A Springfield couple has launched a meal prep service to offer pre-packaged meals to people who want healthy options that are often lacking with convenience foods. Brennan and Celeste Malham, a husband-and-wife team who both have extensive backgrounds in fitness and nutrition, have founded FED Kitchen and partnered with two existing businesses in Springfield as distribution points.
“Our business model is a lot different than traditional food companies; we don’t have a brick-and-mortar location,” said Celeste Malham, who serves as the operations manager. Instead, the food is prepared in a commercial kitchen and then made available for pick up.
FED Kitchen began distributing meals in April at Supplement Superstore, 2302 Wabash Ave., and has now expanded to Custom Cup Coffee, located downtown at 319 E. Monroe. Celeste said that after meeting Kendra Boesdorfer, co-owner of Custom Cup Coffee, at a Downtown Springfield, Inc. meeting she realized the potential for a mutually beneficial partnership.
“Their brand aligned with our brand,” said Celeste. “I believe it’s important to strategically place our locations; it has to make sense. They use organic products and have very helpful employees.”
While meal prep services have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, FED Kitchen has a different business model than HelloFresh, Blue Apron or other national companies that require monthly subscriptions. Meals from FED Kitchen are ready-to-eat and customers can order ahead online or purchase grab-and-go meals at either of the partnering locations.
Celeste said that after spending years working on their own fitness and coaching others, she and Brennan came to realize that nutrition played an even more important role than physical activity.
“I did the routine where you eat plain and boring stuff: chicken, broccoli and rice all the time. It works short-term, but then you fall off after a couple of weeks because you feel deprived of flavor. Then you eat everything you haven’t been able to eat for so long,” she said.
She began experimenting with various recipes in the hope of creating nutritional meals that would also have enough flavors to make it a sustainable way of eating.
“You can go to the gym and work out but if your nutrition isn’t in check, it’s like running with a parachute attached to you. You’ll move forward, but not very far or fast,” Celeste said.