A new food delivery service is now available to people on Martha’s Vineyard that allows orders to be extensively customized: whether it’s a seared tuna dish to share with a significant other, or a baked pasta dish for the whole family
Slowly but surely, Martha’s Vineyard is being opened up to the wide world of delivery food services.
But Islanders will appreciate the fact that Feast & Fettle — a Rhode Island–based kitchen and food delivery company now serving the Vineyard — is owned by longtime Islander Carlos Ventura.
After graduating from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and working in finance for several years in London, Ventura quit his job and joined a food delivery company in Europe, called Deliveroo. “It’s kind of like the UberEats over in Europe and Asia,” Ventura said.
From that experience, he learned everything he needed to know about how to run a service efficiently, and how to provide the best possible customer experience.
Ventura heard that one of his friends who was a personal chef had started up a meal delivery service, and was immediately interested.
“This was back in 2016. The business was doing well, but delivery was the means to get people the food, it was never their original business plan,” Ventura explained.
Eventually, Ventura said, his friend couldn’t expand the business any further, and she reached out for his help in moving forward to the next big step.
“They hustled it out for a couple years, and at the end of 2018, my friend called me and told me she couldn’t grow the business anymore. She needed a business partner to help with the bigger vision for the company and also execute that vision,” Ventura said.
Eventually, he went back to his friend’s kitchen to try some of her food, and was amazed by the quality and presentation of each dish on the menu.
“I had tried dozens of services, and this one was so unique. The food quality was much higher, the level of care, the presentation — it was all there. I said, All right, let’s do this,” Ventura said, and from that point, the company moved into its very own commercial kitchen in 2019 and started delivering to more areas of Rhode Island, and slowly expanded into Massachusetts.
They acquired refrigerated vehicles, so as to expand their reach, and began considering the next location.
“We have heard year after year that we need to come to the Cape and Islands, so we finally made it happen,” Ventura said.
Feast & Fettle is taking a different approach to delivery on Martha’s Vineyard. Instead of partnering with restaurants to deliver their food, they make it fresh in their kitchen, and deliver it chilled, with many delicious meal options to choose from.
For Ventura, his company isn’t just about getting food to people consistently and conveniently — it’s about offering the best and freshest ingredients, and forming a close relationship with each customer.
“You need to develop a very good emotional relationship with your members and your customers because that is the bread and butter of how you keep them. The quality of the food and the level of customer service is always how we have differentiated ourselves,” Ventura said.
With over 2,400 member customers and counting, Ventura said, he still treats each customer the same as when they only had 30 people to deliver to.
“We are all about community, and we want to make sure that we are making those connections and giving people the best possible experience,” Ventura said.
Right in line with their community-centered mission, Feast & Fettle is donating one dollar of every purchase made on the Cape and Islands to the Island Food Pantry.
“It’s just a nice way to give back at the local level,” Ventura said. “It’s just in our DNA.”
In comparing his food service to other delivery businesses, Ventura said, Feast & Fettle rotates their menu every week, in order to keep the offerings fresh and allow customers to try new food creations all the time.
Whether you are feeding a family of four, or you want to enjoy a nice TV dinner by yourself, the new meal delivery service has a range of sizes and individually customizable meals.
“This adds a great deal of flexibility within a household, so people can eat what they want and don’t have to worry about differing dietary restrictions or food preferences — everyone can order exactly what they want, and it’s all delivered together,” Ventura explained.
Every meal is available in one, two, or three serving portions, and each tier includes three customization options to choose from: two different entrées with four sides, three entrées with five sides, and four entrées with six sides.
But Ventura noted that the meal plans are “super flexible,” and folks can add or remove servings, main courses, or sides as they see fit. Customers can also alter the actual menu item to their liking.
“If you want the chicken Caesar salad but you don’t want the cheese or tomato, we offer customizations at the product level as well,” Ventura said.
All food is prepared at Feast & Fettle’s Rhode Island kitchen, and many of the ingredients for each meal are sourced from surrounding food purveyors.
One of the most popular meal items, according to Ventura, is the baked ziti with sausage. He said the dish is simple but well-executed, and can scale very well for a large or small family.
“The same way we make five servings of that dish, we can make 1,000,” he said.
He added that Feast & Fettle salads are “coveted” because they make all their dressings in-house, and the ingredients are always fresh.
The meal delivery service’s website is optimized for all devices, and folks can order up to two weeks in advance of their weekly Thursday deliveries.
“I still consider myself a Vineyarder through and through, and I always wanted to bring something back to the Island. I know how hard it can be to access delivery there, so I’m excited to see what we can do,” Ventura said.