How Miss Rachel’s Pantry pivoted to provide meal-kits to South Philly amid the pandemic
The vegan spot had to adjust quickly from being a storefront to giving customers that in-restaurant feel at home.
Rachel Klein’s family wasn’t all that surprised when she told them she wanted to open her own restaurant.
Her grandparents used to own a luncheonette in Center City during the 50s.
“My family told me it was going to be hard work, said Klein.
But that didn’t stop her from opening Miss Rachel’s Pantry, located in South Philly.
In the process, Klein and her operations manager, Caitlin Cocco, managed to create a healthy vegan-based eatery for locals.
But her spot made a drastic change amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We used to have a restaurant,” said Klein.
Her services also included catering, but that also became nonexistent due to the pandemic.
Before, Klein would have available dates up on her website for customers to come in with everything baked and paid for ahead of time.
“This created a really nice atmosphere where people would have a nice dinner Friday and Saturday nights,” she said.
As COVID-19 cases spiked, Klein had to adjust quickly.
“We have switched entirely to a meal service where we prepare Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, on Wednesdays our customers pick up our meals or get delivery,” said Klein.
On Thursdays, they prepare again, but the selection is more high-end for the weekend. When thinking back on the success of the shift, Cocco pointed to the team for the quick adjustment.
“We are so proud of our small team for adapting so quickly to the circumstances,” she said.
Along with her small team staying intact, loyal customers have also stayed along the way, but the pool has also grown with new services.
“We also have so many new customers,” said Cocco.
On top of adapting to a new reality, Klein and her staff have also been developing new menus every Thursday to ensure customer satisfaction.
“We do have such regular customers, we want to make sure that they have variety and not get burned out with our food,” she said.
Her restaurant continues to offer vegan comfort food, especially during a time where people need comfort and familiarity.
“Some people’s comfort food is mac and cheese, some love a pasta bake, so we make sure we definitely rotate,” she said.
The meals also contain instructions on how to plate the food nicely to mimic the restaurant feel during a period where not many ventured out to them.
They are also made to last.
“You don’t have to eat the food on that day, you can also eat it throughout the week,” she said.
Klein’s future goal now is to open her doors once COVID-19 restrictions start to ease up.
“We want to do private parties, but we want to make sure that we are safe and so are our customers,” she said.
Until then, Klein is offering up some seitan sloppy joes with a cheese topping
She is also serving her well-known mac and cheese that all her customers love.
Check out Miss Rachel’s Pantry’s weekly specials, and make sure to order a fancy Friday meal kit to get the weekend started off right.