health that fits in a box : fit box
Let’s face it, not all of us are Gordon Ramsey so cooking our own meals is a burdening task and it doesn’t get easier when you’re trying to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle. First of all, we can’t find any place near our office or college that seems to have anything remotely healthy available. Secondly, preparing a healthy meal requires a lot of prep well ahead of time which we usually rather spend it on watching how to do a push-up and later binge on cat videos. And lastly, who even chooses salads over momos? Overcoming these hurdles will require a will power that’s the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger biceps but we came across with perhaps THE solution to your fitness food problems.
Fit box, a food delivery company that basically delivers healthy meals to where you need. Of course, it’s easy to think that their main target customer is the muscle people but it’s only half the story. They actually want to help people who are trying to get into a healthy lifestyle and we want to make it easier for them by delivering healthy meals. The cool thing is that they’re not giving you just boiled chicken and boiled vegetables rather they’ve got highly experienced chefs, both worked in prestigious hotels abroad and one of them is even an expert in making salads. So if you’re ordering, don’t worry, your meal is in good hands. All of this happens to be why we interviewed Denim Shrestha, Founder and C.E.O. at Fit Box, to know more about the Fit box story.
Let’s see what he has to say.
I WAS INTO FITNESS AND I’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR ABOUT 5 TO 6 YEARS NOW. AT A POINT IN TIME, I WONDERED ABOUT WHAT KIND OF CAREER PATH I SHOULD TAKE AND THE IDEA OF STARTING SOMETHING LIKE FIT BOX JUST CAME TO ME
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START FITBOX?
I guess you can say it starts with the fact that our family has been in the food business which involves catering at party palaces and banquets since 1996. Then as for me, I was into fitness and I’ve been training for about 5 to 6 years now. At a point in time, I wondered about what kind of career path I should take and the idea of starting something like Fit Box just came to me. Dad was in the food business while I was into the fitness industry; since the two goes well together and I saw fit box to be a good opportunity because I didn’t find anything like this in Nepal but these kinds of businesses are running well around the world so I thought I’d take this chance.
HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN UP TO THIS POINT? TELL US ABOUT THE UPS AND DOWNS.
Well there’s been a lot of ups and downs, especially around the beginning of Fit Box. Although we got a good response from people as they saw us as a great initiative because there wasn’t anything like this in the market, it didn’t take long for problems to show up; there were plenty of them like for example, we have different meal plans like 3 week plan or 5 week plan with a high calorie or a low calorie plan. Later people came with specific request where individuals wanted a no carb meal or a high protein meal and things of that sort. We did go through with their request but people who wanted customized diets went on increasing. People in Nepal, go on fasts which was what gave us a major problem because some people fasted on Mondays which lead to them requesting to send a veg meal on Mondays and a non veg meal on other days. Providing a veg meal once a week was doable but there were some individuals who requested a fruit meal on one day, veg on other days while Fridays were non veg meals. At that was the point, it became really difficult to keep record of these requests and was one of the main problems.
Availability of ingredients is also another problem we face, I mean our chefs are very experienced and can cook a lot of great dishes. They want to add blueberries to breakfasts which would really take us further or salmons to lunches since they’re really high in proteins but those ingredients are either unavailable or too expensive in Nepal so we feel that these this problem holds us back.
Naturally, there are also people who require the calorie count of their meals and we did provide them with the respective calorie counts but as custom meal requests increased, it became difficult to keep track of the calorie count for those meals since we had to exclude certain items from the day’s standard meal.
But now we’re getting the hand of how things work so we have a good idea on how to handle the problems and now things are much better for us.
Of course not everything was the downs, in the beginning, we did our promotions by going to about 6 gyms in Patan and we distributed sample meals for free. Initially, we thought of only targeting a small area to see how things will go. We didn’t even think about delivering to Kathmandu and we had to refuse since we were still small. But eventually, we received a flood of calls and 2 weeks after our staff pushed us to take more orders. They felt motivated by the response and said they could do it and we’ll do whatever it takes. So we took the orders and we had to get more delivery guys and now we have about 7.
HOW ARE THE PEOPLE TAKING FIT BOX?
Well, I’d say that the response for Fit Box is good. We’ve had no major complains thus far. I mean people go to gym and work hard at it but in Nepal maintaining a diet is the main problem, so what we do is take the food to them. Most people eat their breakfast at the gym and then lunch at work. So far, we provide breakfast and lunch and we have plans to start on providing dinner this month with all their respective packages possible since dinner has been requested by many. Since we’ve been helping people maintain their diet, our customers have been happy with Fit Box.
WHAT MAKES FIT BOX STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?
The answer is simple; there are a lot of food delivery business where the most popular being Foodmandu who delivers food from restaurants while there are others like Foodmario and Bhoj Deal where they make food from their own kitchen, as for us we provide food to our clients with a different standards. Like our ingredients are high in quality and healthy, for example when it comes to oils, we use only olive oil or that we use only whole wheat breads and pasta and similarly we prepare only brown rice.
OUR INGREDIENTS ARE HIGH IN QUALITY AND HEALTHY, FOR EXAMPLE WHEN IT COMES TO OILS, WE USE ONLY OLIVE OIL OR THAT WE USE ONLY WHOLE WHEAT BREADS AND PASTA AND SIMILARLY WE PREPARE ONLY BROWN RICE.
WHAT’S THE FITBOX VISION?
There a lot of things I want to do with Fit Box like expand, launch new plans & packages, enter new sectors so I do have a lot of ideas but I don’t really want to go into detail with them since I don’t intend on creating any false hypes. Currently, it’s just adding new meal plans. I’ve seen companies aboard deliver an entire week’s meal plan in a single delivery. The customer simply have to put them in the freezer and reheat it when they need it but that’s not something our market take so well since we feel that the food has gone bad right after a day. So what I want to try is, if not a week ahead at least a day before, like where we deliver the food at night. It’s just a thought right now. But all in all, I want to take things slow. Initially, I didn’t do any form of advertisements so we wouldn’t run into supply issues and could slowly learn while we stay small. And now we can take our time growing
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME FITBOX?
I actually started with the name Fit Box but then I did gone on to think of a couple of other names for the company but eventually it all boiled down to Fit Box again. Honestly, there really isn’t much story to the name.
HOW CAN PEOPLE SUBSCRIBE TO FITBOX?
Initially, we took subscriptions through phone calls and emails where the contact information used to be on Instagram and Facebook. When people contacted us, we filled out forms for subscriptions and we started deliveries the next day. Although we don’t do those now since it was difficult to find a new customers location on the first day which hampered the delivery time other customers orders so we settled to delivering to new subscribers the day after their subscription. But now we’ve just finished making the website so now anyone can subscribe from there where everything is online.
WORDS: SHAQUILLE S. GHOTANE | PHOTOS: GAURAV XHOMPATE SUNUWAR | LOCATION: GOODMIXER