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Monday, September 28, 2020

Prepko: The Kosher Version of Blue Apron

The at-home meal kit industry is experiencing a booming market. Companies including HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Plated and Green Chef are just a few of the organizations that send customers ingredients and recipes to make high-quality meals at home. Now, Simon Meron, a Moroccan Jew based in Los Angeles, is delivering kosher at-home meal kits to Western U.S. customers, based on the same model.

Meron launched his company Prepko, which is short for PrepKosher, in December. Eight months later, he has hundreds of weekly subscribers in California, Arizona and Nevada. The company offers a mix of traditional Jewish foods and modern recipes, including Shabbat meals. All the meals follow kashrut laws and are certified by the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC).  

“We’re reaching areas where they have zero kosher products available and they usually have to stock up or do a weekly large order of food and freeze everything,” Meron said in a phone interview. “You can have it on a weekly basis or just try it out. It’s really flexible.” 

Prepko customers can choose from a variety of plans, ranging from $72 per week for two meals for two people, up to $204 for four meals. The Shabbat box meal plans also contain a sheet printed with the Shabbat meal blessings, as well as a kippah, grape juice and challot. They range from $80 for four people to $200 for 10 people. 

Most customers are millennials and families, Meron said. In fact, Meron recently teamed up with OneTable, an organization that promotes Friday night dinners for millennials, to supply it with his Shabbat boxes.

Prepko offers gluten-free options as well as kid-friendly and healthier recipes. The meal kits are delivered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and each box includes step-by-step recipes with photos. Everything is packaged and sent from the company’s headquarters in Glendale.

Alexis Arbeit, a Prepko customer who lives in Santa Clara, said, “It’s harder to find kosher options for meats at the grocery stores where I live. Using Prepko saves me time and energy by avoiding the drive across town to buy kosher.”

 “I hope to reach anyone who wants to cook a kosher meal and have a cool experience doing it.” —Simon Meron

Meron said he believes he stands apart from other kosher food suppliers because he places an emphasis on nontraditional foods, such as Korean, Japanese, Indian, Polish, Romanian and Italian dishes. “You can really develop your food palate and experience kosher food in a different way,” he said.

Prepko subscriber Jason Eisner said his favorite meal is the shakshuka (a Middle Eastern dish of eggs and tomatoes) because it’s tasty and easy to make. “I wanted to start eating healthier and more economically, but [didn’t want to] have to spend too much time thinking about what to cook or what ingredients I would need to buy, and then having most of them go to waste,” he said. “I wanted something like Blue Apron, and Prepko is the kosher Blue Apron.”

Looking forward, Meron said he wants to expand Prepko to Colorado, Washington and Oregon, as well provide meal kits for the High Holy Days and Passover. Eventually, he hopes to be everywhere. “I hope to reach anyone who wants to cook a kosher meal,” he said, “and have a cool experience doing it.”

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