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Special-needs food delivery: Epicured is for people on restricted diets

October 30, 2019

Even people who are on the most restrictive diets can indulge in gourmet cuisine from Michelin-starred chefs thanks to Epicured, a new subscription meal-delivery service that intends to serve people who suffer from a range of health conditions—including Crohn’s and celiac diseases, CBS News reports.

The startup, which currently is delivering boxes of fresh food on the East Coast, between Boston and Washington, DC, offers low meals that are low in FODMAP carbohydrates (lactose, fructose, fructans, sugar alcohols, and galactans) for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and are gluten-free for those with celiac disease. The food is non-GMO and contains no hormones, preservatives, or antibiotics.

The company’s co-founders, Richard Bennett and Renee Cherkezian, say they are committed to better integrating nutrition and healthcare, so that good-tasting food can be a part of patients’ lives.

“The idea of using nutrition in the healthcare system is something we want to promote not just for what people call chronic disease management but for prevention,” Bennett told CBS News.

Cherkezian said she was inspired by caring for a friend who was undergoing cancer treatment. “I saw the impact nutrition and a healthy diet had on recovery, so I wanted to hone in on my culinary skills,” she said.

She told the network news outlet that she had balanced two gigs—her full-time job as a nurse and an internship with chef David Burke—to gain practical experience before launching Epicured.

The duo, who met as freshman at Georgetown University, say their paths crossed 20 years later after independent careers in finance (Bennett) and nursing (Cherkezian). Their long-term history is part of what makes them good business partners, Bennett said.

“If you don’t have a deep relationship before you get into business together, it’s a yellow flag for me,” he said.

Research contact: @CBSNews