Kroger-Owned Home Chef and 84.51 Set Sights on New Headquarters
- by Maggie Mead
CHICAGO, IL - As the popularity of meal kits continues to rise, expansion and innovation are the next logical step. At least, it is for Kroger-owned meal kit company Home Chef, who recently announced plans to move its headquarters into the redeveloped Old Post Office in Chicago. The move will take place later in 2019, with hopes that the new location will accommodate further team growth. Home Chef will use the new 75,000-square-foot space to accelerate growth and innovation, develop new products, and expand the availability of current meal solutions. Joining Home Chef in the Old Post Office will be 84.51°, a Kroger-owned marketing agency that will occupy 57,000 square-feet of the new space.
"The growth we are seeing in both our e-commerce and retail channels has led to expansion in all areas of the business," said Patrick Sullivan, CFO of Home Chef. "It's important to us to have a space where we can continue to attract and retain top talent, while always remaining focused on our core commitment to our customers. We aim to deliver the best possible experience to anyone who wants an easy, convenient, and delicious answer to the dinner-time dilemma."
Delivering over 3.5 million meals per month, Home Chef is a major player among meal kit providers, and, according to the press release, was rated the top meal kit in customer satisfaction for two consecutive years. Following its $200 million acquisition by Kroger in 2018, Home Chef kits are available in more than 700 Kroger locations in the U.S., and plans are already underway to continue to grow its retail footprint in 2019.
"We're looking forward to bringing our whole corporate team back under one roof," said Sullivan. "As we are growing, we are identifying more opportunities to work cross functionally and believe that the Old Post Office, steeped in Chicago history, is the right space for us to do that."
Home Chef’s current Chicago headquarters in the Wrigley Building, satellite offices for the culinary and customer service teams, and state-of-the-art distribution center in Bedford Park, IL, house over 750 employees. There are even more Home Chef employees operating out of the company’s distribution centers in San Bernardino, CA, and Atlanta, GA, both of which opened in 2016.
"With our thriving tech and business communities, the State of Illinois is the proud home of countless entrepreneurs and startups, and we're thrilled to have Home Chef among the companies founded and growing roots here," said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. "Innovators know that our top talent, world-class universities, and transit systems make us highly competitive and will support the growth of their businesses and our entire economy. As a businessman, I'm excited to see businesses grow, and we're excited for Home Chef's future in Illinois."
Home Chef got its start in 2013, when Founder and CEO Pat Vihtelic wanted to find a better way to get a delicious, healthy dinner on the table after working long hours. Founded in Chicago, Home Chef’s love affair with the city is still going strong.
"Chicago has become a real hub for technology and marketing with the arrival of some of the world's most innovative companies over the past few years," said Vihtelic. "It's also an incredible food city, full of inspiration and talent at every level and across every function. We are proud of our own history in Chicago and with an ambitious growth and expansion plan this year, we look forward to continued success at our new headquarters."
Chicago, it seems, is as happy to house the company’s headquarters as Home Chef is to be there.
"The Old Post Office is no longer just a vacant relic of Chicago's past, it is the new home of thriving companies that are contributing to our city's future," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "We are proud to welcome Home Chef to the growing list of organizations putting down new roots in the Old Post Office."
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