Indie Plate shuts down, cites high costs for meal service startups

    Indie Plate, the Baton Rouge-based meal subscription startup that launched in 2013, has shut down, the company announced in an email to customers.

    As of Wednesday, the company ceased operations “indefinitely,” the email says, citing the tough financial picture for meal kit startups that have proliferated in recent years.

    “The way the numbers worked out ultimately indicated a grim future for Indie Plate,” the email says, adding the company’s business model required large investments in kitchens, warehouses and other expenses. “In the end, we simply were unable to raise the amount needed to sustain our business.”

    Messages seeking comment from co-founders Ben Bartage and Peru Sharma were not immediately returned this morning. The move comes just months after Indie Plate departed from the grocery delivery concept that helped launch the company, moving instead toward its growing dinner-to-door service. At the time, the founders said they did not have the manpower to juggle both services, and said it was easier and more profitable to grow and scale the meal subscription business.

    Last year, the company said it doubled its staff, fully funded a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign and won the PitchBR competition.

    The company originally focused on delivering locally sourced, farm-fresh groceries to customers and expanded its service around a year ago to include the dinner-to-door meal kits and subscriptions. After in influx of customers following the move, Indie Plate announced plans to take the service statewide.

    According to its website, Indie Plate serviced much of East Baton Rouge Parish as well as New Orleans and Metairie.  

    Read the full email.

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