WECO Hospitality serves up Thanksgiving side dishes ahead of holiday
WECO Hospitality, the Concord-based chef prepared meal delivery business, has grown in popularity since launching in March.
Since then, WECO has been cooking out of a commercial kitchen in Somerville, as well as Orange Door Kitchen in Acton. Ahead of Thanksgiving, WECO is offering a side dish menu entitled “Everything but the Turkey” for pre-order.
Nine freshly prepared side dishes, three salads, two soups and two sauces are all options. Each dish will serve three to four people. Side dishes are $25 each; soups, salads, and sauces are $15 each.
Meals will be available for delivery on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in the Metrowest and Greater Boston areas, as well as pickup in Somerville and at WECO Acton, 251 Arlington St., Acton.
A portion of the Thanksgiving menu purchases will be used to feed food insecure families in WECO’s local community on Thanksgiving. Pre-order online at wecohospitality.com by Nov. 19.
Editor’s note: WECO Hospitality co-owners and chefs Gavin Lambert and Rachel Amiralian-Lambert recently took the time to answer the Beacon’s questions about their business and why turkey is not the star of their Thanksgiving menu.
What inspired you to start your own business?
We started WECO Hospitality out of necessity, opportunity, and an overwhelming desire to help. Gavin had just lost his job as a chef because of the pandemic. People were scared to leave their house, and many struggled to put food on their family’s table. The combination of an abundance of free time, vision for a new dinner solution, and our ability to provide delicious dinners at a reasonable price that didn’t require people to leave their home was the catalyst for the birth of WECO. We also needed to figure out a way to pay our own rent.
What sets your business apart?
WECO is the most delicious dinner option out there. Our dinners are small-batch meals created by chefs daily using the most local, sustainable, and ethically sourced ingredients available. Dinner is what brings families together every night. We wanted to create a solution for busy families that allows them to still gather at the table and break bread together with little to no work. Our dinners come family-style with simple reheating instructions, making it easy for families to eat elevated dinners every night that encourage you to sit down at the dinner table together instead of eating from a to-go box on the couch.
Were there any bumps in the road when you first started?
Of course! And there still are. We created a brand new business model during a pandemic. The pandemic alone has been hard enough to navigate through – add on building a business from the ground up – and you’re sure to have many hiccups. We’ve come a long way since March when we were taking orders through email, Instagram Direct Message and text messages, but every day presents a new obstacle to overcome.
How had COVID affected/continues to affect your business?
COVID is the reason WECO exists. With more people working from home and juggling parenting and educational responsibilities due to COVID, families are finding it more difficult than ever to find the time to shop for and prepare a healthy dinner that also tastes good. Many people are tired of cooking and cleaning up at home every night, so more and more families are discovering how easy it is to solve dinner with WECO.
How do you come up with new menus each week?
The menu development is the most fun part. It’s an opportunity for our chefs to show off their creative side. We look at the farm lists for the week, and based on what’s available and what we feel like eating, we put on the menu. There’s also a lot of feedback from our customers about what they want to see on the menu. The menu goes out at 8 p.m. every Thursday night to your email. To get WECO’s menu and order form, simply sign up on our website at http://www.wecohospitality.com.
You have a Thanksgiving menu out now, but turkey is not on it, why is that?
Most simply because we don’t really like turkey- hah! Thanksgiving for us is always about the side dishes so we wanted to create a menu that highlights our favorite components. Turkey is also something that while it may take the longest to cook, there’s not as many steps involved as a smorgasbord of intricate side dishes that the whole family will pile on their plate. Offering sides while still leaving the turkey for families to cook allows them to be involved without spending hours upon hours of kitchen prep, cooking and cleaning. Also with many virtual Thanksgivings this year, families can eat the same meal from the comfort of their own homes.
What is a Thanksgiving must-have at your own dinner table every year?
It may sound strange but a pickle assortment was a staple on my family’s table each year. It just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without pickles! I also love cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes, I love them all!