Mitch Case quit his multiple 6 figure job as an engineer after 9 years to Build a business that has him working longer hours and making very little money. He wouldn’t change it for anything!
He quit his job to build their business full time, More Than A Meal. A unique employee benefit where employers help subsidize the cost of weekly or monthly meal kits delivered straight to the door of employees and clients.
INTRO: Welcome to In A World With Real Media. I’m your host, Brad Burrow. In this podcast, we’ll dive into the lives of the most successful people in business. We’ll learn how they overcame adversity, took advantage of opportunities and learned from their experiences. Learn from our experts. It inspired, then go live your story. It’s In a World with Real Media.
Brad Burrow: Hello and Welcome to the In a World with Real Media Podcast. I’m Brad Burrow, and I have a very special guest today, Mitch Case. Mitch, thanks for joining us. I really appreciate it. Now what you do, I want to get into what you do. It’s, um, Mitch has a, um, a very, very interesting company. It’s called More Than A Meal. Yep. And, and also doing some basketball stuff that I want to talk about. Okay. We love sports here, <laugh>. But Mitch, the, the, uh, I want to hear about more than a Meal and kind of why [00:01:00] you started it and, you know, just give me, give me and the listeners a little bit of a kind of four 11 on, on you as a person, why you started this company and you know where you are.
Mitch Case: Yeah. Let me just kind of start from the beginning in my background a little bit. So, um, found I was good at math and science pretty early and ultimately went down the path of being an engineer, uh, without paying much attention to the lifestyle of an engineer.
Brad Burrow: Math and science. Huh? Math and science
Mitch Case: Yeah. I, I mean, I’m still a sucker for like, Bill Nye put me in [00:01:30] there and I, I can watch Bill Nye for a long, long time, <laugh>. But, um, yeah, always, always really excelled at math and science. So engineering kind of seemed like one of those ways to go. Somebody showed me once how much an engineer can potentially make and it, yeah. Let’s, let’s do this. So I went to school for that. Graduated a mechanical engineering degree, moved to Kansas City, started working for a manufacturing plant where I got a little bit of a taste of being an engineer. And that’s when I realized like, I don’t want to be an engineer. <laugh>, is that
Brad Burrow: Right? <laugh>? Oh my
Mitch Case: Goodness. Yeah. Well, I mean, just sitting behind a computer [00:02:00] screen and what it takes to be so detail oriented, to be an engineer was just something that I didn’t really take into account. And, uh, fortunately I was able to find an organization that sold a piece of equipment that we manufactured. And that’s when I really started to find my entrepreneurial journey was through being thrown into this world of a hundred percent commission sales, where you gotta get creative, you gotta go out and compete, and you gotta get really good at building relationships. And fortunately, that’s a space where I really found that I thrived, which is very [00:02:30] transferrable to building a business. Um, so ultimately I’m gonna shorten my story up as much as I possibly can, but I did engineering sales for about nine years. Had a lot of success in that, and ultimately quit that job to go after something.
Mitch Case: I is much more passionate and purposeful driven, which also allowed me to be a more present husband and father. And that’s nothing against the company that I previously worked with. It was a hustle culture over there. My priorities changed once I started having children, and I needed to make a change from a personal standpoint, also [00:03:00] fulfilling some things that I wanted to do in my life. And I remember my wife, kind of as we were toying around with this idea of walking away from this comfortable salary job that we were getting paid very well to not taking, taking a paycheck for a couple years. And it was just a really simple question of like, if, if you look back in 20 years and you didn’t do this, would you regret it? And it was just too easy of an answer for me. So we decided to kinda get all of our eggs in one basket and, uh, jump out of the, [00:03:30] the airplane and try and put the, the parachute together on the way down.
Mitch Case: So, yeah. Um, the way that we started our company was just through our own experience. So more than a meal is really driven from us having a traumatic experience with our firstborn son, where my wife developed pre-eclampsia and had a c-section. We rushed into the ER, found that she had blood pressure, was like 200 over 100. And they were like, this, this baby’s gotta get out. So, uh, just really unexpected long-term recovery type scenario for several months after he was born. And, [00:04:00] uh, we were blessed to have some friends that not only brought meals for us at the beginning, uh, when we got home, but three, four months down the road when I was back at work, sleep deprivation was in full swing. Wife’s still recovering from not only the high blood pressure, but also the major abdominal surgery. And that meal was just so empowering for us that we knew we needed to go and do this for other people. And we started as a, a side hobby project and it just kind of grew into what it is today.
Brad Burrow: And so you’ve said several things that I, that I want to key [00:04:30] in on. One being an entrepreneur. I mean, not everybody’s cut out to take a risk like that, you know? Did you have any idea when he said, okay, you know, you had that 20 years from now, I don’t wanna regret this, but did you have any idea what you were actually jumping into? <laugh> <laugh>,
Mitch Case: Yes and no Laughing <laugh>. Yes and no. Um, I, I tell a lot of people now, I knew the physical work that it was going to take. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I know I’m gonna have some late nights. I know that I’m gonna be grinding [00:05:00] for a while to do this, and, you know, put hard work in front of me and I’ll go out and accomplish that. The mental side of it slapped me across the face. Yeah. Um, from somebody that always spent a lot of self-worth on the amount of money that I brought into our family. Um, not being able to do those things for my young children who are now five and a half, two and a half, and one, you know, my younger kids have never been on an airplane. My oldest has been on an airplane once. That was something that we [00:05:30] got to do a lot when I was doing my other side, was going on fun trips, seeing the beach, you know, wanting to go to Disney World before my son turned five.
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
Mitch Case: I don’t get to do that stuff for them. And, you know, those are big, big milestones, but we’re even in a position like today where, you know what, Hey buddy, we can’t go get ice cream today cuz it’s just not, it’s not in the budget right now. We’ve gotta, we gotta hold back. So that part has been a, a struggle for me from the mental side of, and it’s, it’s something I tell myself occasionally [00:06:00] of like, I’m not, I’m not being good enough because I’m not providing this, but fortunately I’ve got a spouse that will kick me in the butt sometimes and say, listen, you’re exactly where you need to be and all that you we require of you is being present and unconditional love. And, uh, I will say, I got a, a little personal story. So I told my son, we can’t go get ice cream. And he knows that we’re building something. Uh, he always calls it more than a meal. He wants to go build a more than a meal.
Brad Burrow: He’s five
Mitch Case: And a half. He’s five and a half. Wow. And told him we couldn’t go [00:06:30] get ice cream. He said, well, what if I go and make some money? Can we go get ice cream? And I was like, yes, sir. And he decided at, it was like six o’clock at night, he wanted ice cream bad <laugh>, six o’clock at night. He is like, I’m gonna go put a chocolate, uh, hot chocolate stand in the driveway and, and sell it to our neighbors. And so we text all of our neighbors. I run out to Hy-Vee, spend way more money on the hot chocolate stuff. Then he actually made, but he came up with this idea on his own of, look, if I can’t get it from you, I’m gonna go [00:07:00] and create it. And that was, uh, that was a really big proud dad moment. Yeah. In the sense of, although I can’t provide everything for him right now, he’s, he’s ready to hustle. <laugh>. Yeah.
Brad Burrow: That’s awesome. Yeah. Born with that ability probably, you know,
Mitch Case: I I hope it lasts him a long time.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. So I was telling somebody just in a meeting today, as a matter of fact, that I got to spend a day with Zig Ziegler, I don’t know if you know that
Mitch Case: Name. Oh, very,
Brad Burrow: Very. So, and [00:07:30] we were in, me and another gentleman were interviewing Zig Ziegler. And, uh, one of the questions was, uh, we were talking about hiring and, you know, discernment and stuff like that mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Zig said that when I did all the hiring myself, my my rate of being right was 40 to 50% of the time. And he’s like, that just wasn’t good enough. So he brought the redhead in, which
Mitch Case: Was his wife. His wife. Yep.
Brad Burrow: And, [00:08:00] uh, when he, so when he felt like it was the right decision to make a, uh, to hire somebody, they would go have lunch with this person and bring his wife along. And he said when he started doing that, 90% of the time he was right. Mm. So, and, and I know in, in my example, my wife is like, without her acknowledgement and, and, you know, really supporting what we’re doing here, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing. So having a [00:08:30] wife that actually is supportive of what you’re doing is key.
Mitch Case: Uh, I, I would say there are a handful of things that you need to be able to do to go start a business. And having that unwavering support from that individual is up there. Cuz there are definitely those days where it’s be a lot easier to go back to being an engineer and just getting that paycheck. Yeah. We wouldn’t have to worry about all this stuff, but yet she continues to push and lift me up on those days when I can’t do it myself.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing. Yeah. So tell me, let’s get into more than [00:09:00] a meal. Yeah. Um, now I wanna talk about some other things too. Okay. Okay. Um, but more than a meal. Tell me a little bit, how does this work? Tell me how the business model works.
Mitch Case: Yeah. So what we experienced when we were doing this on the, the side when we first got started, it was really an idea of sending a meal from one friend to another that experienced a challenging birth. And through the information and data we received of the meals that we delivered for about a two year period, we saw that the majority of our meals, over 70% of them were going to businesses buying for their employees and clients. [00:09:30] So that was kind of a light bulb moment for us.
Brad Burrow: And you didn’t know that going in, right?
Mitch Case: No idea. No idea. Okay. Not a clue. On the B2B side, I had an idea of like, I have a lot of connections on the business side, so I’m gonna tell them, Hey, when you have a friend and then all of a sudden they’re buying it for their colleague versus their friend. Maybe they are friends at that point, I don’t know. Yeah. But that was when the light bulb moment, and that’s when I kind of saw, Hey, maybe this is something that could potentially support us as a family [00:10:00] and make this real business. So we kind of put a business plan together and, and today what we kind of tell people is, uh, we help organizations strengthen their most valued relationships by delivering gratitude and appreciation in the form of an experiential meal kit delivered to their door. And when we really get down to the nuts and bolts of it, sure. What they are physically receiving are ingredients, but what they’re truly experiencing is an organization, whether that is a employer or a client, vendor, whatever that may be, that really values [00:10:30] their time and wanting to put them around the dinner table with their family or friends. And so we always say like, I, I am usually selling the more than the meal just kind of comes along for the ride.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Amazing. So tell me how it works. I mean, um, you know, I I I have a client that I want to bless with the meal or an em an employee or something like that. How does that work?
Mitch Case: Yeah, so we have three primary ways that we, we serve clients. So kind of in the scenario of a major life event, whether [00:11:00] positive or negative, we have what’s called our engagement packages. So, and that’s essentially buying a bulk number of meals upfront that you can send out on an as needed basis if and when that event occurs. That’s primarily what we tend to see from larger organizations. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that just, they have several births or several, um, bereavement situations a year that they’re able to send those out and we personalize those from, from branding or video messaging that can kind of be included with that for that whole experience really. Yeah. Yeah. That has been a, a piece that really [00:11:30] kind of helps separate us from other companies that are out there. Um, the part that’s kind of been growing a lot recently is more this idea of an employee benefit.
Mitch Case: And there’s kind of two different scenarios where we’ve seen that. One is a, like a milestone program, so major dates for an employee, whether that is a work anniversary, a wedding anniversary, a birthday, where we automatically release a meal out to that individual to celebrate that milestone date for an organization. The other one is just a general employee benefit because [00:12:00] you work here, this organization is willing to pay for a meal a month to send to your family or help subsidize the cost of a meal a month for your family, which is just really, really focusing in on how can we retain our existing employees and attract top talent without having to spend so much on turnover or recruiting costs.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. So how does it work? I mean, do we, let’s say I want to engage with you and, and I, I want to get into this. How do I pick the food? How do I Yeah. You know, all of that. I, I’m really interested [00:12:30] to know that.
Mitch Case: Well, um, as an engineer, systems and processes are my jams. So I’ve got this funneled in to where it takes you zero amount of time and it takes the recipient a little bit amount of a time. So once you’re on board with us as a client, we set up a company portal. So you have a very simple portal that you go to to release a meal to an individual. Yeah. Which all that takes is their contact information and the personal message you want to include with that meal. So we’re talking an email address and a cell phone number. You don’t have to worry about [00:13:00] what do they prefer to eat, what dietary preferences do they have, where do they want this and when do they want it? There’s so much that goes into coordination that companies have previously been having to coordinate. So we wanna make it as easy as possible so you don’t have to hire somebody else to even manage this.
Mitch Case: It’s just a very quick, uh, system that we’ve put together there. Once that is released, that recipient receives a text message and an email from us saying, Brad has sent you more than a meal, click here to schedule your meal. And at that [00:13:30] point, that’s when they go in, they’ll maybe see some branding depending on what packages have been purchased. And then they go in and they select the type of meal that they want, they select when it gets delivered. Because oftentimes, e especially in moments of tragedy, they’re inundated. They’re not even around. Yeah. You can’t just send food to a doorstep, otherwise it’ll just spoil. So we let them say, you know what, actually I’ve got food set for two or three weeks, but after that third week, I could use some help. And I argue that that’s even more impactful because now [00:14:00] they’re left alone with their thoughts and their feelings, and now family and friends have kind of moved on. Yeah. And they’re in this situation. So that meal can be even more impactful in that moment. And then they also confirm, um, the delivery address that they want it to go to. And then we keep you as the sender or the buyer in the loop, the entire process from, Hey, we received your meal request to release it. They’ve scheduled it for this date, and it’s been delivered so that you know what’s going on through that entire process.
Brad Burrow: That’s awesome. So my mind immediately [00:14:30] goes to the logistics of how this all works. <laugh>,
Mitch Case: I mean, mine to you,
Brad Burrow: You being an engineer, I mean, and the process of that, I mean, there’s a lot that’s, so you’ve got, you’ve got an IT backend probably on your, on your, uh, website. Right? That’s, yeah. I mean, did you have to bring in programmers to build that whole thing?
Mitch Case: Um, not with the websites we’ve used. We’ve been pretty good at the drag and drop, um, scenarios. Okay. So, um,
Brad Burrow: And that works for, from a technology standpoint? Yes.
Mitch Case: So there’s a program that we use that has, um, you know, it’s called Zoho [00:15:00] is what we use right now mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, yeah. They have a workflow side of things where I can connect different applications, and because of my, um, systems and processes, I can kind of see the workflow and connect the dots. And I’m,
Brad Burrow: You’re uniquely qualified for this.
Mitch Case: I’m dangerous enough. I’m always really nervous, like when we get to that point where I really do need to hire that, that developer Yes. I’m like, you’re gonna get to see inside my brain. And they probably had, like, they could have gotten there in two or three steps and I took like 15 to get there. Yeah. So I’m always a little bit like self-conscious if and when [00:15:30] that day comes that I gotta hand that off and say, Hey, develop this based off of what I’ve done. They’re gonna be like, what in the world were you doing
Brad Burrow: <laugh>? Because you’re gonna have to think about that from a scaling standpoint. Right. Absolutely. I mean, absolutely. This, this idea could be scaled very easily. Yes. Well, I don’t wanna say easily, but it is scalable. It
Mitch Case: Is scalable. Um, we’ve talked about some of the bigger challenges that we do have is, um, obviously when you’re dealing with food that has the potential to spoil, it’s very time sensitive. Yeah. And we are also sending raw ingredients which have to be kept at [00:16:00] a certain degree or lower, otherwise we’re at risk of health code violations and that kind of stuff. So very sensitive in regards to that. And the challenge that we have right now from scaling fully nationwide, without throwing a meal on an airplane, which almost doubles or triples our cost, we gotta get different kitchens across the nation. So my next hurdle as we continue to grow and expand is how do I receive an order from New York that’s gonna go and be delivered in Dallas and make [00:16:30] sure that doesn’t get prepared in our Kansas City kitchen because I can’t get it to Dallas on time and needs to go to our Dallas kitchen. That’s the part where I start going like, all right, that’s when we’re gonna have to find that developer, because I can’t, I can’t put those puzzles together,
Brad Burrow: <laugh>. So, and my, there’s so many questions I have about this whole thing, so you gotta tell me if we’re, nah, I don’t want to, I don’t wanna give away the secret sauce
Mitch Case: Here. <laugh>. I don’t have a lot to
Brad Burrow: Hide. No pun intended.
Mitch Case: <laugh>, <laugh>. I’ve also realized there are a ton of food analogies in the business community. Yeah. Where I’m, I I say it and I’m like, I really didn’t mean [00:17:00] that in a pun, but we say this all the time, <laugh>.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Secret sauce. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so do you have like a kitchen here in town as, I mean, how, how is the food actually prepared?
Mitch Case: Yeah. I mean, of course we have a, a, a health code regulation that we’re, uh, have standards on that we have to meet. Yeah. So, uh, we’ve got a kitchen in Kansas that we go in and, uh, we do all our prepping and shopping. Um, one of the things that kind of helps us is we don’t, we don’t actually cook anything, so [00:17:30] we don’t have to have all the, the stove tops, the, um, like fire suppressant Okay. Or exhaust and all that kind of stuff. So it helps us stay pretty lean when it comes to kitchen use. But yeah, we absolutely have a commercial kitchen that we utilize. And when we first got started, um, now that I can say that we’re not doing this anymore, we first got started, this was all happening, the old case family kitchen.
Brad Burrow: Oh man.
Mitch Case: Um, below the radar for a long while. But, uh, yeah, once we kinda made that switch to more of a B2B approach, the conversation of where these being prepared [00:18:00] came up fairly often. And that was the idea that we need to go find a partner to, uh, make this work. So
Brad Burrow: You have a partner that actually does that for
Mitch Case: You? Partner in the sense that we need a kitchen and, uh, we’ve been blessed to partner with a small family owned catering business that allows us to use their kitchen and their staff. Yeah. So we kind of contract them out, but it is, it is our time that we’re using their kitchen.
Brad Burrow: You’re gonna grow out of that situation at some point. Don’t you think
Mitch Case: That is the goal? Yeah. Um, but we still have had a lot of, um, leaps [00:18:30] and bounds because of what they did, and, uh, I, I tend to be a pretty loyal person. Yeah. So we’ll figure out ways to make sure that we can maintain that and, uh, grow beyond that as well.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. So what are some of the challenges? I mean, there any entrepreneur that’s starting a business, especially, I mean, you’re, you’re kind of, it’s something new. I mean, I mean, maybe it’s not, it’s new to me. I don’t, I don’t know if any services quite like you, you probably do know of competitors. Yeah. But I mean, you’re building from the ground up [00:19:00] a service like this. I mean, what, what are some of the challenges that you’ve had to overcome and maybe are going to have to overcome? Yeah.
Mitch Case: I mean, brand awareness. Uh, I, I feel like I’ve told everybody in this planet Yeah. About our company. Yeah. And yet nobody knows about our company. Yes. So, you know, the continuous brand awareness aspect of it, when people hear what we do, for the most part, they, they understand it. I will say [00:19:30] there is a, a difference between understanding it and getting it. And what we’ve realized over this, uh, over the last six months, we started actually sending meals to individuals that, you know, we’re on the cusp and we wanted them to actually get it, to get it, versus we understand what you do. Uh, so that’s been a, a really big hurdle for us is
Brad Burrow: How’s the marketing?
Mitch Case: Yeah. I mean, it is now a part of our marketing plan that we have certain number of meals per month that will go out to individuals that we see, um, just need [00:20:00] to get over the hump a little bit. And every time they receive those things, I don’t know why, for whatever reason, they get ’em on the days that they are just draining. There’s nothing left to give, and they have our meal and they throw it in. They’re like, that
Brad Burrow: Couldn’t have planned it for
Mitch Case: That. I get it. I get it. Because it is for those moments that you just have nothing else. It’s, I don’t have all the ingredients at home to cook something. I don’t want to go out and get another cheeseburger. I’m going from one soccer practice to the next. And all of a sudden, this simple [00:20:30] meal that was provided from an employer or a client now forces you to slow down and eat dinner with your family at the dinner table in community together. It, it’s fun to watch that. But answering your question before, like the brand awareness side is incredibly challenging. Um, I, I know that’s my biggest focus right now. And, you know, as every startup will probably say like capital, like Yeah. Lack of funds doesn’t let us get to where we want to be when I know we have something [00:21:00] that can truly help from a retention and attraction standpoint. We just gotta get the quantities up so that then we can have the right people on the right bus to then go and do some bigger and amazing things with the company than I can probably ever dream of.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. You know, I would think about, uh, stay at home workers, you know, that, I mean, every, a lot of people working from home, this feels like something perfect for that situation. Yeah.
Mitch Case: We, I mean, I, I think of that from a hiring perspective. Yeah. Um, there is a lot of, uh, you know, parents [00:21:30] that, um, you know, stay at home parents, they have young children, and then all of a sudden they’re school aged, and now they’re trying to decide if they wanna get back into the workforce. And I, I’m sitting there thinking like, this is perfect because you are an ideal candidate of what we do. While at the same time we can be flexible with your schedule and all that to be able to say, Hey, can you go out and sell for us for a little bit? Can you go out to the kitchen and chop and dice for a little bit and make it work with their schedule? But yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah. [00:22:00] It’s, as far as the work from home side of things, when these organizations are trying to figure out ways to bring their team together when they’re not together, we accidentally fell, really fall in really well with that scenario. <laugh>, that
Brad Burrow: Timing of that. Yeah. How do you decide what food it goes that you offer in the meals? <laugh>, <laugh>.
Mitch Case: I have a lot of people ask me that. I’m like, yeah, I bet you if it tastes good, let’s give it a shot. Yeah. Uh, you know, a lot of our meals, we, we don’t claim to be, [00:22:30] Hey, your employees are going to eat healthy because our meals are the healthiest meals that they can go out and get. Now, there are going to be healthier options, but we also argue that our meals are more of a holistic health scenario where it’s not necessarily about having like clean lean food that you put in your body, although we have that sometimes it’s just about taking the stress of dinner off. Sometimes it’s just about, I haven’t seen my family in three days. Like, let’s just sit at the table and some days [00:23:00] all you wanna do is eat your feelings. And we’ve got those meals too. Comfort.
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
Mitch Case: Yeah. So, um, the first few meals that we started off, we, we just, we Googled a few that we thought were, were pretty tasty and put ’em out there. And it went, um, since bringing on the executive chef, she’s been really helpful as far as like, balancing a lot of things, trying to make sure there is some healthier components, maybe this meal or we’re, we’re trying to get to a point where we can work with like a, a dietician or nutritionist that can say, Hey, if you are struggling with high blood pressure, these are great options for you. If [00:23:30] you’re struggling with this, these are great options. We’re not there yet. Yeah. But for the most part, it’s, Hey, if you got an idea, let’s see if it works, see if it tastes good. And if it does, and we can make it work within our, our cost structure, we’ll add
Brad Burrow: It. So gimme a rundown on some of the meals. I mean, some of the food,
Mitch Case: Um, my personal favorite, um, is our chicken noodle soup. We just released that a couple weeks ago. Um, but all the way from a pulled pork sandwich to chicken tacos to, um, salsa verde chicken, [00:24:00] and then some like quinoa. So
Brad Burrow: I didn’t have lunch, so you’re killing
Mitch Case: Me right now. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we, we feed enough, I mean, each of those meal kits come with enough to feed five adults. So, is that right? We’re always rocking leftovers the next day. And I will argue, and I will on my deathbed argue that chili and soups are better day two than day one. I agree
Brad Burrow: With
Mitch Case: That, by the
Brad Burrow: Way. That is so right.
Mitch Case: It, it really is. So we even have like the complex inside the house. It’s like, should we cook the chicken noodle soup tonight and then eat it tomorrow? <laugh>. But, [00:24:30] uh, we, everything’s
Brad Burrow: Got, a few has to be cooked. It does, basically does, they rise and, and then there’s instructions on what to do and that kind of thing.
Mitch Case: Yeah. Yeah. So everything’s pre chop, pred ded pre-measured. So you’ll get anywhere between five to eight or nine vacuum sealed bags that we’ve combined ingredients here. So we have a, like a, a pot roast with potatoes and carrots. We can combine the potatoes and carrots to reduce steps, reduce packaging, which makes it even easier for you to toss into a crockpot or a pressure cooker. Uh, so we always kind of literally [00:25:00] talk about, our prep time is less than five minutes, and I have made many of our meals with a baby in my arms making sure that it was as simple as
Brad Burrow: Possible. Yeah. Yeah. Testing
Mitch Case: <laugh>, you know, the engineering made a little r and d
Brad Burrow: <laugh>. Oh yeah. Engineering. Yeah. There you go. Well, that’s really interesting. So, um, so you get, get the meal and then you prepare it and it’ll feed five people. Now the next question I have Yeah. Is what’s the average, you know, cost? [00:25:30] So say I, I want, would want to do that for our client or mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, an employee, what’s the average cost?
Mitch Case: Yeah. So our meals vary anywhere between 55 per meal kit to 70 per meal kit. And that just varies based off of quantity, frequency branding that kind of comes inside. We’ve even got some companies that wanna throw a little bit of swag inside there. So we have custom pricing along with that. They send
Brad Burrow: You that to put into the meals.
Mitch Case: Yeah. We just got done sending some out with a, uh, uh, there’s a company called Operation Barbecue Relief. [00:26:00] Yeah. Um, they’ll go down to like disaster areas. Yeah. They wanted to throw in the barbecue, uh, cookbook that they created. So we toss it on top of the meals. Very cool. And, uh, you wanna talk about getting hungry? Open that book up, <laugh>. Oh, I bet. Yeah. That’ll get you going. Uh, but yeah, so 55 to $70, so you’re looking at anywhere between 11 to $14 per plate that arrives. Um, so very comparable to Yeah. Um, you know, going out and grabbing a burrito or something along those lines.
Brad Burrow: And you can’t go out too a fast food restaurant now, and I’m, it’s hard to spend 10 [00:26:30] bucks.
Mitch Case: We got a Happy meal the other day for a little over $7, and I was like, yeah, my kid’s not gonna eat more than three bites of this cheeseburger.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, that’s right. That’s exactly
Mitch Case: Right. Uh, it is, yeah. It is very comparable. But we’ve recognized that even as I’m trying to sit here through the marketing perspective, I, I don’t want to be misleading. So I tell people our meals cost 55 to $70. A lot of consumers are educated through other meal kits that it’s a cost per serving, a cost per plate. [00:27:00] So when they see 55 to 70, they freak out, it’s just too expensive. But then when we break it down to 11 to $14 per plate, they’re like, oh, it’s literally the same cost. Yeah. But it just, it’s how they’ve done it. So we’ve kind of reframed how we, we talk about plates, servings, kits, all that kinda stuff.
Brad Burrow: I mean, if you take your family out to eat at Chipotle or someplace like that, you know, I’ve got teenage boys, I’m gonna spend that much money easy for two or well, three, three or four meals.
Mitch Case: Yeah. Yeah. [00:27:30] I mean, between a, I I don’t know if you knew this, but I wrapped burritos in college at Chipotle. Oh, is
Brad Burrow: That right? No, I did not know that. Yeah. <laugh>,
Mitch Case: I was a pretty good rapper, uh, not on the music side, get all that stuff in there, <laugh>. I, you know, I was very proud to say that occasionally when the tough burrito would come down the line, they’d holler at me and say, Hey, come in here and do this. And other times I’d like, well, you got too much stuff on your burrito <laugh>, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna get rid of it. But, uh, yeah, I mean, you know, the, the saying goes like, Gukk is extra when you, when you throw extras onto that stuff, you’re, you’re immediately [00:28:00] talking 11, $12 Yeah. Um, to do that. So, yeah. You know, there’s, there’s reasons why we price it at a certain price point so that we can be competitive in that space. But
Brad Burrow: You got shipping on top of that too. I
Mitch Case: Have shipping that kills me. Yep. Yeah. Yep. So we’re, you know, one of the things we wanna do is get our quantities up so we can reduce the cost of, of shipping overall. Um, but it is, I mean, it’s, it’s an expensive piece of that. So when we start talking about the convenience factor, and one of the reasons we saw that the B2B model is more, um, [00:28:30] the direction we’re gonna go is that companies are willing to pay for the convenience versus a consumer has an idea of how much food costs, and maybe they’re not always willing or thinking about the convenience factor that it creates, and they opt out to, to go
Brad Burrow: That way. And a company’s writing that expense off, too. That’s
Mitch Case: Absolutely deal. Yep. There are some, um, tax laws that come into that where we recognize that we have to split out our, our individual ingredients. They aren’t actually, uh, tax, uh, uh, tax write off the, the food [00:29:00] itself, but the delivery costs, the packaging, all that kind of stuff that go into that is, is fully right. Uh, a full write off
Brad Burrow: For for the companies that are using your service. Yeah. Yeah. So do you give them reports on with, from that standpoint? Not
Mitch Case: Yet. I don’t think we’re at that point. Yeah. But, uh, you know, when we get there and it, it does start making a difference. Like most of our companies, they’re, they’re buying, you know, a couple thousand dollars worth of meals at a time. Yeah. But when we start landing some of these bigger clients that we’ve got in the hopper, and you start talking hundreds of [00:29:30] meals, thousands of meals, yeah. That can start making a, a pretty big dent.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. So are you thinking scalable like that right now? I mean, one hopper hundred as an engineer, it’s like, you’ve gotta be working through some to get to that level Yeah. To be able to deliver. I mean, your Yeah. Your processes are gonna have to be refined quite a bit,
Mitch Case: Probably. Right, <laugh>? Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Um, I’m always, you know, big vision, this is what I want. I, you know, I, I talked about money being a lot of self-worth, [00:30:00] and I had a new relationship with money, and that it allows me to do the things that I want to do, but it doesn’t take away that I’m, I am a money hungry person. I want to go out and I wanna produce well and do fun things with that, or serve people with that. Yeah. Um, so I’ve, I’ve got really big visions for what this can be. Oftentimes, um, I’m held back by the, the, the progress. So I have to bring myself back to earth every once in a while to say, all right, I don’t need to solve this problem yet. Here’s the immediate one. We’ll work on that. Yeah. And [00:30:30] then we’ll work towards,
Brad Burrow: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Right.
Mitch Case: It is. But man, it, it’s, it sure be nice every once in a while. It’s a
Brad Burrow: Sprint. Run hard a little bit <laugh>. Yeah. I get you. We’ve been in business 25 years, so
Mitch Case: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s, I I will have to, I would love to hear kind of your first couple of years sometime, because, uh, yeah. I, I hear awesome, awesome stories, painful stories, tenacity and strength. Yeah. And, uh, it makes you appreciate what I assume appreciate. Yeah. Amen.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. I mean, [00:31:00] it’s,
Mitch Case: Uh, we lean on that hard.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Some, there’s a lot of, I mean, you go through a lot of adversity, but, you know, I think the adversity, this is not a podcast about me by the way, but the, the adversity does, um, strengthen you and it, it shapes you and it humbles you. Mm. You know, a there’s a lot of really good things that come from adversity. And I feel bad even saying that cuz nobody wants to go through it. Right. I don’t want to through it. Right. Right. But man, if you have the right attitude about it, you come out on the other side and you’re [00:31:30] better in a lot of ways because of it. I,
Mitch Case: I would, you know, I I’m not through on the other side just yet. Yeah. But, you know, I’m, I’m a white male. I’ve had a lot of privilege in my life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’ve typically had a lot of the things that I’ve always wanted in life. Um, and since kind of leaving this previous career that I was paid well to not taking a paycheck, to getting really financially savvy to, oh my gosh, how are we gonna pay this? It has like, really changed my perspective [00:32:00] on, there’s a lot of individuals every day out there that don’t have the, the education that I have, and that are living literally less than paycheck to paycheck, borrowing from one credit card to pay off the other. And I, I’m experiencing this with a safety net behind me, and, and this is stressing me out, and I just sit there and think like, how hard is it to get ahead if you don’t have that, that opportunity, you’re sitting there struggling and struggling and trying to figure out how you can do this, and the people [00:32:30] that are able to pull it off, uh, I just have a, a newfound respect and gratitude and definitely a, a sense of humility and, and what they are doing.
Mitch Case: And as I kind of go through this journey, I’m gonna be looking back at those individuals saying like, all right, what can I do to help pull you through to the other side? Yeah. Because, uh, I, I get, I somewhat get
Brad Burrow: It. Yeah. We would never choose to go through the things that we go through running a business, but
Mitch Case: I never,
Brad Burrow: You look on it, you, you know, you’re like in [00:33:00] almost thankful that you did go through those things.
Mitch Case: Right, right. No, that just gives you a, a new perspective of some challenges that are real in this world that I never would’ve been exposed to.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. All right. So I want to ask you one other question, uh, about the business. Okay. And then we can move on to a couple other things. But the shipping <laugh>, I mean shipping food, you know, we’ve done HelloFresh and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, a couple of different things. There’s a company here in town that does keto.
Mitch Case: Okay.
Brad Burrow: Uh, meals Now, I can’t think of the [00:33:30] name of the company, but, you know, we would buy, uh, I think we could get a week worth of meals at a time. Yeah. Yep. And do the 45 day challenge thing, you know, and the packaging, I mean, it would come in packaging, it wasn’t frozen, but I mean, it was robust cardboard and styrofoam and ice, you know, deals. Yeah. I mean, that has to be so expensive to do that.
Mitch Case: It is a, a healthy chunk of the overall [00:34:00] cost of goods that go into that.
Brad Burrow: That, I mean, you had to think of that big time in your pricing strategy, didn’t you? Oh,
Mitch Case: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we, at one point we, we recognized where we thought we were at a good price and we were just like, we’re literally paying people to take our food right now. Yeah. So unfortunately we had to increase our prices so that it, it makes, so you have a market and it’s, it’s painful to do that, but at the same time, like it’s, it is what it is. We’ve, we’ve gotta make that happen and have that margin. So Yeah. I mean, I, I’m blessed [00:34:30] that there are some amazing vendors out here. And I even hate calling vendors cuz I was a vendor once before,
Brad Burrow: Like here in Kansas, Kansas
Mitch Case: City Yeah. Here in here in Kansas City. Yeah. Uh, just took me under their wing. I said, I’ve got this problem. I, I cannot, previously before 2022, I was driving our meals and dropping ’em off and you had to be present to receive it. So not much of an issue during the pandemic post pandemic, when people are getting back to the office. It was, it was more of an inconvenience than a convenience to receive
Brad Burrow: The service. So you find yourself [00:35:00] going back to places.
Mitch Case: So I Yeah. Knocking on doors. Yeah. They forget about it was coming. So I was like, I I literally can’t spend two days dropping off five meals. Yeah. Like, this is, this is insane. So reached out to them and said, we wanna do new packaging, we need to do insulation and gel packs. Like what can we do? How can you help us? And they’ve worked with large, large organizations that have already done all the testing. Oh, yeah. And we were able to learn from what they’ve done and they set us up and uh, that’s great. [00:35:30] Fortunately, I mean, even to the point where I was like, I don’t have a warehouse. Like I can’t house all the supplies that we need to buy. And they’re like, we’ll, hold it for 90 days. As long as you move through it, we can hold it here. So I’ve got my, my partner in the warehouse and products that we’re able to have. I’ve got a kitchen where we’re chopping and dicing and we’ve got my basement where I’m working and wheeling and dealing out of. So, uh, it’s a, it’s a three-pronged approach that without our partners and vendors on, on that side of things. Yeah. Which even comes into the shipping cost itself. We found another organization [00:36:00] Yes. That, that’s expensive by the grace of God that this perfect program, we designed our box around this perfect program because it has to fit within a certain dimension weight, um, and like
Brad Burrow: For pricing purpose, for pricing,
Mitch Case: Pricing, shipping purposes. Yeah. And we went from, we, we basically have the cost of our shipping by this new program that they released. And it made it, it made the difference of us seeing like, we can’t do this.
Brad Burrow: You have a margin.
Mitch Case: I have a margin. Yeah. I have a margin can gotta have a
Brad Burrow: Margin stand
Mitch Case: [00:36:30] Business. Right. Yeah. Yeah. You know, then that’s the, you know, we’re starting off not buying in big bulk too, so there’s always room to, to ebb and flow. And then we’ve got some new products we’re working on too that can even, uh, better enhance that experience from, uh, what we’re calling kind of a comfort package. So it’s gonna be your, your chicken noodle soup and we’ve partnered with two local companies here in Kansas City Yeah. To provide a little bit of coffee and some positive affirmation socks that you can send out to somebody that’s been hit hard and you wanna do more than just food.
Brad Burrow: My feet are cold [00:37:00] right now, so I don’t have to order some of those.
Mitch Case: I, we, we got, we got a good, good partnership for you. Yeah.
Brad Burrow: That’s, that’s awesome. Well, that’s, that’s great. I’m glad you’re thinking that way. So, um, it’s more than a meal and the website is more than a meal.com.
Mitch Case: More than a meal co.com. More
Brad Burrow: Than a meal co. Yes. Make sure I get that right. Um, so, um, how would somebody engage? What would they do?
Mitch Case: Yeah, I mean, our, our website is the easiest to engage there. There’s plenty of forms on there. So if you’re interested from a business perspective, you can fill one of those [00:37:30] out and it’ll, it’ll come out to our team. Um, I’m also very active on LinkedIn, so you can find me on LinkedIn and I’m always, uh, open for 15, 20 minute conversations to, to learn more about who you are and what you do. Yeah. And what I always tell people is, my goal is not to sit there and pitch you on what our product is. It’s to figure out if we align and if there’s synergies. And if there is, we can have that conversation. Otherwise, I might have a couple other ideas that I can help you out on that aren’t related to my business, but that can help you in further your goals.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. I I think that, uh, what you’re [00:38:00] doing is got so much potential. I appreciate that. I mean, if you think about, you know, this is kind of a marketing session at this point, I guess, but if
Mitch Case: You think about,
Brad Burrow: I’ll take all of it. Well, I mean, think about some of the bigger brands here in town and any town, but they are trying to make an impression on, um, their, their customers. So you’ve got that aspect of it. You’ve got businesses like mine that wanted to make an impression on a CMO or a Yeah. You know, an HR director, something like that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, what a great way to do that.
Mitch Case: [00:38:30] I mean, you’re preaching to the choir. Yeah. I, I think it’s a wonderful idea. Yeah. Uh, obviously I’m a little biased to it, but that’s what also made me very successful in my sales career, was how am I going to differentiate myself versus just picking up the phone and dialing or emailing or knocking on the door. Like, what can I really do to drive that relationship so that they know I don’t just care about getting business from them, I actually care about them and what’s most important to them. And I will argue, 99% of the time, if somebody has family, they will [00:39:00] say that their family is probably one of the most important things to them. So why not invest in them and their family?
Brad Burrow: Yeah. That’s, that’s awesome. Okay, so let’s switch gears a little
Mitch Case: Bit. All right. Let’s do
Brad Burrow: It. That’s awesome. Again, more than a meal co.com. Yes.
Mitch Case: Make sure I got that. I’m working on that other website, but it is expensive to buy websites sometimes. Oh
Brad Burrow: My gosh. Yeah. Another, another podcast there. Yes. But, uh, anyway, go online and check it out. Um, so I don’t know how you have time to do all this. S Mitch, I mean, you must be going a hundred miles an hour, but tell me a little bit about Pickup KC [00:39:30] and, uh, you know, I used to, when I was younger, I played basketball three times a week and I loved it. Yeah. Um, I’ve gotten older and, you know, bad legs and all ankles and all that stuff, but, uh, I love what you’re doing with that. So tell us about that.
Mitch Case: Uh, that was an accident that turned into something that brings me a ton of joy from a selfish standpoint, but has also provided a lot of amazing opportunities for individuals in Kansas City. So in my previous career, I would take people out to lunch to, you know, do [00:40:00] the wine and dining type thing. And I recognized, um, when I invite one individual from a team, all of a sudden, like 10 of their team members would show up and I wouldn’t get to know the individual one-on-one. And it just, it created a lot of surface level conversations. It also just like, I’m the outsider at that point. So their team has their conversations and, uh, the relationship wasn’t furthered. And as a 100% commission salesperson, like, I need to get something’s. Yeah. I need to get something outta this. Yeah. So I, I kind of, [00:40:30] not angrily told them, but said, Hey, I can’t take you guys out to launch and do this kind of stuff with a $300 tab at the end of the day. I don’t want to go out drinking after hours or anything along those lines. So what’s something else that you guys would do that we can get together and, and, and hang out? And a couple of ’em said, let’s go play some pickup basketball at this point. Really?
Brad Burrow: That’s amazing.
Mitch Case: I haven’t touched a basketball in 10 years. I’m like, well, all right. Cost me $25 to Soren Accord at Matt Ross Half court. Yes. At Matt, Matt Ross. [00:41:00] And we played two V two for probably about four months. And the relationship changed from, Hey, what are you working on that I might be able to help you with? To, Hey, how was your son’s swim meet last night? And the business just naturally flowed. Yeah. And that’s where I was like, man, this is really like, I’m having a blast. I’m getting exercise, I’m creating relationships and I’m getting paid to do this Yeah. When the business comes through. So I quickly opened it up to anybody and everybody in construction and real estate, which was primarily [00:41:30] the industries that I worked in, uh, worked for a company that was, uh, very willing to sponsor it and cover costs and all that kind of stuff.
Mitch Case: And very quickly grew to about two courts. And, uh, you know, that’s when we started recognizing the, the real power of it. So when the pandemic hit, I’m still working at that company. Uh, we took a survey and I asked him two questions. I said, what’s the most unexpected thing that you’ve gotten out of pickup kc? Which at the time it was called Friday Morning Hoops. And if you have done business [00:42:00] directly with anybody inside pickup kc, how much have you done? Roughly the number one unexpected thing was not genuine relationships, but genuine friendships. So that really like fed my soul and my heart in the sense that I was able to help with that. And then as far as how much business had been conducted, it was just shy of a million dollars worth of business. Wow. Now, now keep in mind it’s construction.
Mitch Case: So, you know, a small project is 200,000. Yeah. So there wasn’t a large quantity of things, but the dollar value [00:42:30] was inside of that. And that was, that was really, really empowering to me. When I left that organization. Um, this was something that I really wanted to carry on. So I was able to kind of take that with me. And that’s when I went from Friday morning to pick up kc, we opened it to anybody and everybody, and we still, every single Friday morning when we get out there and play, I tell ’em, Hey, this is a social and networking event. First. We just happened to play basketball. There’s no scouts. We’re all haz mens, one of bees, most of us have some sort of brace on. Yeah. [00:43:00] And we’re all like, dying for water. And probably a couple people finding a trashcan in between games. <laugh> like, yeah. You can’t take the, uh, the competitive athlete out of you. Uh, even if you get older and older and the hurt it, it’s still there. So Yeah. Uh, today we, we, you know, last week we actually had a record of 50 individuals that are out there running five courts, and
Brad Burrow: It’s really picking up right now, isn’t it? I mean, it’s really, no pun intended. Yeah.
Mitch Case: <laugh>. Yeah. It’s really hitting some stride. Yeah. And there’s some, some exciting things that are kind of [00:43:30] in the works, uh, behind the scenes that were considering from an experience. Some
Brad Burrow: Sponsors and stuff that are behind it. Yeah.
Mitch Case: So we have some sponsors. Um, you know, people are willing to pay seven bucks to come out and play on a Friday morning. And, you know, one of the things I always really wanted with it was, you know, obviously it was the networking side, but the reason that it really worked for me is that I was a, a new dad. I can’t commit to all those Tuesday night leagues Yes. That I used to be able to do, but I can commit an occasional Friday morning. And that’s where I really found, [00:44:00] uh, a lot of power in this, is that some of the people that come out, they just, they’re too busy and they just wanna catch a random Friday that they can, one of the best things I did was partner with a good friend of mine, Luke Wade, who owns KC Crew. So we get to utilize, um, Hy-Vee Arena because they, they work out of there. So we have early access to it. We have relationships that they’ve already built and systems that we get to just kind of leverage. And then I get to go out there and, uh, create and build a community. And now, you know, it’s, it’s grown more than I ever thought it would.
Brad Burrow: I mean, [00:44:30] that could be scaled. I mean, you could do that in other cities and stuff, I guess if you wanted to. Huh?
Mitch Case: I don’t wanna tell you too much. <laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>. Okay. We’ll keep that. I, I stay focused on, uh, certain things. Yeah. But there’s definitely some, uh, some stuff in the air right now. Opportunities
Brad Burrow: Are there. Yeah. Um, how would somebody get involved in that? Let’s say I wanted to come and play.
Mitch Case: Yeah. Uh, again, finding me on LinkedIn as a, as a way, but I always redirect everybody to go to the website. Pick up kc.com. Okay. Yep. You can get signed up there.
Brad Burrow: Pick kc.com. Yeah. Well, let’s go ahead and wrap up. Uh, I, I [00:45:00] really appreciate, uh, what you’re doing. I mean, you’re a, a true entrepreneur and that’s, that’s pretty cool.
Mitch Case: I, I appreciate that. As, as much as it can be painful on days. Yeah. Um, yeah. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do what we get to do.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. Well, good luck with everything moving forward. I think there’s a lot of great, uh, upside in what you’re doing.
Mitch Case: Thank you. I really
Brad Burrow: Appreciate that. And, and if somebody was gonna refer, just refer ’em to the website.
Mitch Case: Yeah. Refer ’em to the website, that would be, uh, ideal. Um, otherwise just find me on [00:45:30] LinkedIn and, and we can go
Brad Burrow: That route. Tell us your LinkedIn. Do you know that your LinkedIn address?
Mitch Case: It’s Mitch case, I think it’s just Mitch case. Yeah. Um,
Brad Burrow: They can find you. Yeah.
Mitch Case: I don’t know the actual link to that, but Okay. I’ll be out there.
Brad Burrow: All right. So we’re at the end here. And, and now is your opportunity to audition as a voice talent. And so what we need you to do is do the inner world with real media. And I’ll just give you a quick tip. You just gotta get really close. Okay. And you gotta do it in that low movie
Mitch Case: Voice, that deep inner
Brad Burrow: World.
Brad Burrow: So there you go.
Mitch Case: [00:46:00] Inner world with real media.
Brad Burrow: Wow. That was pretty good.
Mitch Case: All right. <laugh>.
Brad Burrow: All right. That’s Mitch case. Thanks. Thanks for joining
Mitch Case: Us, Mitch.
Brad Burrow: I really appreciate it. I love this. It’s the Inner World with Real Media podcast. And, uh, be sure to, to share this. Um, please, hopefully, uh, you’ll share it too. But, uh, oh, of course, if you’re listening, uh, share it, uh, on your profiles, uh, on all of your social media profiles. And, and, uh, if you know anybody you’d like to be on our podcast, let let me know. [00:46:30] I’m, uh, I’m on LinkedIn too, so I got
Mitch Case: Some people for you.
Brad Burrow: All right. Awesome. Thank you
Mitch Case: Guys. Thank you.
OUTRO: This has been In A World with Real Media. Thanks for joining us. And be sure to subscribe on iTunes and follow Real Media on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. So you never miss an episode.