It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that today, after nearly a year, we’re closing down KarmaSous. A year ago we set out to create healthy and affordable food and get it to as many people as possible in the most convenient way possible. We’re proud of what we’ve been able to build together with all of you.
San Francisco is home to many food services and has the most restaurants per person of any major area in the US (one restaurant for every ~250 people). This means fierce competition, which ultimately made it too expensive for us to win new customers, and too difficult to keep those new customers coming back again and again.
We considered adding more flavor to our dishes, but doing so to the degree necessary would mean sacrifices on health, affordability and convenience. That just wasn’t acceptable to us because it didn’t honor our original mission. We also considered moving out of San Francisco, but we’re proud to consider San Francisco our home and other markets are quickly heating up as more food services appear.
I’d like to thank all of our customers that have ordered from us, especially those that have given us feedback and suggestions, and those that helped us grow through word-of-mouth. It’s been an amazing feeling to know you were always in our corner.
I’d like to avoid leaving you all high and dry so suddenly, so I’ve included a list of some food services below that you could use to fill the gap we may leave behind.
It's been an honor to serve all of you,
NOTE we haven’t been paid or incentivized in anyway to mention these services, these are just my thoughts on a handful of food options.
Weekly Meal Delivery
Freshly - Subscription service for prepared meals. You get to pick your meals and they’re shipped on ice (as of last year, SF was serviced by a facility in Phoenix). When I used them last they had very small portions sizes with lots of sodium, but they’ve changed things up and now portion sizes are reasonable and sodium levels, while a bit high, are much better than Munchery. I recommend giving them a try. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thistle, Diet-to-go, Home Bistro - More subscription services, but these are more of the set-it-and-forget-it variety, so you don’t get to choose your meals other than some diet preferences. They’re more expensive than Freshly or Munchery and I don’t like not choosing what I eat, so I’m personally not a fan. ⭐️
Daily Meal Delivery
Munchery - Getting closer to what we offered with KarmaSous - they allow you to order chilled meals on a daily basis. They have a pretty large selection that changes regularly and you could place a larger order once per week, just like with KarmaSous. Keep an eye on the nutrition facts (to see them, click on a dish and click the 4th tab on the right), because almost all of their food is very high in sodium (rule of thumb: look for dishes with as many calories as mg of sodium). ⭐️⭐️
Imperfect Produce - We used them in our kitchen and it’s a very cool concept - they sell produce that’s perfectly good and tasty, but too ugly for picky shoppers in grocery stores. Since we toss close to half of all our food in the US, this is a great service to help us cut down on our waste. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
AmazonFresh, Instacart - Great services for getting groceries to your house. If you cook regularly, their membership plans are reasonable. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
On-Demand Restaurant Delivery
Seamless, Grubhub, Eat24 - These are all owned by the same parent company, so they’re essentially the same. There is a great selection of restaurants and they’re easy enough to use, but I’ve consistently had very long wait times (+1 hour), so I avoid them now. ⭐️
UberEats, Postmates, Caviar, Door Dash - I personally always lump these together, they all have a good selection of restaurants and reasonable delivery times. Good option if you want some food and don’t want to put on pants. Remember though, your food comes from restaurants, so a lot (maybe even most) of the food will have large portions with lots of saturated fat, sodium, and/or sugar without much fiber and nutrients - so keep an eye out and try not to get too much of your food from restaurants. ⭐️⭐️
Gobble, Peach Dish, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Home Chef, Plated, Sun Basket, Green Chef, Marley Spoon, Chef’d, Purple Carrot - Very crowded space, so I’ll just put up a list of some of the bigger names. I always personally look at them as a novelty - try them a few times to maybe learn how to cook a dish or two then move on. ⭐️
Soylent - This is a bit more out there, but worth checking out if you find yourself skipping breakfast often or eating your lunch in a big hurry. They brand themselves as ready-to-drink food and originally marketed themselves as a way to stop eating entirely, although they’ve scaled that back to just being meal replacements and are currently classified as a supplement by the FDA. They have a subscription option and deliver monthly. ⭐️⭐️⭐️