One of the newest companies to relocate to 1776 is PlateDate
, an online personal chef service that soft launched in June of this year. PlateDate was originally headquartered in Baltimore.
"We're really proud that we've been accepted as a member of 1776," says Myranda Stephens, communications manager for PlateDate. "This is huge for us. We can expand quickly and serve the greater Washington, D.C., area."
Riffing on the idea of a kids' playdate, PlateDate facilitates a grown-up get-together. "It's not catering or delivery," she says. "We send a chef to prepare and serve a meal." Chefs bring all ingredients and items necessary for cooking the meal with them and clean up after themselves as well.
Potential diners can browse from 25 different menu options online or can opt for a custom-made meal. Each PlateDate is priced per person, starting at $45 for brunch and capping at around $125 for dinner, depending on the options selected.
"You’re getting a personal chef at your house," Stephens states. "A three-course meal— five-star dining—in your own home."
PlateDate also wants to "keep it local" whenever possible. The company is committed to promoting locally grown produce; a company partner's family owns a farm in King and Queen County, Va." Two of the biggest crops from [the] farm are sweet potatoes and kale, which we've incorporated in several of our menu items," Stephens explains. She also says that the farm-to-table aspect of PlateDate's operation has several investors "strongly interested" in the company.
Currently, PlateDate has more than a dozen personal chefs on board. "It's a fun concept and it offers a lot of flexibility," Stephens explains. "Some [chefs] do have other full-time jobs. [PlateDate] is a fun way to pick up extra cash and…to do what they love to do in a different way. "
PlateDates are available Thursdays through Sundays for brunch and dinner. Stephens says she and Holmes would like to be able to offer PlateDates seven days a week, and that expansion will come as the company's network of personal chefs grows.
"We're always looking for talented chefs," she explains. "Having a system of chefs increases availability [for the consumer], so you're not at the mercy of a single calendar."