In short, we are a meal prep company, but we didn’t stop there. When I started, my idea was that I would cook for friends and make a little extra money to help cover our food bill. At that time, I was really taking a look at the foods I was eating, and making better choices. Unfortunately, better choices are often more expensive. I have always loved to cook. I watched my mom growing up and was amazed that she put meals together without a recipe. We sat down to family dinner almost every night, memories were made in my parents kitchen. When my family gets together now, celebrations are planned around food. Food to me equals love and connection. What drives me is peoples reactions to delicious food, especially when it is fresh and healthy!
I posted weekly menu’s on social media and people would order from there. I only had family and individual paleo options, there was no such thing as meal plans. My friends would receive a text message that their food was ready, and pick up their order from a cooler on my deck. Which quickly became a garage fridge, which turned into a renovated (incredibly tiny) kitchen inside the Crossfit gym that my family went to. This is where I started to spread my wings and Paleo Num Yums really started taking on my vision. Within the next year, we were looking for a true store front, we wanted to see what this business could do. As PNY started to grow, I kept leaning on my grass roots of fellowship around the table and felt I needed to merge my changing lifestyle and bringing people together through food. I realized that I was creating a platform to really make a change in the way people are looking at food. As a culture, so many things take precedence over our food. We are too busy to slow down and cook, which means cooking is a dying art form. Humans are the only species that has the ability to cook, and we are losing sight of that. When you rely on industry to cook our food, you are not eating ingredients that you find in anyone’s pantry. We are losing the allure of gathering around a kitchen table and enjoying a home cooked meal. Talking about how the day went, asking your kids the best and worst part about the day.
From here, I asked myself how to change these ideals. How to go about doing this was not about lecturing people on food, but luring them into my kitchen with food. Our Paleo kitchen inside PNY is an open book. Literally, the kitchen is surrounded by glass. We are always prepping, baking or cooking, but we are never too busy to greet our friends as they walk through the front door. There is never anything more important than answering questions and helping people decide their food choices. At any time, you may be asked if you would like a freshly grilled piece of steak, or if you would like to try a creation we are trying out. We aren’t fancy chefs, heck, I don’t even make it a priority to hire people with kitchen experience. We are regular people that get together every day to help people make more enlightened choices about food. We have workshops and events that can do anything from cooking classes to a private party with friends which includes a fantastic healthy meal that you enjoy over some laughter.
As our business has grown, so have our hectic schedules. Balancing a family, wife/husband relationship, and all that has to do with business gets….tough. I will not lie, there have been days and weeks I have wanted to quit. I have asked myself why a million times, and each time something happens that reminds me why this is worth it. I found my business cards in my kids backpacks. Not because I put them there, but because they talk about PNY at school, and their friends and teachers ask them about it. I realized that my kids are proud of what we are doing. Notice I said we. This is a family affair. I am not doing it alone, I won’t do it alone. My family is the number one reason I keep trudging on. Yes, my kids
still eat candy, cake, and junk food, but they also know that it is not good for you. They talk about “healthy” foods, and if they eat certain things will they grow strong. As I write this I am tearing up because my kids are looking up to me and my husband, and I started this venture not fully understanding the impact that I can have. I am raising our future, and I don’t want them to miss out on the food experiences that I had growing up. We don’t have family dinner every night, but we make it a point most nights. I quickly realized that I can’t stop with my family, my vision started to include other families.
Society is at a turning point, we are unhealthy, childhood obesity is at an all time high, and we need education. We need to start taking a step back and really paying attention to where our food is coming from. So that is my angle, taking my platform and using it for education. Making food fun for kids and adults, if not I fear we will lose a large part of our culture. My vision was to have a customizable meal prep company that allows people to have a say in the foods they eat. There is no other company like Paleo Num Yums, and that was my point. Think of us as the concierge meal prep company. We can help you find a way to reinvigorate your love of food, all while eating foods that fuel your body. Our events are created with the same basic principles that my family gatherings are planned. Centered around food, great conversation, and before you know it, you are being educated on food and being pleasantly surprised. While I am no expert, I firmly believe that commercialized food should really be re-evaluated. I am here to tell you that the package of bread you buy off of the grocery store shelves is not the same as a fresh baked loaf from my childhood. Have you ever wondered why we have so many food intolerances? Have we suddenly all become gluten intolerant or could it be the OTHER ingredients (you know, the ones that we can’t pronounce) that is affecting us? Where most would see this as a struggle to overcome, I looked at it as a challenge. This was the basis of how I would start branding my business. I was going to create a space that made food a family event, that was fun and educational, and we also happen to sell food!