Though his background is in technology, Patrick Smith’s venture into the food industry was every bit intentional—literally.
“It was really me trying to eat intentionally and eat a restricted diet, and learning how hard that was to do and how boring it got when I was trying to do it myself,” says Smith, an Arlington resident who was eating paleo at the time. “Depending on what studies you look at, 35-40 percent of American adults are a member of a food tribe. There are lots of small groups, but in aggregate it’s a massive group for the U.S., and it is really underserved by mainstream options.”
By food tribes, Smith is referring to groups of people who follow a specific diet; vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto, paleo, Mediterranean and Whole30, for example. All of these—plus plans for new and expecting moms and “mixitarians,” who are less restrictive but still want to eat healthily, among others—are served by Smith’s Alexandria-based personalized nutrition service, Territory. Territory began as Power Supply in 2011, but rebranded in 2017 after being conflated with performance athletes. The reason behind that association? Territory’s unique business model.
“Our whole model is not just local chefs, but it’s also local suppliers and distributors,” says Smith, who explains that users can either have meals delivered or pick them up from a variety of area gyms, studios and health clubs including Capital MMA in Alexandria and Sterling, BIO Crossfit West in Fredericksburg, Action Fitness in Fairfax and Ballston CrossFit. “Local flavor profiles, local seasonality, local ingredients; in every place you touch on it, there is a really local element to this.”
Because of this local focus, the weekly menu for Territory’s Metro-D.C. area won’t match that of Territory’s other markets covering the San Francisco Bay, Dallas- Fort Worth and Southern California. Menus rotate every five weeks, and ingredients for each dish come from regional suppliers, like Logan’s Sausage Company in Alexandria. Chefs from each area collaborate with a nutritionist or dietician to come up with healthy, seasonal meals that are focused on whole foods, have no gluten or refined sugars and contain antibiotic-, hormone- and steroid-free animal proteins. The dishes, which are made in the chefs’ own kitchens, then undergo a rigorous three-to-five-round taste test.
“We take ratings and reviews very, very seriously. It helps us understand which meals are the stars, but also it really helps us to understand what each individual customer likes and dislikes,” says Smith. “Because food is very individual, we have a lot of data science that really uses those ratings and reviews to customize. This is personalization in two different dimensions; it’s personalization based on individuals’ diets, but it’s also personalization based on taste.”
For fall, be on the lookout for meals that feature pumpkin, sweet potatoes, an apple barbecue pork and thyme turkey meatballs, plus holiday-themed offerings.// territoryfoods.com
Territory meals can be purchased individually or in bulk and are available in the following
Boost: 250-450 calories for $9.99 each
Standard: 400-650 calories for $12.95 each
XL: 550-850 calories for $15.95 each
For those wanting multiple Territory meals each week, there are three package options: early week, late week or every weekday.