Can’t Make Paris but Desperate for a Fresh Gastronomic Feast? Have it Mailed!
Imagine ordering a gastronomic meal from a top Parisian resto thousands of kilometres away and having it home-delivered fresh and ready to enjoy literally within hours .
Soon you may be able to, thanks to a new chill box unveiled by three Dordogne businessmen at a trade fair in the south western city of Périgueux.
Stéphane Calassou MD of SAS Sendo, the three-partner firm that makes the “colis isothermes” or chill packs designed for express mail or courier delivery, hopes freshly-prepared French restaurant meals, freshly-caught Atlantic line fish, just-harvested French oysters, and straight-from-the-goose-farm Perigord foie gras will all soon become available worldwide, shipped direct from restaurant kitchens and farms in France to customers worldwide.
— SO_Dordogne (@SO_Dordogne) June 24, 2015
He told the Sudouest newspaper that fresh food producers and restaurants will get a boost from the new pack which he claims will keep fresh food in perfect condition for delivery for up to 72 hours thanks to its advanced insulation and freeze technology.
The three businessmen behind the project, Stéphane Calassou, Patrice Mappas and Martino Capuzzo, believe their express mail chill packs will enable French foodie fanatics to indulge their epicurean appetites beyond their wildest expectations ordering food over the internet that until now they would have had to book months ahead for and travel thousands of miles to savour .
The chill boxes are made of extruded polystyrene with excellent insulation properties and are presented flat just like the cardboard Colissimo boxes for small packages to be found in French post offices around the country. They reportedly take just a few moments to assemble, are lightweight, modular, and covered in stylish presentational packaging befitting the fashionable produce they are designed to carry. One or more previously frozen icepack incoporated in the pack will keep any food fresh at its ideal temperature for from 48 to 72 hours.
Thus, say the three entrepreneurs, a Parisian can take next-day delivery of the fresh taste and parfum of a whole Perigordine foie gras. Big name restaurants in the capital and elsewhere will be able to serve same day, a quivering turbot caught that morning off the Arcachon coast at Bordeaux. “The opportunities are endless,” says Patrice Mappas. “We can deliver packages around the world in record time by classic express delivery (or courier) freeing us from relying on refrigerated transport.”
Market studies are promising and when the men showed their invention to a French post office official, the latter was highly enthusiastic.
The businessmen are presently converting their factory. E2K, at Nontron, to handle the new line and expect full-scale production within 6 months. Their 1000-unit proof-of-concept trial order has been manufactured for them by a subcontractor.
The firm and its staff of 10 formerly produced nearly 20 million single-use cooler bags a year for supermarket customers. But last year, Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal brought in new legislation to end the sale of single-use plastic bags from 1 January 2016. “We have had to adapt or die,” says Stéphane Calassou.
Story: Ken Pottinger