With COVID-19 cases spiking and regular restaurant service in question once again when even a trip to the grocery store feels unsafe, you might be thinking that now is a particularly difficult time to find affordable, high quality meal options.
FitFresh is a local delivery-based meal service that brings delicious and health-conscious food directly to you, no matter where you are in greater Columbus. Founder Jon Paton refers to the business as offering meal solutions, and it’s easy to see why.
“A few years ago when I was looking into meal prep services, I noticed that they were all either incredibly expensive—I mean some were $15 a meal—or the quality just wasn’t there.” Paton said. “I thought, there has to be a better way of doing this.”
So in early 2020, Paton launched the company, hand-delivering delectable and nutritious meal options to patrons as far away Cincinnati (although these customers can now have their meals shipped), and their growth since has been nothing short of meteoric.
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FitFresh began making roughly 40 meals a week, and now, with the help of three employees, is turning out over 650 full meals every seven days. “Our goal is 3,000 [per week] by the end of next year,” he said.
Each meal from their rotating menu of over 110 total options offered by FitFresh (“We want to make sure our customers are never bored,” Paton said) comes in a vacuum-sealed and refrigerated package (complete with reheat instructions and a nutritional breakdown), so that customers are able to to easily transport their food in bags or even purses. When you’re ready for some serious goodness, just reheat and eat.
One of our favorite aspects of FitFresh (as they’re often called) outside of the food quality, has to do with their packaging as well: each container is totally compostable, even down to the cups used to hold sauce. What’s more, the company is working on sourcing compostable vacuum-seal bags.
And this isn’t just a flashy gimmick for eco-conscious customers either, Paton has built FitFresh from the ground up with legitimate care for his customers and employees alike.
“I remember once when I was working in a restaurant, someone screamed at me for 30 minutes because I made a potato pancake wrong. That’s just not how you do things,” he said. “We’re big on work-life balance and positive reinforcement.”
Paton’s previous professional experience in the restaurant and grocery store industries has certainly given him the chops he needs to turn out some seriously good food from a wide variety of styles.
“I’ve worked in Korean, Chinese, Indian, Italian seafood restaurants; you name it. So we can do it all.”
And he’s not wrong. The chimichurri steak meal I sampled (complete with veggies and mashed potatoes) offered tender, beautifully cooked meat with a bright and savory chimichurri sauce I wanted to drink straight from the container.
What’s more, each item is made to order, and Paton goes to great lengths to work with a wide range of fantastic local purveyors.
This week’s menu includes a hibachi sirloin steak, pesto chicken breast, citrus teriyaki salmon, and more. Every meal also has a vegan substitute option, such as hibachi tempeh with sweet ginger soy sauce, pesto seitan, and citrus teriyaki tofu.
Menus are released each Friday, and orders for the upcoming week should be made by Wednesday.
And don’t let order size be a roadblock for you either: you can order exactly the number of meals you need. “I’ve had people order a single meal, and some who buy food for every mean of their entire week, it’s whatever you want.” Paton said.
Check out ordering instructions and this week’s menu here.