We’re all busy with the pressures of getting the kids to sporting events, catching up on fixing that leaking shower faucet and still finding time to prepare a healthy meal for dinner. Over the years, meal preparation companies have come and gone offering a variety of options and services that all promise to give you back that important commodity of – TIME….
One local business that has survived the meal prep trend is Simply Supper.
Located in south Edmonton, Simply Supper opened its doors 10 years ago, changing ownership when Monita Chapman and her husband Denny bought it 5 years ago. Her motivation when purchasing the business was to help people get back to the supper table.
“People are so busy and often times the simple pleasure of taking the time to sit together and eating supper together often gets missed or happens on the go,” says Chapman. She loves the concept of helping people get back to the dinner table.
The idea is really quite simple. Guests can book a session on their website and make their meal choices from their list of monthly food options. Then, during their session, guests are given everything they will need to assemble their meals to take with them. Everything is organized in such a way that it makes for a fun evening where the whole family can come in and create a weeks worth of meals together that can be stored in the freezer at home to thaw the day they are needed.
To test it out, our editor TJ Sadler and his family went in on an evening in January to test it out. “Between work, track practice for our son and staying fit at the gym, there are just some days where we can’t eat as well as we’d like to,” says Sadler. “After our magazine launch party in January, I was so short on time getting everything ready that by 9pm, I still hadn’t eaten dinner. I opted for a Big Mac on my way home rather than trying to cook something at 10pm. It would have been a great option to have had something prepared ahead of time that could have been warmed up or quickly cooked before heading out,” he said.
When they arrived, the Simply Supper staff had their meal plan laid out for them listing the menu options they selected. They were then guided through some food handling safety information to prevent food contamination and given a quick tour of the food prep stations. Each meal is set up at a station with all the ingredients listed and placed out as well as all the utensils and kitchen equipment required to put it together.
The recipe for each meal is posted on the counter with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions that made it easy for their ten year old to follow along with. It made for a great experience and time for the family to spend a couple hours together creating their weekly meals.
“Besides the time savings, the great thing about Simply Supper is that we got the whole family together to create our meals. The kids took some pride in contributing and it was great to know what was going into each dinner option,” says Sadler. One of the issues with many “pop-in-the-oven/microwave” meals is that the list of ingredients isn’t always fresh or healthy. With Simply Supper, you know exactly what’s included.
It’s not just families that have found the benefits of the services Simply Supper provides. “At any given session, if you look around the crowd is usually very mixed,” says Chapman. “Families with working parents, families with stay at home parents, couples with no kids, single individuals. For the most part I always say our clientele is people who are busy but still want to eat well!”
For those who would like their meals prepped for them and ready to pick up when they arrive, Simply Supper offers that service as well. A selection of “Fresh-2-Go” meals that are prepared daily, and frozen “Ready-2-Go” meals are available to pick up on your way home after work or before running the kids off to after school activities.
Regardless of the option you choose, Simply Supper offers a service that suits your lifestyle and your budget. Creating meals for the dinner table that are both convenient and healthy has never been so easy.