By Natalie Simms
To meet increased demand since opening 18 months ago, local meal prep service Ideal Meals will be moving into an expanded location later this month as business owners Amanda DeWitt and Casey Gray position themselves to grow even more. Currently located at 874 Spider Webb Drive, Ideal Meals will be moving Jan. 17 into a newly constructed building at 922 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
“We are moving into a brand new building that’s been built in the parking lot of our old building,” says DeWitt. “We had been looking for a new space because we have outgrown this spot. We bought a refrigerated van for deliveries and we having to use it because we didn’t have enough cooler space inside. We knew if we were going to continue to grow, we needed a bigger location. Our landlord, Larry Martin, asked what we needed and he would build it.”
Work crews are putting the finishing touches on the new 2,800-square-foot building that includes lots of space for refrigeration.
“We will have a ton more room to grown into. It will allow us to expand our delivery service into Cartersville, Cedartown and even Summerville since we have so many folks who drive here now from those areas,” says DeWitt.
Ideal Meals started a home and business delivery service in Rome (within the city limits) last year, as well as a weekly delivery to Calhoun on Sunday evenings.
“We are doing so much more business. We probably prepare about 4,000 meals a week. We are extremely busy right now with everyone doing New Year’s Resolutions,” she says. Their current business has doubled over the last year when they were preparing some 2,000 meals a week.
“We’ve got a new online ordering form that has just made it easier for our customers, so we are selling out of our extra meals every week,” she says. “We are really grateful for how Rome has responded to our business. We have become such a large party of our customers’ lives…there are so many we’ve helped by how they see food. They realize eating healthy begins with portion control and ingredients.”
Once they move into their new location, Ideal Meals plans to start Cartersville delivery by the end of April and then expand into Cedartown and Summerville later this summer.
How it works
Ideal Meals puts out a menu on Mondays via Facebook, website and email distribution. The menu, which is for the upcoming week, includes breakfast items and four to five meal options for the week. Orders are due by 5 p.m. on Friday and can be placed online or via email. Invoices are sent for credit card users or you can pay cash/check during pick-up.
DeWitt and Gray cook all weekend and have meals ready for pick up on Sundays from 4-8 p.m. and Mondays from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 4-6:30 p.m. They also will deliver within seven miles of the store on Sunday between 5-7 p.m. for a one-time $30 charge. There is a four-item minimum on delivery orders. They also will deliver to businesses on Mondays for free if two or more people have orders with at least 8 meals.
The prices are budget-friendly ranging from $5 to $7 for meals and all prices include tax.
Customers can order any number of meals each week, there is no minimum requirement. Ideal Meals has tailored the menu to feature healthy, fresh meals with calorie counts and even Weight Watchers Smartpoints listed for those on the program.
Each meal is 400 calories or less. Each dish, with exception of breakfast items, includes a lean protein, a carbohydrate and vegetable.