The home meal-kit delivery market in the US has grown to 1.5 billion dollars a year. The current category leader is Blue Apron. Opened in 2012, the company delivers 8 million meals a month and has a valuation of 3 billion dollars. The category began with focus with specialty meals like vegan and organic options. The latest home cooking kits are for the parts of the meal that most companies have not really addressed: desserts and cocktails. In-studio guests on this episode: Agathe Assouline-Lichten CEO/Co-Founder Red Velvet NYC. Red Velvet NYC was founded in 2015 by sisters Agathe and Arielle Assouline-Lichten, who were inspired to create a solution when they learned their friends found baking too time-consuming. Having grown up in the gourmet food business, the sisters loved to cook and bake, but struggled to find specialty ingredients and found the conventional process cumbersome. “We want our friends to find baking as rewarding as we do,” Agathe says. “We created Red Velvet NYC to make baking more approachable, convenient, and fun.” Agathe, the CEO of the company, received her MBA from the famed EHL hotel school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Arielle, the CTO and Creative Director for the brand, is a Harvard Graduate School of Design graduate. They both love to serve homemade desserts at dinner parties. “Baking is really about bringing people together,” Agathe says. “We want to make that experience accessible for everyone. Nothing makes someone smile like a fragrant, warm-from-the-oven dessert.” April Wachtel, CEO/Co-Founder Swig + Swallow. April is a 20-year veteran in the beverage and hospitality industry. She worked in every role from busser to bartender to beverage director to brand ambassador to beverage consultant. She has developed recipes for the likes of Lincoln Center Kitchen and MetLife Stadium, and has taught cocktail classes to over 3000 students. Her classes and personal philosophy of hospitality were featured in The Wall Street Journal and on the Sundance Channel. April has made multiple appearances on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, Heritage Radio Network, and many other media outlets. She still teaches public cocktail classes at 5 schools in New York City and Philadelphia.

FullSizeRender (14)