Ian Purkayastha has a problem. His company, Regalis Foods, supplies some of the nation’s top restaurants with high-quality ingredients, such as truffles, rare olive oils, Wagyu steak, and Iberico pork, you know, the stuff you go out to eat because you’re terrified that you’ll ruin it if you attempt to cook it yourself at home. However, most of Regalis’ clients, including Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernadin, have shut down because of the COVID-19 crisis and Purkayastha has lost 99% of his business. And now he has more than $1 million in receivables sitting in his warehouses in New York, Chicago, and Texas. So, like many people in the food industry, he’s rethought his business model and pivoted to shipping fancy groceries directly to consumers. Many of the things he sells are shelf stable, but others are not.
“We’re currently sitting on a few hundred thousand dollars worth of caviar that is set to expire in several months,” Purkayastha told Business Insider. “I know caviar is not something that people are really thinking about now, but we’re going to be in deep s—t if we can’t start selling a lot of caviar to home consumers.” His caviar normally sells for between $35 and $295 per ounce.
Purkayastha had already cut his prices to wholesale level, but he realized he had to create a special deal for the caviar. And so he’s telling customers that if they spend $250 on groceries, he’ll throw in an ounce of caviar for free.
Yes, these are the times we are living in: people are giving caviar away.
Well, with a $250 purchase. But if you look through the Regalis website, you’ll see that’s not that difficult. Just get a couple of racks of Berkshire pork ribs or a few coturnix quail with full plumage and a Winter Black Perigord truffle or maybe a full Black Locust honeycomb and you’re golden.