Local entrepreneur gets on food delivery trend
COLUMBIA - Austin Faerber has had a knack for food his entire life. The pre-med student at MU saw a need for healthier living in his school community and jumped on board with the meal delivery trend by starting his own pre-packaged meal service.
“People would joke around like, ‘If you would do that for me, I would pay you to do it.’ And that kind of sparked a light bulb, if I had a kitchen I could do it," Faerber said. “Now I have a kitchen, and I just ran with it.”
Faerber started the delivery business, Mizzou Clean Heat, earlier this semester. Since then he’s had interest from dozens of customers and pocketed hundreds of dollars from students looking for healthy foods on a time crunch.
“It’s a competitive, cheap route to fresh food fast.”
He buys the ingredients, cooks, packages and delivers meals to customers himself for eight dollars each. He also runs the business' advertising on Instagram to reach new customers.
The trend comes in part of a larger movement toward pre-packaged meal kits for busy families or people who don’t have time to grocery shop and cook meals themselves.
His business shares the same ideology as many big meal-prep delivery companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. These companies have customers choose meal plans and deliver the ingredients and recipes directly to your doorstep, whereas Mizzou Clean Heat will bring you a ready-to-eat meal.
Local businesses like Nourish and Eat Fit Go offer similar services with pre-made meals packed with protein-rich, gluten-free and organic options. Prices range from a couple of dollars a meal, to almost a hundred for Nourish’s three-day cleanse.
“When people are busy, they have a lot of things they have to decide. Food often gets a back seat, and they grab something really quick. But if you have something that you don’t have to think about, to fight your willpower, you already have it made for you, and ready to go, then you make a good decision because it’s already been made,” Kalle LeMone, co-owner of Nourish said.
“Almost every disease is related to inadequate nutrition, so if people learn it now, I mean just little changes can have big effects in the long run,” Faerber said.
“Time is so valuable, you can be studying and order your groceries for the week but that takes an hour, two hours of your week that you can study, work out...it’s so much more efficient," he said. “I can take the time on my half to take care of that.”