Why Sunday Supper Is Dedicated to Building Community Around Delicious Frozen Meals

Mexican street food, spicy Indian takeout, saucy, savory Chinese—there are plenty of different cuisines that are eaten and loved across America. But there’s something extra-comforting about Italian that leaves us obsessed, and it’s not hard to understand why. Italian dishes are equal parts cozy and delicious, thanks to the mix of carbs and the blend of simple, flavorful ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, basil, and cheese.

But while we will never say no to an Italian restaurant, pasta dishes are arguably at their best when cooked in the comfort of your own home, and preferably, when shared with loved ones. This is a philosophy that Richard Klein believes in wholeheartedly. The California-based entrepreneur loves cooking lasagna for friends and family, and his dinner party guests can’t get enough of his food either.

Klein wants to share his food with as many people as possible, but we can’t all fit around his dining table. So instead, he has brought his Italian cooking into everyone’s home, with the launch of Sunday Supper, a plant-based frozen Italian food brand.

person serving lasagnaSunday Supper

Sunday Supper: easy, delicious Italian food, without animals

Klein’s cooking is great—his friends and family can attest to it. But he knew that to make something really show-stopping, he had to collaborate with someone at the top of the culinary game. So he teamed up with the award-winning Italian chef Celestino Drago to create mouthwatering frozen lasagna, ravioli, and manicotti products—all of which are made with simple, Italian ingredients and vegan cheese and meat—for Sunday Supper.

The brand’s meals, now available in several grocery stores across the US, have quickly gained popularity. The secret? Incredible taste and a mission-driven approach. Klein and Drago created food that people love to share, all while maintaining a commitment to quality, community, and sustainability.

We recently spoke with Klein to learn more about the origins of Sunday Supper, its mission to give back to the community and animals, and the brand’s exciting future. Here’s what he had to say.

SUnday Supper RavioliSunday Supper

VegNews: Take us back to the beginning. How did the idea for Sunday Supper originate?

Richard Klein: It started with the idea of making plant-based lasagna for friends. I was hosting Sunday suppers at my home and guests would rave about my lasagna—even my most carnivorous friends! All of that positive feedback inspired me. I continued making lasagnas and serving them to friends at get-togethers, collecting feedback, and refining the recipe. I decided to test the waters and started selling the lasagnas on a site [my friend and vegan marketing executive] Florian Radke and I quickly built, using a fulfillment center just outside of LA. In four months, we had sold 3,000 lasagnas, just from word-of-mouth.

VN: And now you’re selling them in frozen aisles nationwide, including the viral and upscale California grocery chain Erewhon. What is the secret to this success do you think?

RK: What sets us apart from other frozen food brands is taste. We’ve worked with incredible chefs, including a James Beard Award-winning chef, to get our product where it is. We consistently win in blind taste tests against both vegan and non-vegan competitors. So, taste and quality are number one, but our other strong focus is building community within the vegan circle and outside of it. As a brand, we are all about sharing amazing Italian food, hence our name Sunday Supper. 

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VN: You’re also focused on transforming the food industry, which was evident when you hosted an industry-led panel discussion on the future of food at Soho House recently. Why did you decide to take this step?

RK: We couldn’t help but notice that the vegan food community has been under attack. It has come up in discussion with many of our friends and colleagues. So we thought we’d bring that discussion to a public space. Hosting this panel was a way for us to bring together some incredible thought leaders in our community, both on the stage and in the audience.

VN: It’s true that vegan businesses, and indeed many other food businesses, are struggling to stay afloat right now. We’ve seen many plant-based brands and restaurants have to close their doors. What were some of the key takeaways from the panel?

RK: We need to stick together and support each other as a community. There are so many great vegan businesses out there, and while success starts with a great-tasting product, it takes much more to stick around—mostly the support of the vegan community and the non-vegan community, who will buy into it as long as it tastes good and the price isn’t outrageously more than non-vegan brands.

“There is so much ammunition fired against vegans from the meat and dairy lobbyists that we can’t have infighting within our community adding to any of the negativity. Support your plant-based restaurants and vegan brands.”

VN: The panel demonstrates how frozen food brands can be a big part of the conversation when it comes to bringing the vegan community together, and indeed anyone who cares about the future of food. 

RK: When the conversation continued over a dinner of Sunday Supper mozzarella sticks and lasagna at Soho House with our panelists and a few friends, it really brought me back to the brand’s beginnings at my dinner parties. It was great and just what I envisioned for this brand: bringing people together around food to share ideas and community. 

VN: Your dinners also often have another important purpose. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind hosting fundraisers for organizations food security nonprofit Support and Feed? 

RK: It goes back to building community and helping our community. The dinners are a way for us to pay it forward, but also to invite vegan and non-vegan people to our dinner tables to experience the culture and food of Sunday Supper. What Maggie [Baird] and her team have built with Support & Feed is so inspiring, and we’ve loved aligning with them and supporting the cause over the last few years. 

“We want to create Sunday Suppers in every major city to share incredible food and enjoy life while helping the planet, the animals, and our health.”

VN: It was also great to see you working with and fundraising for the animal welfare nonprofit Farm Sanctuary.

RK: Farm Sanctuary is also such an incredible organization. Our last event was the first time we worked with them, but I am visiting the sanctuary in Watkins Glen this summer to see how we can be more involved.

VN: To bring it back to the actual products, there’s no doubt that Sunday Supper’s meals are delicious—from your Three Cheeses Lasagna to your Mushroom Ravioli. We can’t wait to see more. How does the brand plan to continue innovating and expanding in the frozen food market?

RK: We plan to continue developing the most delicious Italian plant-based food, from appetizers and entrees to eventually pizza, creating products that taste just as good if not better than their original recipes with meat and dairy. Our line of Mozza Fritto (mozzarella sticks) will debut this Fall. And our line of singles—including a gluten-free eggplant parm—will also hit around the same time!

sunday supper three cheese lasagna shotSunday Supper

VN: Exciting! And where can consumers find all of your delicious products?

RK: We can be found in the frozen aisles of The Fresh Market, Erewhon, Bristol Farms, Besties, Central Market, Plum Market, and online retailers Fresh Direct, Good Eggs, and our own site. Soon, we will also be available on Thrive Market.

To find out more about Sunday Supper, head to SundaySupper.com.