Florida-based vegan restaurant DaJen Eats Cafe & Creamery recently launched Exclusively Irie: Personal Chef Meals, a vegan meal program to accommodate its customers who are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The new program features a selection of Caribbean-inspired dishes prepared by DaJen Eats owner and chef Jenneil (“Jenn”) Ross, featuring some of the restaurant’s popular dishes, along with brand new recipes exclusive to the meal program.

Customers can choose from 12 dishes, including Jerk Pesto Penne Pasta, Fish N Grits, Hoax Tail Lasagne, Curry Goat and Rice, and Ribs & Mac N Cheese. The frozen meals—which each come with a loaf of bread—are packaged in biodegradable, BPA-free, dishwasher- and microwave-safe reusable green boxes and are offered in two bundle options of seven ($100) or 14 ($180) and can be delivered (free of charge) to any Florida address. The meals can also be purchased in any quantity for in-store pick-up. “The meals have all the Irie flavors we are known for but boasts some combinations you simply cannot get at the store,” Ross told VegNews. “Our best seller Mango Scotch Bonnet Boneless Spare Ribs with Jerk Mac and Cheese can be had nowhere else.” 

Ross initially launched the vegan business as a blog that evolved into cooking classes, and a meal plan, and delivery service. In 2015, Ross parlayed DaJen Eats into a pop-up restaurant before expanding in 2017 to a permanent café inside a Lee Citgo gas station in Orlando, FL. The vegan eatery thrived in the space and Ross further expanded the concept in 2018 into a full-service restaurant in historic Eatonville, FL—which was incorporated in 1887 as one of the country’s first all-black, self-governing towns, a necessity after the emancipation of slaves as local police precincts refused to protect black communities. While the future operations at her restaurant are unclear due to these uncertain times, Ross wants to send a simple message to her customers and everyone going through hardship, “We’ll get through this together, dahling. Be still and breathe.”

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