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Scratch: A New Plan for Dinner

"Scratch"

Hansan’s inspiration for creating Scratch aligns with most busy urbanites that want to cook amazing meals, but don’t have time for the many steps. (Ashley Lusk)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT]borderstan.com.

As a food writer, I make a lot more oatmeal and cereal dinners than you would think. That’s why I was pretty excited to try a meal from Scratch DC, “fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients that are chopped, measured, marinated and packed with an easy-to-follow recipe and delivered right to your door.”

My Scratch order arrived at the door promptly at my desired delivery time of 6 pm, handled by the owner himself, Ryan Hansan. Ryan, a resident of Columbia Heights, told me he makes between 20 and 25 deliveries like these everyday, but the process of getting the meal to the door starts much earlier. Ryan and a prep chef meet at a commercial kitchen at National Harbor each morning to prepare the ingredients for that day’s dish.

That night my “bundle” held eight scallops, sliced chorizo and snap peas, in addition to measured oil, butter, salt and pepper. It also had mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes and onions, and half a lemon, plus two balls of cookie dough.

Hansan’s inspiration for creating Scratch aligns with most busy urbanites that want to cook amazing meals, but don’t have time for the many steps.

“There’s research, a trip to the grocery store, you buy all this stuff, but then it goes bad. Like parsley [or] spices you only use once. There has to be a better way to do that,” he says.

The ingredients in each bundle are locally sourced and organic when possible.

“We tell you where the stuff comes from,” says Hansan. “We work with Lancaster Farm Cooperative, Tuscarora Grower’s Cooperative; if it’s not in season or locally viable, we get it from Albert’s Organics. Our meats come from Fell’s Point Meats in Maryland and our chicken comes from Murray’s Chicken.”

The instructions for the meal were incredibly simple and so I decided to time how long it took me to make the dinner. From out of the box, to on the plate — 14 minutes, and it was delicious.

“I was confident that the recipes would be good, but people have been really, really enjoying it. 80% of people who have ordered once are ordering again,” says Hansan.

For two hearty servings, the meals range from $21 to $26. Each week Hansan tries to offer a pasta bundle and a vegetarian bundle, and proteins on the other nights. The recipes are inspired by his mom’s cookbooks and have been tested to perfection. Although he isn’t regularly repeating recipes, he says he’s been asked to bring back the Chicken Tiki Masala.

I asked Hansan about his business philosophy and he said, “Treat the customer right, give them a good meal, save time for them and they’ll come back and want to do it again.”

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This post was written by:

- who has written 50 posts on Borderstan.

Ashley Lusk is an active member of D.C.’s food community and writes for her own blog, Metropoetrylis, where she interprets the movement of the city populous. She does digital marketing and social media for a youth development organization by day, is found eating her way around The District at night. Catch her on Twitter at @arlusk.

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2 Responses to “Scratch: A New Plan for Dinner”

  1. Marisa says:

    This seems like a good service, giving preference to local ingredients, etc. However, the large amount of packaging and waste that the service generates is certainly not very sustainable.

    • scratchDC says:

      Thanks for your interest and glad you like what we’re doing! We are doing everything we can to be as sustainable as possible. All of our containers are actually made from plants (PLA, cornstarch) and are completely biodegradable. Our boxes are recyclable and made with 100% post consumer products. The paper we print our menus on is also obviously recyclable and made with 100% post consumer products. To learn more, check out our website or give us a call!

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