“CEO’s You Should Know” Podcast Features MightyMeals Chef Stefano Marzano
By: Christine Bean
MightyMeals Executive Chef & Co-Founder, Stefano Marzano, was recently featured on 97.1 WASH-FM’s podcast, “CEO’s You Should Know,” (presented by M&T Bank & powered by iHeart Radio). It’s a weekly program highlighting business owners in the DMV community in an effort to support the economy in the DC Metro area. Stefano discussed how MightyMeals began, what differentiates them from their competitors, and how the Covid pandemic allowed MightyMeals to focus on expanding and giving back to the local community.
Officially launching over Labor Day weekend 2015, MightyMeals has grown from just three employees–founders Stefano Marzano, Dan Graziano, and Alex Lebonitte–to approximately 80 employees today. For the first two years, the three owners worked crazy hours doing everything themselves start-to-finish, from events, sourcing, and shopping, to cooking, packaging, and delivering. Working off-hours in Stefano’s dad’s restaurant kitchen, they’d start cooking at 10 p.m., finish-up around 7 a.m., and hop in the car to deliver the freshly-made meals to their customers before taking a nap and doing it all over again. After about 18 months, Stefano’s dad politely said they had overstayed their welcome. Little did Stefano know, Dan and Alex had already found a small commissary kitchen that they had hid from him for a while, thinking he wasn’t going to like it. But he saw the potential, and they were soon able to hire their first two employees. Putting their nose to the grindstone, they worked hard and showed-up to as many events as possible to grow the MightyMeals brand. It began to grow rapidly, and a few years later, they had the opportunity to expand by renting an adjacent, larger, commercial kitchen.
Currently, the team is almost at capacity at their 2,800 square foot facility and wrapping-up negotiations on a new space to be able to expand even further. They are hoping to begin shipping MightyMeals up and down the Eastern Seaboard and as far west as Chicago.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Stefano was a little nervous about what was going to happen and how MightyMeals may be affected. A lot of companies pulled-back, but MightyMeals did the exact opposite by powering-through and setting themselves up well for expansion in 2022.
When COVID-19 started, they also took the opportunity to get involved with the community by starting The Mighty Movement. The movement began in the early days of the COVID pandemic to support fellow Washington, DC and DMV area small businesses. Customers could purchase a gift card to a local restaurant and earn triple MightyMeals’ points. MightyMeals also was instrumental in helping out the medical community by choosing a different local hospital each week and dropping off hundreds of MightyMeals to feed the hard-working doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. Stefano, Dan, and Alex also felt compelled to partner with a local charity, Real Food for Kids, and have donated tens of thousands of meals to them throughout the past 18 months. There are so many people struggling right in our own backyard, and MightyMeals is honored to provide healthy meals to families in need.
Stefano is proud that MightyMeals has several features that set them apart from their competitors. With an a la carte ordering style, you can pick and choose whatever you want off the menu without being tied to any minimums. You can order one meal or one hundred meals, it is totally up to you. Do you have dietary restrictions or specific foods you are trying to avoid? No problem. You can select filters such as vegan, low carb, gluten-free, and more, and options will populate for you that fit within your preferences. MightyMeals delivers four times per week and just launched a state-of-the-art delivery tracking system. You’ll get a text the morning of your delivery with an hour window of when your food will arrive at your door.
MightyMeals takes freshness to a whole new level! Another key feature that sets MightyMeals apart from the rest is that everything is done in-house from start to finish, from sourcing, prepping, cooking to packaging and delivering; nothing is outsourced. MightyMeals’ quality control is second-to-none to ensure the freshness of each and every meal.
When Chef Stefano isn’t cooking, he’s hosting dinner parties for friends and loves to socialize and entertain. An outdoorsman, Stefano enjoys the water, boating, and cars. Something most people don’t know about Stefano is that he actually dropped-out of culinary school after hearing his teacher say, “If you want to make money, this isn’t the industry to be in.” He respectfully disagrees and believes that if you are passionate about something and go all-in, the money will follow. Stefano has no regrets, believes everything happens for a reason, and realizes that MightyMeals may have never come to fruition if he hadn’t made that decision.
If you haven’t tried MightyMeals, check us out at eatmightymeals.com use code MEAL100 to get $25 off your first 4 orders!
Listen to the full podcast at CEO’s You Should Know and follow along with Chef Stefano on Instagram!