The CEO of a supplier that stocks NYC's Michelin-starred restaurants says they're so desperate to sell off their inventory that they're giving away caviar for free

regalis foods ian Purkayastha

Regalis Foods

Regalis Foods founder Ian Purkayastha has dramatically shifted his business model to keep his company afloat.

  • Before the coronavirus outbreak, Regalis Foods supplied some of New York City's fanciest Michelin-starred restaurants, including Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin.
  • Now, with restaurants shut down across the US, the company has pivoted to delivering to home consumers.
  • It's selling most of its products at wholesale prices to get through a stockpile of pricey, perishable food items.
  • For orders of $250, the company has been throwing in an ounce of caviar for free.
  • "We're currently sitting on a few hundred thousand dollars worth of caviar that is set to expire in several months," founder Ian Purkayastha told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In the midst of a global pandemic, most people aren't thinking about caviar.

But Ian Purkayastha can't stop thinking about caviar, because there's hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the gourmet product sitting in his warehouses in New York City, Chicago, and Texas - and he doesn't know how he's going to sell it all.Advertisement

Purkayastha's company, Regalis Foods, was supplying truffles, Wagyu beef, and high-end food items to the country's most prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants, including Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin in New York City, just a few weeks ago. Then, it abruptly lost 99% of its business after restaurants across the US were shut down by government mandate to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

To keep his business afloat, Purkayastha has switched gears and has started selling directly to customers at home, shipping products right to their doors.

Many of his pricey products - like caviar - are perishable, so he needs to sell them before they expire in the coming months.
Advertisement

"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."

caviar

Regalis Foods

Regalis Foods is sometimes throwing in free caviar with customers' orders to get through their stockpile.

When restaurants closed their doors, Regalis Foods was left with more than $1 million in outstanding receivables owed to them, Purkayastha says. Advertisement

To get through the stockpile of caviar they still have in their warehouses, the company has been running promotions where they throw in a free ounce of caviar for every $250 order, "even if we're just basically giving it away," he said.

The caviar Regalis sells on its website costs between $35 and $295 per ounce.

Regalis foods

Provided

When their restaurant customers closed their doors, Regalis Foods was left with more than $1 million in outstanding receivables.

Advertisement

Regalis also sells boxes of mushrooms, wild black truffles, French white asparagus, Australian tiger prawns, live king crabs, Heritage Berkshire Pork, American Wagyu beef, and truffle oil - all FedEx-ed in ice-packed boxes right to your door. And it's not just the caviar that will come at a bargain.

"We have a bunch of perishable inventory that we've been trying to fire sale to push out the door," Purkayastha said. "So we dropped pricing on all of our items - basically wholesale pricing for home consumers on some items, or just selling at a loss to try to get them out the door before it expires."

Regalis Foods offers free FedEx delivery (with a $100 minimum) in New York City, Chicago, and Texas, where the company has offices, and overnight shipping nationwide for $60.Advertisement

{{}}