It all began with family.
My mission to help people live healthier, more convenient lives was borne out of my father’s health issues. After my father faced a life-threatening health crisis, he was forced to make drastic changes to his diet. His diet was too heavily focused on convenience — full of heavily processed foods and lacking in fruits, vegetables and key nutrients.
He had to make a change. His life depended on it. Healthy, nutrient-rich meals became medicine for him. Eating and lifestyle changes helped him improve his health.
His situation inspired me to develop fresh, healthy meals for others — making clean eating convenient and affordable for as many people as possible. If nutrient-rich, balanced eating could help my family, maybe it could help other families, too.
At the beginning, Fresh n’ Lean featured a small team. I wore a lot of hats. Cooking, production, customer service — I did whatever was needed, logging 20-hour days and preparing meals in Tupperware containers with handwritten labels. The company was my life and my main focus.
A decade later, Fresh n’ Lean remains my main focus, but now the company has 220 employees and our own commercial kitchen space. As the company has grown into the country’s largest organic, ready-to-eat meal delivery service, we’ve focused on building a team that’s diverse and inclusive instead of hiring out of sheer necessity.
When we first entered the marketplace in 2010, the concept of getting fresh meals delivered to your doorstep was still a relatively new concept, and usually came with questions: How does this work? How is the food shipped? Is this safe?
Since it was such a new space, there was a huge learning curve with lots of trial and error. Missteps and course corrections are difficult when you’re trying to run a lean operation, where a big mistake can cost you your entire business. Entrepreneurs and business owners are used to facing challenges, especially when funding is limited. As our companies grow, we still deal with challenges, but the challenges are different.
All these years later, I’m thankful for the challenges we endured at the beginning of the company’s journey. Those challenges helped us to adapt and evolve and position ourselves for success.
Society continues to rely more and more heavily on convenience, and needing things now, in large part because of Amazon. We live in an instant gratification society.
Consumer changes have caused the marketplace to grow so much. Ready-to-eat, fully prepared meals are not a new or foreign concept anymore. People are comfortable having meals delivered directly to their homes.
Through your phone, you can shop for your groceries and order from your favorite restaurant, hail a car ride and connect with romantic partners. Like dating, food is a personal choice. And these days, we use our phones and computers for everything personal.
But beyond that, life is busy. It’s difficult to find 45 minutes or an hour to cook a meal.
In our instant gratification society, it’s easy to focus on fast food and takeout as convenient meal options. But why does convenience need to be unhealthy?
Fresh n’ Lean’s hallmark is the integrity of our meals. Our ingredients are organic and GMO-free, not processed or full of harmful chemicals. That’s reflected when you flip over the meal package and look at the ingredient list. The Paleo chicken meal contains cage-free chicken paired with organic vegetables.
Only the best.
Another thing that sets Fresh n’ Lean apart from most other meal delivery companies: our meals come fully prepared. We do not sell meal kits, forcing customers to mix the ingredients themselves. We take the work out of customers’ hands. All customers need to do is reheat their meals and eat.
While the direct-to-consumer space is a key part of our business, we’re also expanding our offerings in traditional retail locations such as grocery and on-the-go stores, along with smart vending machines, which we’ve paired with corporate wellness programs. We plan on increasing our mainstream offerings and approaches in the near future.
The goal is to give everyone access to fresh organic meals, regardless of location or socioeconomic status. Healthy meals should be available for everyone.
It’s gratifying to play a small part in helping people lead healthier, more convenient lives. People’s lives are busy and complicated and difficult, especially when they’re facing health issues or difficulty at work or raising children.
Life is a journey, and food is fuel. You can’t drive a car on an empty tank. You can’t perform like a Ferrari on low-grade gasoline.
We need to properly fuel our bodies in order to achieve our peak mental and physical output. And if we can fuel our bodies with a quick pit stop, the perfect blend of convenience and nutrition, all the better.