.com)
Five friends make up the Uvas Wine Club.
Ian Santos is a wine consultant and the incumbent Philippine best sommelier champion. JP Migné is a full-time sommelier and runs the beverage program for all of chef Colin Mackay’s restaurants.
Pilar Almario was the former sommelier of Les Amis, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Singapore, and the brand educator for Moët Hennessy Philippines. Bianca Juani is a thriving entrepreneur and a freelance art director. Butz Tenchavez is a public servant and works full-time in his family business.
Bound by their deep passion for wine, they wanted to offer a restaurant-caliber selection of wines to be enjoyed at home during the pandemic.
“We can ensure the customer that the wines were all curated, tasted, enjoyed, and reflect a sustainable practice in farming the grapes,” says Tenchavez.
Their first club shipment was officially released in November 2020.
They offer two options—a discovery pack with two bottles and a revelation pack with four, available for one-, three- or six-month plans. They release them every first Tuesday of the month.
“Our monthly bottle selections are never the same,” adds Tenchavez. “We work with local wine importers who share the same values. We assemble wines that celebrate the season and think these are the best wines to drink at this moment of time.”
Last December, they featured wines meant to be paired for any “Noche Buena” spread, while last April’s theme highlighted chilled reds for the summer.
Next month, the group will launch a wine shop, which will carry an entirely different selection from the club shipment. It will feature wines under P1,200, natural wines and other fun options to choose from.