Common Threads cooking

Meez Meals; the New Revolution for Vegetarian Cooking?

Monday, November 03, 2014 Stella Quimby

There's paleo home delivery options, diet delivery options, just regular food delivery options; but is there many vegetarian home delivery options? How about vegetarian home delivery options that gives you all the ingredients and directions on how to make it into a home cooked healthy meal? That's where Meez Meals comes in.

Created by genius Jen Moore, Meez Meals offers 5 new vegetarian recipes every week and even delivers all of the ingredients, prepped and ready to cook! So no need to cut yourself dicing those tomatoes, it is already pre-done for you!  All meals are meat free but a recipe card (directions on how to cook) comes with a meat suggesiton for all your carnivore family members. Here at Half Stack, we had the opportunity to have a one-on-one with founder of Meez Meals Jen Moore!! So not only we tried Meez Meals (yummy, I am obsessed with their portabella pizza) we also learned about how this stellar dream became a reality.

 Jen Moore, grew up in a family where home cooking was the norm (very unheard of these days as well all know). Her mother taught her and her sister to cook and also most importantly shared her belief that anyone who can read, can cook! So Jen and her sister cooked dinner every other week for the family, some were tasty, some were but needless to say they learned. Jen's background consist of receiving an M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University an a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She also worked in Brand Management for Unilever and Barilla.

Founder Jen Moore (photo by Lindsey Cavanaugh)

Half Stack: What is your background story? How did you get involved with cooking?

Jen: I learned by cooking for my family. I loved the satisfaction that came with seeing everyone easting something I had created. I quicly relized that there's something magical and satisfying about cooking a meal from scratch that extends well beyond the food itself. That love continued and I always enjoyed looking through cookbooks, trying new recipes and cooking old favorites.
I was happily pursing a career in brand management when my sister told me about the challenges of cooking while juggling a busy job and a small child. The problem wasn't the cooking, ut rather that it simply took too much time ot figure what to make, go to the store and get everything prepped. So my background in markeitng helped bolster the idea to launch a delivery service unlike anything else out there. I founded Meez Meals in 2010, in order ot help other busy professionals recognize the pleasure of making a delicious meal at home. Each week, memebers recieve a cooler packed with the prepped and ready-to-cook ingredicents and inventive recipes-all that's needed to build delicious dinners from scratch. Then they are left to their own devices to do the fun part-the cooking!

HS: Why did you decide to do a food delivery service of food that is prepped so that the customer cooks it at home? 

J: The name itself "Meez Meals" was inspired by the French phrase "mise en place," which means having the prep work taken care of before it's time to cook. I went with phonetic "Meez" to make it more fun. At the heart of Meez Meals rests the idea that preparing a delicious home-cooked meal without the hassle of buying and chopping ingredients returns cooking to a place of pleasure.

HS: How many varieties of meals do you currently offer? 

J: We offer five new creative and delicious meals each week plus salads, sides and desserts featured on our website here. We also have a year-long partnership with Common Threads called Meals for Good. The program offers a new recipe every month from top Chicago chefs. Each recipe purchased through Meez Meals supports Common Thread's innovative after-school programs, which empower children and adults with nutrition knowledge and teach them the beenfits of an active lifestyle and the magic of smart cooking. Additionally, meals are created based on each person's preferences, with plenty of options for those eating a gluten-free, dairy-free or with a spcific ingredient preferences. We invite customers to share their personal allergies and dietary preferences with ordering meals, and we cutomize meals for them. Whether it's subsitutiing mozzarella for blue cheese, holding th eonions or sending gluten-free pasta, we love to make meals just right for each family!

HS: What other meals will you offer in the future? 

J: We have big plans for 2015, but nothing I can fully share quite yet. I can saw we are lookign ot build upon our partnership with Common Thread and have some sampling initiatives that we are looking to flesh out.

HS: Any future plans for the company? Enter different markets? Different food categories? 

J: Meez with be continuing it's growth in the future, but we can't discuss specifics at this point.

HS: Who would you say you are marketing (targeting) with this company? 

J: Anyone that enjoys a home cooked meal! This can range from the busy working parent who doesn't have time to create a weeklong meal plan for the family; the single professionla who's tired after work but wants to have something delicious and healthy from dinner; just about anyone who appreciates the magic of cookign and wants to find the time to do it while still being able to enjoy the rest of their night. The people who cook with us love the ideal of cooking from scratch, but find that too often life gets in the way.

HS: Anything else you would like to share with our readers? 

J: One of the best parts of Meez is the notes we get from members tellins us about what a difference we've made in their lives. Whether it's getting home from a hard day and having a home cooked meal on the table, having kids who turn into adventurous eater because they helped cook a meal, or that they've started turning off the TV and setting the table for dinner, members tell us we make theiur lives a little easier, and dinnertime a little more special.

Thank you to Jen Moore for taking time to chat with us and to the whole Meez Meals team for creating a whole new unique look at cooking dinner at home!!! Yummy food, try it out!!!

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