Archive for the ‘Dinners Ready’ Category

Cooking in bulk saves batches of time

Cooking in bulk saves batches of time

Video: Andrea Petritz gives a tour of her Super Suppers business in Murrieta

At the home of nutritionist and cookbook author Leanne Ely, the night’s dinner entrée – pork tenderloin with vegetables – was made months ago.

For Riverside mom Misty Boehmer, her favorite marinated shish kabobs were tucked into a zippered plastic bag weeks before and stashed in her freezer for a quick weeknight meal.

And when Rich Gregg’s wife is away visiting her sister, he’ll enjoy some of her Creole-style black-eyed peas and corn, in the freezer and waiting to be reheated.

The three families are onto something big: cooking en masse to stock a freezer with a stash of nutritious homemade meals.

“This is not really new. Your mom did it, my mother did it. We called it leftovers,” said Gregg, whose wife Sue authored “Meals in Minutes” for freezer meals.

Though the concept isn’t new, it is enjoying renewed popularity among contemporary cooks. A host of meal-preparation businesses have sprung up and numerous Web sites are devoted to the topic – variously called once-a-month, freezer, batch and bulk cooking.

“People … want to take more control of what they feed their families,” said Linda Larsen, author of “Everything Meals for a Month” and the Busy Cooks expert on “This kind of cooking really frees you up to turn your freezer into your own fast food place.”

Larsen started “feeding” her freezer about six years ago as a way to save time and money by buying in bulk.

Traditionally, the method involves a one-day cooking blitz. But increasingly, people are doubling or tripling recipes they’re making that night and putting the extras in the freezer.

“It is labor intensive, but the more you do it, the better you get at it,” said Larsen, who recommends breaking up the work into multiple days.

Meal-prep competition heats up

As published in: Franchise Times – February 2007

“The empty store is hospital clean in the mid-afternoon of a December day, as Kate Tennessen, a Supper Thyme franchisee in Minnetonka, Minn., waits for scheduled clients to show. Interrupting the quiet, a man walks in and asks what the store sells. She answers his questions, he responds with a grunt, and walks out.

“I get a lot of that,” she says, adding that men typically don’t understand the concept of a meal-preparation business, where customers prepare meals to take home, freeze and cook at a later date. “They’ll come in and try to order something to go.” “

The MealBlogger


Meal Assembly – A New Marketing Platform for Brands

A very good and lengthy discussion about the industry. <requires registration>
“Meal Assembly – A New Marketing Platform for Brands

New types of retail store formats pop up all the time, but of the concepts of the past few years claiming to be truly unique, meal assembly centers may actually have a point to make. In a sense taking the middle ground between grocers and restaurants, at meal assembly centers, customers follow simple recipes, putting together pre-cut and per-measured ingredients provided by the center; then bringing the fully assembled meals home for final heating and serving, or to be frozen for later use.

There are social and even educational aspects involved with the center environments that are more akin to cooking classes than food shopping or buying take-out. And based on this week’s announced pairing of Kraft Foods with Illinois-based Dinner by Design, the meal assembly business may demonstrate some interesting brand marketing talents as well.”

The MealBlogger


Interesting article about Let’s Dish

Interesting article about Let’s Dish
“Kerry Kramp, the former CEO of Buffets Inc. and an enthusiastic executive, called me to say he’s now running Let’s Dish. Maybe you’ve heard of it–the meal-assembly outfit headquartered in Minneapolis. Funny, Kerry used to run a $1 billion buffet business that employed 28,000 people. Now he’s overseeing four company stores and a few licensees and franchisees. “

The MealBlogger

Publix joins meal prep market preps for create-a-meal

Another article about the Publix market.

“Publix joins meal prep market preps for create-a-meal
The chain plans to open a test site in the bay area, where several smaller shops have already emerged.
Meal prep exploded out of the Pacific Northwest into a industry with revenues topping $270-million in 2006. The spark was two working mothers in Snohomish, Wash., who went into business sharing recipes for homemade frozen gourmet entrees. Their Dream Dinners now has 234 franchised stores. Super Suppers from Forth Worth, Texas, has 200.
Still, most stores are single units run by would-be entrepreneurs. They have a habit of clustering in the same upper-end neighborhoods, insuring the industry eats its young. A store count from the Easy Meal Prep Association found 301 stores opened in 2007 while 138 closed.”

The MealBlogger

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