With many Sarnians stressed out trying to find time to eat right, chef Marc Piquette has a solution that appears to be catching on.
His new business, Piquette Frozen Meals, serves up nutritious, well-balanced dinners for $7 each.
“A lot of my customers are plant workers and professionals who don’t have time to cook,” said the 29-year-old Red Seal chef.
He trained for years with his father, Norm, now retired from a successful catering business. Marc also finished a two-year cooking program at Algonquin College and an apprenticeship.
“I worked for someone else briefly and realized I like doing my own presentations, my own meals. It’s far more satisfying to rely on myself. I wanted my own business,” he said.
Piquette launched his frozen meal venture in August and sold 719 the first month, primarily through word of mouth and social media. Since then, he’s been renting the Camlachie Community Centre to produce 400 to 500 meals every two weeks.
After seven months, it’s time for expansion, he said.
“The meals are definitely popular with seniors but they are for everyone. I’d say most of my customers are 30 to 40 years old,” said Piquette. “If I can keep the meals reasonably priced, then everyone can afford them and everyone will buy them.”
A typical $7 meal consists of meat, a starch and vegetables. For instance, chicken cacciatore is paired with baby red skin potatoes and baby carrots. Lemon pepper salmon comes with California mixed vegies and brown rice. In all, there are about 17 entree selections. Piquette, who was raised in Camlachie, plans on introducing chili and homemade soups for $6 per serving this week. All are flash frozen and can be stored in the freezer up to six months.
“I’m looking for a kitchen and storefront right now, so my customers don’t have to come to my home to pick up the meals,” Piquette said. “I want to increase my volume and have a handy place for people.”
He’s also having a nutritionist evaluate his meals so he can provide nutritional information on the packaging and start marketing to area grocery stores.
Piquette Frozen Meals can be reached at 519-466-3672 or email [email protected]. He also has a website (www.piquettefrozenmeals.com) where orders can be submitted and a Facebook page. Delivery is available.
TRAVEL JUST FOR WOMEN
Sue Wright, formerly the executive director of Senior VIP community support services, is the new area rep and tour leader for a travel company for women only.
The Women’s Travel Network is a Toronto-based company that organizes international tours for groups of 10 to 16.
“It’s particularly great for single women who want to travel,” says Wright who is currently on her first trip with the company to India.
When she returns, she’ll be organizing a Tuscany tour in September.
Contact Sue Wright of Women’s Travel Network at 519-845-0447 or by email at [email protected].
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.