Saturday, September 15, 2007

Smart Start Meals - Beyond 50 Article

Gone are the days when Grandma had the time to cook up a big meal for the kids and grandkids, and grandpa too. It wasn’t long ago that 50 years of age was old and most people had at least two or three grandchildren. As more and more men and women put off marriage and parenthood until ‘later’, it is not uncommon to be over 50 with teenagers in the house.

Today’s over 50 population is busier than any generation before, and don’t show any sign of slowing down. 50 is the “new” 30, and despite all the activity people still long for the days of the leisurely meal, with family and friends catching up on the days events.

The stresses of the modern day need to be countered with relaxation. People need time to connect and share the day’s experiences, and meal time has a long history of being the best way to do that. One option is to reach for the phone and get something fattening, lacking in nutrition and loaded with sodium and trans-fats. That choice has some serious drawbacks. There are obvious health benefits to eating nutritious foods cooked at home; but who has the time?

A solution to all this and a way to take off the stress of not having enough time can be found in the form of companies like Smart Start Meals, who provide delicious, nutritious ready-to-cook dinners for busy people. This is the wave of the future, and is long overdue as a service. They do all the advance preparation - recipe planning, testing, shopping, chopping, measuring and portioning, without using preservatives or unhealthy additives. The dinners are then frozen, packaged, and delivered right to your door. The only thing you have to do is follow a set of simple instructions to enjoy cooking one of these complete dinners in your own kitchen!

As boomers become more aware of the dangers involved in eating mainstream convenience foods like take out, prepackaged meals and TV dinners, our options have become rather limited. More and more in the news we hear about imported foods being tainted with harmful bacteria, chemicals or being mislabeled. We’ve built a life style around quick and easy and yet long for the days of slow-cooked home prepared meals. We want it all – convenience, ease of preparation, great quality, high nutrition, variety, and organic if possible. Today’s health conscious consumers are almost forced to find the time to get back into the kitchen and prepare meals from scratch.

With the boomer generation having to care for elderly parents and often having teenage or adult kids still at home, meal time doesn’t need to be an additional stress. Our aging parents used Meals on Wheels to help them, and now our generation has the opportunity to use companies such as Smart Start Meals - simple, highly effective and quite affordable.

By slowing down at mealtime and enjoying a healthy meal you improve the quality of your life, not just with the food, but also with the good company that surrounds you at the dinner table. Now there is a way to reconnect and enjoy the satisfaction of providing a good dinner at home on a regular basis – easier than ever, and with much less shopping, chopping and cleanup. Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Focus on Entrepreneurs - Smart Start Meals - What's for dinner?

By Steve MacNaull
The Daily Courier

Imagine coming home from work and having dinner already prepared.
That's what Smart Start Meals of Kelowna is delivering to busy households.
"Our target is families and people that have a lot going on, " said Ken Scott, who owns and operates Smart Start with his wife Susanne.
"The most popular offering for a bsy family of four is the 12-meal package, which means 12 fully prepared meals that serve four to six people for $259. That means for three of the busiest nights of the week for the entire month, dinner is taken care of." Customers choose from a varied menu and Smart Start does the shopping, chopping, and preparation. Full dinners of a meat rice or potatoes and vegetable are packaged, frozen, and delivered. All you have to do is pull the meal out of the freezer when you want to cook it.
Dishes for the fall include stews, roast chickens, Basa Italiano, Indian and Asian favourites, and vegetarian options. "Our emphasis is on healthy, wholesome foods with no trans-fats or additives and as much organic as possible," said Scott.
Smart Start has operated since January, and has a client base of about 100.
It is hoping to expand by having a booth at Saturday and Sunday's Ski show and Swap at the Kelowna Curling Club.
"Skiers are a perfect target market for us," said Scott. During the week they are busy at work and with their kids sports, and on the weekend, they are at the ski hill and don't want to have to shop and haul food up there to prepare.
Skiers can order their dinner packages and take them up the hill or leave everything up to Smart Start and have the meals delivered to an address at Big White Ski resort for a fee.
Meal preparation is quite a life change for the Scott's. They used to live in Vancouver where Susanne was a dental assistant, and Ken worked for video game company Nintendo as a computer networker.
They used to visit Kelowna every summer and wanted to move here for the smaller city recreational lifestyle and a crack at self-employment.
They modeled Smart Start on similar preparation businesses in the UK and US.
For now, the Scott's are using a rental kitchen at a downtown church for all their order preparation while they have a commercial kitchen built.
"We have creative minds, and know this service is needed in Kelowna and we are dedicated to preparing fresh, nutritious meals," said Scott. "So, it's already going well and will only get better."