From a young age, Carlos Ventura always had an entrepreneurial mindset. This innate drive has led him to great achievements. As the first college graduate in his family, he landed a job on Wall Street and eventually moved on to work as an investment banker in London for Goldman Sachs. Most recently, Carlos returned home to Rhode Island to be the CEO of Feast & Fettle, a meal delivery service specializing in chef-created dinners prepared with wholesome ingredients for busy families and professionals.
Feast & Fettle is the brainchild of Executive Chef and Founder, Maggie Mulvena. Prior to launching the business, she worked as a nanny where word of her enticing dishes began to spread among neighbors. The positive reaction that her food received led her to launch Feast & Fettle in 2016 with just 10 members. Fast forward to 2018, the business now caters to over 120 families across the state.
What differentiates Feast & Fettle from other meal-delivery services? For starters, there is absolutely no cooking involved. Ingredients are locally sourced and meals are freshly prepared from scratch. “We aim to change the way that people think about meal delivery,” says Ventura. “We are not a meal kit and we are not takeout. We pride ourselves on providing families with high quality meals delivered directly to your door.” Ventura says that their customers tend to be dual-professional households who find true value in time and convenience yet are unwilling to sacrifice quality. “Feast & Fettle allows people to sit down and simply enjoy dinner time with their family.”
Carlos knew that he’d be taking a risk making the career switch from banking to entrepreneurship, but after nearly a year with the company, he believes it’s been a risk worth taking. “When I would come home from work as a banker, I was left feeling unsatisfied. Now there is much more gratification because I wake up everyday driven about our business and vision.” Ventura says that as an entrepreneur it is essential to have a passion for what you do. “You can’t just jump into something that’s trendy. You have to have a fundamental reason for why you are doing the work you do because you’ll ultimately get bored and move onto the next thing. So follow that one thing that motivates you to keep going.”
Philanthropy is another driving force for Ventura. “At Feast & Fettle, the long-term vision of our business is to give back.” The team’s passion for philanthropic solutions is ultimately what led them to work with SEG. “We will be working directly with a local charity in the very near future,” says Ventura. The ability to give back through Feast & Fettle is what pushes our team further.”
Feast & Fettle is on its way to ensuring the longevity of their philanthropic reach. For the past two years they’ve served hundreds of families using the commercial kitchen space at the Hope & Main food incubator in Warren, RI. Now, they are ready to expand into their own commercial kitchen space. “We’re bursting at the seams,” says Ventura. “This new kitchen will allow us to provide jobs for more Rhode Islanders, grow the business to at least 3-4 times its current size, and expand into Massachusetts. Additionally, through this kitchen we’ll be able to test and prove our operating model that will later be replicated for geographic expansion.”
In order to reach this goal, Feast & Fettle launched a crowdfunding campaign in August. “We love that crowdfunding really democratizes the investment process making it accessible to everybody,” says Ventura. To date, the campaign has already raised over $44,000, more than 90% of their minimum goal of $50,000! The team is accepting investments up to their maximum raise of $250,000, which will allow them to accelerate their growth plans.
To invest in Feast & Fettle for as little as $100, you can head to MicroVentures or Indiegogo. Make sure you’re following their social media to stay up to date on their latest news: @feastandfettle
Speaking of expansions, we hear that the kitchen is not the only new addition to the Feast & Fettle family; congratulations to Maggie on her bundle of joy! We are all so happy for you here at SEG!
Zara Salmon, Communications Coordinator
Zara is a 2018 graduate of Wheaton College where her majors were English and Political Science. During her junior year, she went abroad to Senegal, Italy, and China to study African migration and entrepreneurship. It was through this experience that she fell in love with the field of social entrepreneurship. As the Communications Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA, she will be working alongside the wonderful Crystal Rosatti helping to build and maintain SEG’s relationships with universities, organizations, and other institutions across the state.