Rose Mary, the meals delivery service started by supermarket chain Colruyt earlier this month as a pilot project, has now decided to extend its service to the 19 communes of Brussels.
The service is run from the Colruyt Food Academy, a ‘dark kitchen’ in Uccle – a kitchen, that is, which prepares food for service off the premises. At the start of the project, deliveries were only available in a limited area of Uccle together with Forest, Saint-Gilles, Watermael-Boitsfort, Ixelles, Etterbeek, Auderghem, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.
Normally, the academy organises courses for supermarket staff as well as outside chefs and even hobby-cooks. But because of the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, no courses were being organised, so the Colruyt group decided to put the kitchens to another use.
The concept behind Rose Mary is simple: delivery of fresh and healthy ready-meals in three categories: “twisted classics, tasty healthies and world kitchen”.
Examples this week: vegetable tajine, vol-au-vent with vegetable puree, Mexican stuffed peppers. Prices €11 to €13.
“This is a new, very small-scale food concept developed by a small internal team here, which we are testing under the name Rose Mary, spokesperson Hanne Poppe told the industry website RetailDetail at the outset.
“The concept fits in with the increasingly blurred boundaries between catering and retail. Nowadays we see more and more that those concepts are merging into one another,” she said.
The company is playing on freshness and health. For example, meals ordered before noon will be delivered that evening by bicycle courier, but are healthier than the sort of food more usually carried by the couriers. Colruyt intends to employ its own couriers.
Every day the brigade of chefs prepares seven different dishes for the menu. Every two weeks a new guest chef joins the brigade. This week that sport goes to An Steyaert, who runs Thuisgastronomie from Kampenhout in Flemish Brabant province, a service in which a chef comes to your home and cooks for you and your guests.
Among her contributions to the menu: a pumpkin lasagne with ricotta and a poké bowl with marinated salmon.