Despite working in product design, Dan Goodwin was always among the first called to cook at a tailgate outside a big game.
“I used to go down to Patriots games and cook all the food for people down there,” Goodwin says. “Backyard parties turned into larger-than-backyard parties. People would tell me: ‘You should do this full-time.’”
For a long time Goodwin dismissed those suggestions, but after enough prodding he decided to make a leap.
“People who knew my passion for food were really excited,” Goodwin says. “But people who weren’t as familiar thought I was taking a big risk.”
Goodwin says he’s never been one to shy away from risks, and loved the idea of being hands-on with every aspect of his new venture, Mass Provisions, which launched in May 2017.
Customers choose from an online, fixed menu of prepared, frozen meals. They’re delivered ready to be tossed in an oven or onto the stove and eaten.
Mass Provisions fills a different niche than many other food delivery options commonly available, according to Goodwin. He explains that it exists somewhere in between food delivery and meal-kit subscriptions.
“There is some preparation that’s required of people, even if it’s just putting it in the oven or in a pot,” Goodwin says.
Goodwin explains that his work in design allowed him to understand customers’ needs and translate those needs into simple and streamlined solutions. He puts those skills to use every day while running Mass Provisions.
Goodwin carried over some tricks from his tailgate food into Mass Provisions: most notably, his penchant for smoked foods.
“I’m a big believer in using smoke as a flavor enhancer, indirect heat,” Goodwin says. “We’re doing things that you might not do at home because of the time that it might take.” A smoked dish could take eight hours to prepare, he says.
Smoking is a common theme that runs through all of the options available, from whole smoked chickens and wings to chilis and pot pies that include smoked meats.
Goodwin explained that the core recipes will remain even as new items are added so that he can focus on quality.
“We’re a small operation. I don’t want to be offering 30 things that are average.” Goodwin says. “I would rather have six or eight things that are incredible.”
This story appears in the Food, Glorious Food! issue of Scout Somerville, which is available for free at more than 220 drop spots throughout Somerville (and just beyond its borders) or by subscription.
Like what you’re reading? Consider supporting Scout on Patreon!