- Mark Fisher Staff Writer
A Cleveland-based startup service that delivers organic, plant-based meals expanded its delivery area this week to all of southwest Ohio and other parts of the state.
The concept behind Sprinly is simple, according to founders Ray Lui and Mary McCann: “to change the way our country eats and make it as easy as possible for people to live healthier, happier lives.”
Lui said he has received requests from prospective customers throughout Ohio since Sprinly launched a year ago, initially serving the Cleveland and Akron areas. Sprinly started accepting orders this week for delivery throughout the state. The company plans to expand its reach into the Midwest, south and east coast and, eventually, beyond, Lui said.
Customers choose a weekly plan that can be tailored to an individual, a couple or a family. Customers can then choose dishes from a rotating menu each week, and can skip a week or cancel anytime. Meals are delivered via UPS or FedEx in an insulated box with ice packs.
Menu items include Mediterranean Oasis Bowl with Baked Falafel and Dill Tahini, 8-Spice Cashew Vegetable Soup, and Almond Ginger Quinoa Bowl, among others.
The meal is fully prepared and can be heated and eaten. “There’s no prep required,” the company says on its web site.
The story behind Sprinly is an interesting one. Let’s let Lui tell it:
“About two years ago, my girlfriend and I both decided to quit our finance and tech jobs in San Francisco, without a backup plan. Mary and I are both planners, so up to that point, we always knew our next step, but this time was different. We were going to take a trip and backpack around the world, with no end date and no itinerary.
“During our trip, we immersed ourselves in each country and found ourselves meditating with monks in Thailand, visiting rural villages in China, and sleeping under the stars in the Amazon rain forest. It was the most inspiring and enlightening adventure we’ve ever been on, and it was incredibly humbling.”
“After our travels, we stopped in Cleveland for a bit to visit my family and to figure out our next steps. We had initially planned on looking for new jobs in the startup world of Silicon Valley, but we were taught a memorable lesson from a monk in Japan during one of our meditation retreats. He was our age, and he opened his heart to us one night.
“He told us that he truthfully didn’t want to be a monk, but in order to honor his father and carry on his family tradition, he was obligated to live as a monk for the rest of his life. A monk forever. He kept reminding us that we were incredibly fortunate to have the freedom to pursue our passions. That stuck with us.
“Our whole lives, Mary and I have always been passionate about living a healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating right, meditating…etc.), and while we were in Cleveland, we faced one particular problem: we couldn’t get a meal that was both convenient and healthy.
“Without preparing meals for lunch every day or cooking every single night, this simply wasn’t possible. Even more, we were tired of all the ‘healthy’ claims in stores and restaurants when we knew by looking at the ingredients that those meals were not honestly healthy. The word ‘healthy’ has evolved to become more of a marketing claim, and that bothered us.
“We knew we couldn’t be the only ones having trouble getting a convenient, honestly nutritious meal. This, along with our desire to have a positive impact with our career, is what inspired Sprinly.”
The founder worked with nutritionists and doctors to design each meal with nutrition in mind.
“This is why our service is plant-based, because we know that if we want to have the biggest healthful impact possible in our country, it has to start with Americans eating more vegetables,” Lui said.
“This is why we decided to make Sprinly a delivery service, so we can reach more people and make healthy eating as convenient as possible. And this is why our long-term vision is to serve the entire country, because if traveling has taught us one thing, it’s that we’re all similar, no matter where we live, and Mary and I believe that location shouldn’t prevent anyone from having access to convenient, honestly nutritious meals.”
“We are just starting, and we are still modest in size, but we’re committed to creating something meaningful, something that will have a lasting positive impact on people’s lives, and we believe that starts with one of our most priceless and under-appreciated assets: our health.”