Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Online meal service caters to #GlutenFree, paleo diets - St. Louis Business Journal

Gluten-free, low carb, paleo-friendly. Those are just three diets a new meal delivery service can accommodate.

Founded by local fitness enthusiast Jayson Gifford, Lean Feast (www.leanfeast.com) launched in May and lets customers order weekly meal plans online that are delivered to their homes. “There’s not really a whole lot of services that allow you choice and convenience,” said Gifford, who said Lean Feast caters to customers seeking healthful, gluten-free diets with 36 gourmet menu choices and five different portion sizes.

Gifford, who previously worked in the fitness and food and beverage industries, launched the company with business partner Mark Schneider, an avid marathoner who is also a co-owner of CPR Construction with his family.

Gifford said startup costs were under $100,000. Schneider was the sole capital investor, said Gifford, who projected first-year revenue of $500,000 and first-year profits of $250,000.

With corporate headquarters at 1314 Washington Ave., Lean Feast has a 1,200-square-foot kitchen at 3693 Forest Park Ave. that has the capacity to serve 200 clients a week. All meals are delivered, Gifford said.

So far, Lean Feast has 67 subscribers and has booked 10 catering events. Gifford said weekly subscriptions can include 7-, 14-, 21- or 28-meal plans. Menu items include things like Mandarin glazed chicken on a bed of fresh spinach and steamed carrots; grilled flank steak over a roasted vegetable medley; and beef medallions with mashed cauliflower and steamed vegetables.

Weekly prices are based on portion size, with a child’s meal plan ranging in price from $70 to $212; woman’s from $80 to $232; woman athlete’s from $85 to $251; man’s from $99 to $308; man athlete’s from $108 to $346.

In addition to catering and the meal service, Gifford envisions Lean Feast providing health and wellness programs to corporations. “Unfortunately, the model has been, ‘Eat what you want, go to the gym,’” he said, noting that a healthy diet is a key component to health and wellness.

Later this month, Lean Feast will roll out a lunch program where customers can log onto the Lean Feast site, order off a limited lunch menu and have the meal delivered to their workplace.

Food and beverage, Health care, Retail, Hospitality and gaming

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog/BizNext/2013/07/online-meal-service-caters-to.html?page=all

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