• AsianAveMag

saranyacooksthai delivers meal kits to your home for quarantine cooking

A local company is offering culinary delights of southeast Asia through a box—a box of delicious ingredients to cook an authentic Thai meal.


Delivered fresh to your doorstep, saranyacooksthai meal kit is an ideal way to cook from scratch a home-made Asian meal.


Sole proprietor Zonya Saranya Dawson, native of Thailand, created a small business to marry her passions of serving the immigrant/refugee families and connecting with them in a cultural melting pot of services.Dawson prepares six different recipes monthly.


The meal kit industry is showing an uptick of rising figures. This year, customers spent $100 million on meal kits for the month ending April 11, which doubled in sales compared to the same period in 2019, according to Nielsen data.

The Gift of Food

Tied in a pretty, red ribbon, opening the 9 x 13-inch box felt like Christmas. All the ingredients were identified clearly. Inside the box contained a recipe card with the ingredients and cooking steps listed. At the bottom of the card, showed a “Notes” section for suggestions on alternatives for those who follow a strict vegetarian or gluten-free diet.


Simple and Easy to Make

Step by step and line by line, the recipe card walks a home chef through the whole process. All the ingredients in the box is labeled, making it easy to follow the instructions.


Home deliveries are within the radius of metropolitan Denver, Fort Collins and Loveland areas. Just follow the online instructions on selecting the recipe kit by weekly deadline so you can receive on the right delivery dates.

Shelf Life

If home cooks are not prepared to cook the day of delivery, just open the box, take out the fresh ingredients to refrigerate them properly so it won’t get spoiled. Other ingredients could be stored in a pantry or kitchen counter inside the delivered box. These ingredients could include the spices and canned goods, normally stored in food pantry.


Serving Size

On the recipe, it indicated the meal could serve up to four diners or a typical family of four. But the portion of ingredients were generous in size so all diners could have second helpings.

The kit offers al ingredients except for a protein such as chicken, beef or pork. Vegetarian options include suggestions of tofu, potatoes or cauliflower.


Quarantined at Home

Before COVID-19, competitors such as Blue Apron or HelloFresh were struggling to maintain regular customers. The pandemic has increased a surge of business during quarantine times.

Mentioned earlier, these companies are going booming in sales. Industry reports shared the meal kit industry hit more than $5 billion dollars.


Then, COVID’s Stay-At-Home orders forced potential customers to look for other solutions of buying groceries in person. saranyacooksthai is following CDC guidelines, such as sanitizing, social distancing and contactless delivery.


For more information on recipe kits, prices and saranyacooksthai, visit their website at saranyacooksthai.com. or follow on social media @saranyacooksthai.


About Zonya Dawson | Owner of saranyacooksthai

How that being Thai has influenced your interest in food/cooking?

I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to the US when I was 14. My mother is Thai, of Laotian and Indonesian descent, and my father is Canadian. Growing up in Thailand I was always surrounded by fresh and delicious food. There was never a time that my mother, grandmother, and aunts were not cooking up something amazing. My mother is a trained chef who specialized in Thai cuisine so luckily after moving to the US, I was still able to have authentic Thai cooking.


It wasn’t until after my parents moved back to Thailand that I had to “fend for myself” and that was how I got into cooking. I never had any interest in cooking, but when you crave food that is not available at local restaurants, you have to cook for yourself. That was when I started calling my mom and asking for her recipes and cooking for myself and my friends.


Being biracial, I never felt like I could fully embrace any of my cultures. I wasn’t “enough” of anything. Through my relationship with food, though sometimes complicated, I have learned more about my ancestors, my history, and myself.


I encourage anyone who is struggling with a similar problem, or anyone who would like to learn more about other cultures to start with food. Cooking the food, eating the food, and by speaking to folks from other cultures even if the conversation starts around food it will inevitably lead to many very interesting conversations.


When did saranyacooksthai begin?

Last year, I officially started the catering portion of saranyacooksthai. It was mostly for in-home private dining, where I got to introduce authentic Thai cuisines in people’s homes, while also teaching them tips and tricks about cooking.


When the pandemic started and lockdown policies were in place in early March of 2020, I knew I couldn’t sustain or keep alive my initial business model.


I still had the passion within me to share authentic Thai cooking with others, but I knew it had to be a “pandemic friendly way” meaning I couldn’t be in someone’s home and we couldn’t interact face to face.


The kits idea came to me in the third week of March. I got to work on the website and social media, completely shifting my business model and I delivered my first meal kit box on May 8. After this shift, I have felt so grateful for the great feedback from the Colorado community.


What I hope is that after the pandemic and restrictions ease up, people will see that it is a convenient way to explore Thai cuisine; I do all the shopping, drive all over the Denver metro area to not only get the most authentic ingredients, but the highest quality as well. The kits are delivered to their front porch with all ingredients needed and a recipe to guide them through the cooking process.


In the future, I hope to ship nationwide and introduce other Asian cuisines through my partnership with other young chefs hoping to share their love of cooking and passion for their heritage.


Any cooking tips?

For anyone new to cooking and/or Thai cooking, I give you the advice my mom gave me:

1. Taste everything multiple times.

2. Don’t be afraid to add more of something or take away something else if it’s not suitable to your palate.

3. Hot oil will splatter, but you will survive.

4. Like with anything else in life, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

One extra tip for Thai cooking specifically: take time to learn about the products you are using. Smell every herb, and go out of your way to make sure you’re getting the authentic ingredients. No shortcuts.


How can people make a charitable donation through saranyacooksthai?

Simply put, with every kit purchased, one box filled with culturally relevant ingredients (e.g. fish sauce, shrimp paste, rice noodles, bitter melon, etc.) with vegetarian, vegan, and halal options will be distributed to an immigrant or refugee family/individual experiencing food insecurity.


Folks can also make extra donations at check out and every penny of the extra donations goes to creating and delivering more food boxes. As of today, saranyacooksthai has over 80 food boxes in the pipeline ready to be distributed.


Culturally relevant food boxes are important for many reasons, including:

• Those who rely on food assistance programs often focus on necessities that are limited by the program itself.

• A lot of immigrant communities have additional barriers to accessing food assistance benefits.

• Food banks rarely offer culturally relevant selections.

• Most food boxes that families have access to, usually consist of canned foods donated by the public, which often are the “rejects” from the back of their cabinets.

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