ChopBox offers easy cooking solutions

By Shaun Kuriakose

Tweet: No time to grocery shop? A University alumnus created a business to provide easier cooking solutions

By Shaun Kuriakose
Contributing writer

At the beginning of the summer, a University alumnus put the skills learned in the classroom to test with a startup meal-delivery service, Chopbox. 

Jordan Buckner, founder of ChopBox, was inspired to start his own business after talking to his brother.

“My brother has three kids, and between dance practice and football practice, there is no time to make healthy, full meals,” Buckner said.

ChopBox offers customers the opportunity to order as many meals as they wants for the week through its website. Deliveries are made once a week on Tuesday, and fresh ingredients come in insulated containers with ice packs. The ingredients in each menu item are included with the package. 

ChopBox’s goal is to easily feed families with fresh ingredients and prevent the trouble of having to plan each meal.

The company also seeks to use familiar ingredients in new and creative ways. This week, one of the items on the menu is an avocado quinoa chicken bowl.

Buckner wanted to create something that would help people like his brother have more experiences with family dining, even though it has the potential to drain time, resources and energy.

But ChopBox isn’t just for families. Buckner notes that the meals are intended for anyone who feels like they don’t have the time to prepare a full meal. Buckner noticed that he could have had a use for this two summers ago, when he was in working at an internship and had over an hour commute.

“When I got home, I didn’t want to wander the grocery store to find out what to make,” he said. “I didn’t want to do all of the work around that.”

Buckner isn’t working alone on ChopBox. He is assisted by his marketing intern when it comes to branding and learning more about the product’s demographic.

“Our biggest challenge is creating value for customers,” said Isaac Lozano, marketing intern at ChopBox and University graduate student in Business. “I had to interview families that fit our demographic and figure out exactly how we could help them improve their dinner situations.”

Another ChopBox intern was interested in applying for ChopBox due to her own personal experiences.

“My husband is an EMT, so he is gone a lot,” said Alysia Lopez, marketing intern at Chopbox. “We have three kids, so it is down to me to prepare our meals. My biggest issues are making sure that I have all of the ingredients for the meals and the time it takes to cook.”

Lopez also said dietary restrictions made preparing meals for a group of people difficult.

“There are some things that I cannot eat, but my family can,” Lopez said. “My children may want grilled cheese sandwiches, but I try my best to stay away from gluten.”

ChopBox realized that one of the easiest ways to help families with complex living situations was to make easy-to-follow recipes with a little time investment. Due to this, most recipes take around eight steps to complete, and the average cooking time ranges from 25 to 45 minutes.

ChopBox has grown a healthy customer base in the months since its launch. It has about 100 consistent customers located in Chicago alone and has shipped over 600 meals so far.

“People build ChopBox into their schedule now,” Buckner said. “They can have guaranteed dinner at home for at least half of the week.”

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