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Boise startup to bring new high-end James Beard-caliber restaurants to your house, delivery only

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A new Boise-based startup will bring high-end restaurant options to diners next month — well ahead of its planned launch.

We first told you about Crave Delivery in January of this year. The company decided to accelerate its launch plan, and will start delivering for four restaurants starting on June 1.

“This was an opportunity to start something earlier,” Crave Director of Strategy Shannon Bloemker told BoiseDev, referring to the changing restaurant market in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “These restaurants were already on board with us for October, but they decided to get started sooner.”

The launch restaurants all feature higher-end menus, and launch new offshoots of restaurants established in larger coastal cities.

“A couple are from Seattle, one is from Raleigh, NC and one is from San Francisco,” Bloemker said. “They’ve hired local chefs and taught them all of their recipes and all of their techniques. So the local chefs will be replicating what is happening in the original restaurants.”

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She said another eight eateries will join the platform in Boise later this year. As we noted in January, Crave started work on a new cloud kitchen facility at Ten Mile Crossing in Meridian. It will feature fourteen kitchens, a test kitchen and beverage stations.

Bloemker said crews continue working to build out the facility and hope to have it open this fall. For now, the four restaurants will work out of a commercial kitchen in the Boise area.

Elevated experience

Crave hopes to bring a different delivery experience to local customers.

“The biggest differentiator for us is that everything is controlled in one space,” Bloemker said. “The kitchens are all together and the employees all work with Crave. We can take the dishes that are crafted by the restaurant chefs and put them in beautiful packaging and give to an employee driver who is actually concerned about how that arrives.”

[‘To hell with it:’ New delivery-only brunch spot now open, full gastropub soon]

She said other delivery platforms, which work independently of restaurants, don’t always align with presenting food well.

“UberEats or Grubhub doesn’t work for the food provide, they work for Grubhub. They might be tossing the food in the trunk or fail to show up. Many restaurants aren’t excited to work with them. These are James Beard award-winning restaurants and the wanted to be part of a facility where they knew the food would show up as the chef intended.”

James Beard winners & more

The four launch restaurants share a high-end pedigree.

  • A San Francisco restaurant that closed in 2015 after twenty years in the city’s Marina District will come back to life at Crave. Betelnut served Asian street food-inspired dishes until it lost its lease. Crave describes it as “uniquely modern Asian fare, revived for home delivery.”
  • Raleigh, NC’s Crawford and Son owner Scott Crawford will launch Crawford Cookshop in the Boise area. The NC restaurant features southern comfort foods from James Beard semifinalist Scott Crawford, and the Boise outlet promises a selection of comfort food dishes.
  • Elliott’s Oyster House, based on Seattle’s Pier 56, will also start offering delivery for the Boise Valley. The Washington outlet features dishes like Dungeness crabs, calamari, crab cakes and clams.
  • Another James Beard semifinalists, Ethan Stowell, plans to bring a new concept to Boise, ESR@Home. The Seattle-based restauranteur promises an “at-home concept (that) brings classic quality to your table.”

Bloemker said a few local restaurants will be among the 16 on the platform at full build-out later this year.

Crave will launch June 1st, delivering through a proprietary app. Only dinner service will be available to start, but Crave promises to expand to cover dinner through late night.

The startup hopes to replicate the program in other markets around the country after launching in the Boise area, Bloemker said.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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