Vancouver’s UpMeals has partnered with Simon Fraser University (SFU) and one of their SmartVending machines will be on the Burnaby campus this fall.
The machine will provide 24/7 access to healthy, fresh, and sustainable meal options for students and an alternative to costly meal delivery services and restaurants in the area.
SFU will install their first UpMeals SmartVending machine at the West Mall Centre, one of the busiest and most accessible locations on the Burnaby campus, with plans for more machines in the future. The installation will coincide with the move back to in-person classes and services on campus.
UpMeals delivers healthy, custom meals created by professional chefs and registered holistic nutritionists in individual, sustainably-packaged meals specifically tailored to each organization’s needs. Meals are available 24/7 through innovative touch screen SmartVending machines.
This concept is the brainchild of Drew Munro, a professional caterer, and Ryan Angel, a Red Seal Chef and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
The pair saw a market need for an option that allowed businesses to provide healthy, ready-to-eat meals for their employees or customers, in a scalable, cost-effective way. UpMeals is an alternative to costly traditional catering or meal delivery services. Freshly made meals are delivered weekly to each refrigerated vending machine that can be monitored remotely via an app to determine popularity of menu items and reduce waste.
To support the SFU expansion, UpMeals has acquired Grubgrab, a digital meal subscription service geared toward post secondary students. Grubgrab had previously engaged UpMeals to support in centralizing their food sourcing under the Grubgrab brand.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced them to pivot their business model to make access points safe, facilitating the acquisition by UpMeals.
Grubgrab co-founders Rohan Siyal and Jovan Choongh, are recent post secondary graduates and will support in integrating UpMeals with student initiative programs, hosting various events and integrating UpMeals solutions into the culture of the university.
“We’re excited to be joining UpMeals as they grow their UpMeals on Campus initiative. We’re eager to see this program flourish as schools welcome students back to school in a normal capacity – and look forward to contributing to UpMeals’ healthy food accessibility mission, helping students be healthier and more productive. We wish this existed when we were students,” said Choongh regarding the announcement.