Edlin Choi – Biography
I first started eating Paleo in 2009, it was my senior year of college. I started cooking everything I ate, and ordered meat in bulk directly from farms that did grass-fed beef (it was tougher to get back then). I soon learned to start cooking in batches instead of cooking for every meal. I thought there would be an opportunity to start a business around this, and I wanted to, but I had already secured a job so by the time I graduated I was set to go work in corporate finance. and I hated it. and I fell off the wagon for a bit on Paleo, and was just miserable in general.
So I quit very quickly and soon started working for an adtech startup. After a bit over a year there, I felt I needed to move on and started working for Lean Startup Machine, a then education focused startup, starting their presence in LA. A year later, I met a great guy who started a similar company in DC. I decided it was time to start Eat Tribal, and received a lot of help from him at the outset. It was totally lean in the beginning, no site, no menus, just PayPal and sweat. I would collect the money in advance, use it to buy ingredients at the farmers market with the chef I was working with at the time, and we’d cook and package out of his kitchen, and I’d be on my way delivering to our first handful of customers by foot.
It was just friends at first, and it quickly caught on with their coworkers, so I put up a basic site to be able to take orders and payment and then Eat Tribal just began growing on its own. we went from borrowing kitchen space from this great restaurant in Brooklyn, working midnight to 5/6 in the morning, to an incubator kitchen in Harlem, and now working with a great partner to produce the Tribal recipes for our Tribe.
New customers have continued to find us through organic search and WOM and we’re almost ready to launch the new version of our website – it’s Eat Tribal 2.0. on top of making it easier to order, you’ll be able to see full ingredient lists and nutritional info on all our dishes, and we’ll soon be adding more options like snacks and Paleo-friendly desserts.
We’re also focusing on starting a catering portion of the business, which I’ve tried and failed at a few times, but now I’ve got the help of someone really smart who’s been doing this for a while, so hopefully it’ll be successful this time.
Q&A With Edlin Choi
Follow along the Q&A while you watch this Episode!
What is Eat Tribal in your words?
You mention in your background how bare bones Eat Tribal once was. What year was that?
Do you have a hand in creating the menu?
Does the menu change each week?
What types of meals are on the menu?
Are there favorites?
What are typical customer responses to your meals?
Is it strictly Paleo or do you have meals that include dairy?
Is it one size meal or do you offer small or large portions?
Where do you come up with your portion sizes?
Break down for us how Eat Tribal works.
What types of subscriptions do you offer?
How many meals per week are offered?
Can you make a one time order just to try it and see if you like it?
Where do you deliver to?
Are you considering delivering outside of Manhattan anytime soon?
How can you heat the meals?
There are a few different meal subscription services out there now, what do you feel sets Eat Tribal apart from the rest?
What’s next for Eat Tribal?
Go to www.eattribal.com for more info and to sign up to try your first order!