'808 Meal Prep' Is A Local Pandemic Success Story
The COVID economy has hurt businesses across the state, but some entrepreneurs are still out there, taking chances on starting something new.
The story of 808 Meal Prep begins with a pandemic-era furlough when Amy Graham was sent home from her job as a bartender. Restless, with nothing to do, she began making healthy meals for her husband and his friends, which were an instant hit.
Marketing the meals through social media, Amy and Keigan Graham formally launched the business. They went on to sell more than 70,000 meals between April 2020 and April 2021.
The operation quickly outgrew their home kitchen and they leased a commercial 1,400-square-foot meal prep space on Ala Moana Boulevard, which they shared with a neighboring coffee shop.
808 Meal Prep specializes in healthy and affordable versions of local favorites, such as a keto loco moco with ground turkey, riced cauliflower and keto gravy. The Grahams aimed for a $7 meal with a flat $5 dollar delivery fee, adding to their popularity.
And they’ve already outgrown that Ala Moana kitchen.
This month, the Grahams opened 808 Juice Bar and Grill in Restaurant Row, in a partnership with a nearby bar, The Row Kakaako. By day, their new kitchen will turn out meals and juices for the 808 brand, by night it will be the kitchen for the bar.
They also have their sights on the next market: catering, anticipating that the wedding industry will start to pick up as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Amy Graham says money was tight when they started this adventure, but by doing much of the work themselves they’ve been able to grow and add staff, positioning themselves for the future.