Major meal kit provider shuts down abruptly

A major meal kit company suddenly halted services earlier this week, shortly after announcing a partnership with Walgreens.

Customers haven’t been able to place orders on the Chef’d website since Tuesday. When trying to place an order, shoppers receive an error message reading “Due to some technical difficulties we can no longer accept orders as of right now. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

But the halt on orders seems to be permanent, according to a letter sent to employees Monday that was obtained by Business Insider. The email announced that all 350 employees would be laid off and operations would halt immediately.

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“We have had some unexpected circumstances with the funding for the business,” founder and CEO Kyle Ransford said in the email.

Most employees learned of the shutdown prior to the email Monday during a conference call. They were told they would be paid through their last working day and for accrued vacation, Business Insider reports.

“Due to setbacks with financing, unfortunately, we are ceasing operations for all employees, effective today, July 16, 2018,” the email continues. “If we had been successful with these funding efforts, this difficult decision would have been avoided.”

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Chef’d first launched in April 2015 and grew its operation. Last month the company announced it would sell its meal kits in select Duane Reade and Walgreens locations in New York. It also announced a partnership with Byte Foods to stock the company’s smart fridges with meal kits.

It was an amazing run and while we didn’t get to where we wanted to go, I hope you each take something away from this experience that will help you in the future. I will miss you and I will miss Chef’d,” Ransford said in his email to employees.

Meal kits are trending right now. Kroger recently announced a partnership with meal kit company Home Chef. But individual companies have hit snags along the way including Sprig and Din that have shut down as well.


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