Meal kit delivery company Home Chef is expanding in San Bernardino County, California, nearly tripling the size of its operations.
Based in Chicago, Home Chef will relocate its West Coast production facility to 200,000 s.f. of space at 1445 S. Tippecanoe Avenue in San Bernardino to better serve its expanding customer base. Doing business in San Bernardino since 2015, Home Chef will retain more than 300 existing jobs in the city, with expansion planned to follow the move.
A subsidiary of The Kroger Co., Home Chef offers a variety of different meal kits that fit into varying levels of preparation and cooking times, including an Oven-Ready line that comes packed in an oven-safe tin eliminating the need for a pan, and a Heat & Eat line that can be warmed in five minutes or less. Home Chef’s new space will help accommodate both their e-commerce and retail branches.
“Our secret sauce has always been our customer-first approach,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef founder and CEO. “Everything about our experience is designed with the customer at the center. By keeping our West Coast facility in San Bernardino, we will be able to continue to provide the best possible cooking experience.”
The San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency proactively worked to keep Home Chef in the county. To ensure the company could take advantage of a number of incentives, the agency facilitated key meetings between Home Chef and its various resource partners such as the city of San Bernardino, GO-Biz and the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Agency.
“We are proud to call the city of San Bernardino our West Coast home. We look forward to creating more jobs and continuing to make a positive impact on the local community,” said Alice Thompson, COO of Home Chef. “We have an incredible team recruited from the San Bernardino area. Maintaining that team was top of mind as we determined where to expand our West Coast presence.”
The county also provided assistance related to Home Chef’s site selection efforts including assessment of cost comparisons between San Bernardino County and other locations outside of California. The Economic Development Agency helped expedite permitting between city and county departments to meet project management milestones associated with Home Chef’s expansion.
To support the firm’s staffing needs the county’s Workforce Development Agency is working with Home Chef on numerous workforce initiatives, including participation in county job fairs.
“It is even more gratifying when a company is able to build upon its success in our county. We know that our workforce, strategic infrastructure and attainable lifestyle can make a real difference for companies that are looking to grow and establish a strong West Coast presence. Home Chef is a great employer that now provides our population with the opportunity to work in a leading-edge sector of the fast-growing meal kit delivery industry,” said San Bernardino County Deputy Executive Officer of Workforce and Economic Development Reg Javier.
Home Chef is one of the largest meal kit delivery companies in the U.S., with over 3.5 million meals delivered each month. Founded in 2013, Home Chef offers fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes delivered weekly and is designed for anyone to be able to cook and everyone to enjoy. The Chicago-based company delivers nationwide. For two years running, Home Chef has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction among leading meal kit companies, according to Market Force Information U.S. Grocery Benchmark Study.