Tired of takeout, tech exec Ian Costello and his colleague Alan Clifford started Galley Foods in 2014 as a healthy alternative to food delivery standards like pizza and wings. Today, Galley cooks and delivers fresh, healthy meals within 30 minutes to households across the DMV. And with prices under $14 a serving (including tax, delivery, and tip), Galley’s meals are also a bargain. Ian, however, isn’t just a entrepreneur. He’s also a D.C.-based dad of two. Here, Ian shares more about Galley’s family-friendly offerings as well as his own crew’s picks for food and fun.
Galley is known for its healthy, locally-produced meals. What is the process for turning a meal idea into a doorstop-delivered dish?
I like the phrase “doorstop-delivered dish!” I’m happy to answer, but I also give full credit for our menu to our phenomenal Food Director and her amazing team of sous chefs. The team is always–always–trying out new meal ideas and introducing them to our menu. One of the great things about having a menu that changes on a daily basis is it allows us to be creative and try new things. For example, just this week we’re introducing dishes like strawberry and mango salmon, balsamic glazed steak with caramelized onions, and a summer lemon verde snapper. Every time our customers order from Galley, we ask them for feedback about the meal, and then we read every one of these comments. In this way, we’re able to adapt very quickly to our customers’ tastes, likes, and dislikes!
You co-founded Galley as a tech executive. Now, you’re a husband and father, too. Have these changes influenced Galley’s offerings?
Now I’m even more appreciative of something – anything! – that gives back some time during the day. When it was just my fiancé and I, a busy work schedule often meant eating dinner out many times per week. Now that we have two kids, we’re less likely to use restaurants as our primary dinner answer. Galley helps hugely with this. Recently, Galley launched a program for parents to order kids’ lunch boxes with their dinner delivery. Instead of pulling all sorts of food out of the fridge – you already have a packaged, healthy lunch ready to go for school, camp, or other outings. It’s just one more way Galley can give busy parents a few minutes back at a crucial time.
When the six o’clock dinner scramble happens at your house, what Galley meal is most likely to come to the rescue?
As my son says when I get home (if he’s not melting down at the moment): “Dad’s home from work… And he brought Galley again!” We definitely have our favorites, but part of the fun is trying lots of different dishes from Galley. Since our menu has different options each day, and reflects the best seasonal ingredients, we’re more likely to try something we haven’t before. That said, you asked for favorites. My three-year-old Eric’s favorite is probably the chicken quesadillas, though he also likes the forbidden rice with salmon. Mine is the lamb bolognese during colder months or seared steak over penne in the summer. My wife’s favorite is probably the chicken pot pie. And we ALL love the Galley seared green beans a ton!
It’s the weekend! Where are some of your favorite spots for family-friendly fun?
When we’re in town, weekend mornings are for catching our breath a bit. We always start the day at The Coffee Bar for coffee and bagels. Lately, we’re at DC Super Soccer Stars on Saturday mornings, which has a great program with wonderful coaches, and is a fun way to start the weekend for the whole family (followed usually by brunch somewhere). We also spend time playground-hopping around the neighborhood, from Garrison Elementary to Harrison Recreation Center to Westminster Playground (those last two have splash features for the summer!). Like Dad, my son is also into golf, so we’ll head to East Potomac Park and have lunch while hitting balls at the range. If we’re going out for dinner, we will usually be at two favorites right in our 14th Street neighborhood: Matchbox or The BBQ Joint.
Your family now includes a newborn. What’s the one piece of advice you would give to local expecting parents?
My wife will laugh when she reads this question! A lot of times having a newborn can feel like survival-mode. We’re keeping the two kids fed and happy while making sure not to go (too) crazy ourselves. The one thing I would tell someone in a similar situation is that, while it can be tempting to be homebound, for us getting out of the house is important and helps keep us ‘balanced.’ Even if it’s going around the block for frozen yogurt or to the local playground, keeping active has been something strive to maintain, with Ryan, our 1-month-old, in tow.
What is your favorite thing about being a parent in DC?
My wife and I love DC. We both went to college here and moved back about 6 years ago. Since then, the city has slowly, but definitely, become “home.” We love the number of activities going on in the city on a weekly and daily basis. One aspect we’ve learned since becoming parents is how much open space is accessible within the city. Innumerable parks, the National Mall, the National Arboretum, and the Georgetown Waterfront are great places for kids to run, play, and become exposed to the sights, sounds and people of this city. Last but not least, we love that DC has so much around the city! Many weekend mornings, we’ll jump in the car for a daytrip to explore the area. Some favorites are the Eastern Shore, Annapolis, Williamsburg, Virginia Wine Country, and Shenandoah Park. Next up – Baltimore’s National Aquarium!
Ian and Galley want more families to have the chance to try out their meals. That’s why they are offering Red Tricycle readers a special discount! Enter the code RedTri at online checkout to receive $10 off your first order.
Have you tried Galley? Tell us about it in the comments section.