By Ellen Forman
Carolina Salazar, a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who has worked with two of Miami’s most celebrated chefs, is passionate about preparing and sharing delicious, healthy food that can go onto a table in minutes.
Eduardo Umana, Salazar’s partner and a serial entrepreneur with multiple tech-driven startups under his belt, understands how technology has the potential to supercharge a food business.
Together, they’re CEO and CTO, respectively, of Dishigood, a Coral Gables-based food delivery service, with Salazar’s magic in the kitchen streamlined by Umana’s customized app. They hope to separate Dishigood from dozens of delivery options with what the company calls “the combination of delicious food and effortless tech.”
While Dishigood grew a loyal base of customers from its presence at the Coral Gables Farmer’s Market and the website it launched last year, Umana said, the new app has made all the difference. Tailored for the business to offer a compelling user experience, Dishigood tripled sales in the first three weeks after its February 2023 launch.
For Salazar, food has always been central to life. She co-owned a restaurant with her mother in her native Nicaragua and attended Cordon-Bleu cooking school in Spain. Yet it was a stint in San Francisco that gave her a passion for fresh food and seasonal ingredients.
“I really love eating healthy and knowing what I put into my body,” she said. “It really does make a difference to feel good.”
Relocating to Miami, she spent several years in the demanding kitchens of star chefs Michael Schwartz and Niven Patel, learning how to work efficiently under heat and pressure. Her passion for cooking grew, and she started a small catering business for private clients with an eye toward expanding her culinary creations into a full-time business.
Meanwhile, Umana, trained as an engineer, had invented, designed and launched the VacOne Coffee Air Brewer, a cold brew coffee maker, as well as Quintal Coffee, a mail-order subscription service for coffee roasted at its origin. Taking note of Salazar’s passion, he set out on a four-month app development course at New York City’s General Assembly and taught himself how to customize an app to meet the specific needs of her offerings.
The Dishigood app streamlines the entire process of Salazar’s food preparation and delivery to customers. After orders are received, it creates a shopping list, taking inventory into consideration. Customer favorites, allergies, payment methods and delivery locations are all stored on the app. While Salazar is preparing, Umana can see the location of each delivery and plan the route for his drivers, letting customers know when to expect a package of food on their doorstep.
In addition to saving hours on shopping, prepping and cooking, the back end of Dishigood’s app gives the company the ability to communicate with customers about delivery times. Each customer is notified with a photo when the food arrives on the doorstep.
What’s in the bag? The wide-ranging items, all fully prepared, include vegetarian and gluten-free offerings. They can be as simple prepared as pan-seared salmon or as layered as a kale and pistachio pasta salad. And while healthy is the by-word, there’s room on the menu for treats like a sea salt dark chocolate tart.
Dishigood’s growth via word of mouth continues as farmers market clients discover the convenience of the app, Umana said. Most of the company’s clients are in the areas near Coral Gables: Brickell, downtown Miami, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne. With its current capabilities, Dishigood’s drivers will go as far as far north as Bal Harbour and south to Palmetto. Deliveries are made Monday and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m., with the ordering window closing at midnight on those days. They expect that map to expand as they grow capacity.
For now, the pair will bootstrap their company, seeking organic growth in its first stages.
“We want a sound project with unit economics that work,” Umana said, “something that will be a no-brainer for investors.”
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