Want to eat healthier but don’t have time for it? A local, health food-focused meal prep business can help with that.
Midwest Meal Prep is based in a commissary kitchen in Newport, Kentucky. “The kitchen is called The Incubator Kitchen and it has been a huge kick start to my business,” Mike Mandell-Brown says, Owner and Founder of Midwest Meal Prep. “It’s a great way for businesses to make the leap from initial inception of concept into production without having to acquire property and such.” Midwest Meal Prep has been in business for two years, and they’ve been in The Incubator Kitchen for one year.
Mandell-Brown brings a college education to his business. “I have been to college for classic French techniques and restaurant management. At the same time, I have worked several years in the field in high volume restaurants crafting my skills as a chef and a leader,” he says. “In 2013, I started my career at PF Changs as a Sous Chef, which helped me learn how to manage people and deal with the stresses and challenges that it presents. Then in 2015, I started a food truck with close friends and have also been doing that ever since.”
The inspiration for the business started in 2013 when Mandell-Brown’s friend approached him about his cooking in 2013. “[My friend] owned a gym and had clients who needed a way to eat better and we sat down and went over some ideas,” Mandell-Brown says. “That was the first time my two passions, cooking and fitness, came together in a harmonious fashion and it just felt right. From there I started coming up with names and such, finally settling on Midwest Meal Prep.”
The target demographic for Midwest Meal Prep has changed over time. “Originally, I was narrow minded in my scope of clients, only focusing on those who were imbedded in the fitness community. Whereas now, we have realized that these services can help not only the aspiring body builder or athlete, but we can help John S who works 9-5, six days a week and just want to eat some healthier foods while trying to balance his life,” Mandell-Brown says. “We feel anyone can start making better life decisions and a great way to start is to be mindful of the foods we put in our bodies, our fuel. It also helps people who need more time in their lives elsewhere and can’t devote two plus hours a week to source food and prepare healthy meals for themselves or family. So, to answer the question, our target demographic is anyone who wants to eat healthy and conveniently while having peace of mind that the food they are eating is flavorful and nutritious.”
There are a variety of services that Midwest Meal Prep offers. There are “weekly meals delivered or dropped off to clients with new and exciting flavors each week. We also offer protein by the pound, vegetables by the pound, or carbohydrates by the pound each week. There are breakfast, lunch and dinner options,” he says.
Midwest Meal Prep is a unique business in the Greater Cincinnati area. “We are set apart with our heightened culinary driven food we offer with a healthy twist,” Mandell-Brown says. “When I sit down and think up new menu options, I try to think of ways to take everyday foodies and make them healthier, for example, our Turkey Mac. We use cottage cheese instead of high fatty American cheese and brown rice noodles for added protein.”
Mandell-Brown’s favorite part of working for Midwest Meal Prep is hearing the input of the customers. “It’s nice to get client feedback after meals have been delivered or see pictures of our food on someone’s social media,” he said. “I’m a chef and I love to cook. This is a great way to mesh that with the health and fitness lifestyle.”