Archive for December, 2007

Happy New Year!

Here’s to good health and prosperity in 2008!!

What does it take to get a customer back in?

I think this is one of the biggest challenges owners face right now. Have you tried something that worked really well? Do you have some thoughts or advice? Join in the discussion here:

So what’s in store for 2008?

I never expected this site to generate such interest or acceptance. What started as a hopeful attempt to get in touch with other owners and learn about their experiences has turned into a platform for exchanging ideas and has lead to open discussions about this industry and what we can do to help ourselves.

This site started off with a very simple idea in mind – provide a way for store owners to talk about this industry without being on their guard and thinking they were giving something away. I figured I would be a lone voice, but I see there are plenty of us out there. So I thank you all for reading and making comments and turning this site into something useful and beneficial (at least I hope it is).

So where do we go from here? Well, I think 2008 very well could be a scary year for this industry. I think owners will face some real challenges in trying to win customers back, in trying to establish new ones and seeking a point of either economic success or a point where they can sell or close their store.

But even though the news articles about meal assembly seem to be waning I think there is plenty of information out there.

  • I plan on tracking a lot of those store closures that I anticipate will be coming.
  • I plan to write quite a bit more about my experiences with meal assembly such as how I got involved and some of the more enjoyable aspects of it. I also hope other stores owners will join in and write about their experiences as well.

And of course I think there will be plenty to discuss with changes to the industry as we make our way through the year.

  • Will we see more MAs in grocery stores?
  • Will we see a change in the franchising fees?
  • Will we see a change in the number of stores being sold per region?
  • Will we see a in the menu structure and the services provided?

I think there is a lot to keep track of and a lot for owners to “digest” in the new year. Is it make or break? For the industry as a whole, it quite possibly it is. It certainly is for many owners. I have already seen multiple stores in my area close and those that are left barely have a trickle of customers. I think the hype is over and the reality is setting in. If the corporate franchises want to save their industry there is a lot of work to be done and not much time to do it.

So here is to the New Year and I hope it offers a lot of prosperity and success.

The Organic Dish


About The Organic Dish

The Organic Dish provides simple to make, fresh, and delicious organic meals (for vegetarians and omnivores) that support health and wellbeing.

What …

Our frozen organic dinner kits have the ingredients for each meal inside. Take them home, follow the easy cooking instructions and enjoy delicious, nourishing home cooked meals in minutes.

Feel like putting together your own organic meals from washed and prepared ingredients (it’s kinda like Legoâ„¢)? Join one of our do-it-yourself sessions where you put together all the prepared ingredients according to our simple asssembly instructions. In 20–60 minutes you can prepare 4–12 family-sized healthy, organic meals, without the hassle of going grocery shopping, preparing ingredients, and cleaning up. Find out more about how it works.

How …

You can buy our organic dinner kits at our kitchen, or you can order online.

If you choose to sign up for a do-it-yourself meal preparation session, we buy and prepare all the ingredients needed to put together the organic meals you choose. During the session you come to our commercial kitchen and put together multiple organic dinners designed to be frozen and subsequently cooked and eaten at home.

We’ll save you time, minimize the hassle of cooking and cleaning the kitchen, and reduce the number of trips to the grocery store, while providing you fresh, wholesome, organic meals.

Why …

2 out of every 3 Americans don’t think about what’s for dinner until after 4 PM. At that point it usually involves a mad dash to the grocery store – often with kids in tow – before rushing home to pick out a recipe, and then chop, dice and cook ingredients and eventually clean up the mess in the kitchen. This process often takes more than 1½ hours to prepare one meal.

With our organic dinner kits you can have dinner ready in about 15 minutes without any of these hassles.


We are committed to providing the highest quality natural and organic food in a vibrant environment with people who are friendly, eager to serve and ready to educate. We believe if you eat great you will live great.

There are creative ways to put health first in new year

It’s hard to focus on your health after weeks of holiday shopping, baking, eating and partying.
But before the clock runs out on 2007, there are creative ways to put your health first.

Now is a good time to invest in yourself before flexible spending accounts expire and health plan costs rise in 2008.
Here are some ways to boost your wellness ahead of the new year:
• Buy healthful take-out food to free up time for exercise or relaxation. If you’re having trouble getting enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet, buy them already prepared, said Ginger Patterson, a nutritionist at Fitness on the Move and a columnist for this section.

“Every grocery store offers cut-up fruit and veggies,” she said.
Also, there are many healthy frozen meals available, she said.

People with the means may want to hire a personal chef for a day or check out any of the more than 1,300 meal-assembly outfits across the United States.
My Dinner Factory and Super Suppers, both in Fort Myers, offer prepared meals.
Customers who choose their meals wisely may be able to find better choices at the meal centers than many typical quick meals, said nutritionist Joan Faris said.

• Invest in preventive care. If you’ve been putting off getting a flu vaccine or are overdue for a cholesterol check or dental checkup, now’s the time to squeeze it in before insurance deductibles reset.
• Take stock of your medicine cabinet. Refill any prescriptions that you’ve finished and need to replace. Drug coverage often changes in the new year, so why risk higher co-pays when you can lock in lower rates now? Examine your stash of over-the-counter drugs as well. If staples such as pain relievers or allergy remedies have expired or been used up, consider replacing them if you still have money left in your 2007 flexible spending account and the FSA covers such items.

• Outfit your wardrobe for workouts large and small. Splurge on a new bathing suit, or if a yoga outfit or a snappy sweat suit inspires you to get moving, enjoy a shopping trip before you take to the mat.
• Replace old, worn sneakers for optimal injury prevention and buy a pedometer. The inexpensive, step-counting devices help raise physical activity levels, contributing to modest weight loss and lower blood pressure, according to a study in the Nov. 21 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
• Take advantage of free trial offers at gyms that appeal to you. With many people distracted by holiday activities, it’s a good time to test-drive a fitness center before the January crush of new members.

There are a lot of specials available in area gyms. Fitness On The Move is offering “12 Days of Christmas,” through Jan. 15.
“Anyone can come in for 12 days for free and work out,” Patterson said. The Omni Club in Fort Myers has offered visitors a free month for December. Fitness Advantage offers free day passes. Call your area gym and ask what incentives they offer.

Exercise is essential, Patterson said. “Aside from smoking, a sedentary lifestyle is the No. 1 health threat in the country today.”
• Take a fitness class. Try something different like zumba, where you move to Latin and international music.
“Try different classes,” said Patti Barre, aerobics and yoga instructor at Pelican Perserve in Fort Myers. “People get bored, so try a yoga class or a strength training class and find out what you enjoy.”

• Get a massage to ease muscle strain or manage stress. Before you make an appointment, visit your health plan’s Web site or call its customer service line to see if it has negotiated discounts with any massage providers in your area. Massage Envy recently opened seven days a week in Fort Myers and is offering $39 massage for first-time customers.

Read the article here:

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