Everyone's had that moment — you're running late for that dreaded 1:30 class, all you want to do is nap and you haven't had lunch yet. You glance at Burger King but suddenly remember how you failed last year's New Year's resolution to eat healthy after just a month. 

Yeah, I've been there. But have no fear — there is a solution. The Fresh Fork, a new, local food prep business, offers prepared meals for you to grab and go. From 4-7pm Monday through Friday, selected dishes are available for in-store pickup throughout the day and on Saturday and Sunday, when InBloom Juicery opens their pop-up shop in the same location. 

Another option is to order online. Chefs can cook up to a week's worth of meals for you to refrigerate and take as lunches, dinners or even snacks. The best part? Mr. Delivery can bring them straight to your door. 

I interviewed Stacy Thompson, The Fresh Fork's owner, and Jade Simmons, The Fresh Fork's marketing intern, and figured out why The Fresh Fork should be your go-to for healthy, homemade food. 

1. It's locally owned and operated.    

Spoon: What is The Fresh Fork? 

ST: The Fresh Fork is a healthy meal preparation business. We make super healthy meals that are already cooked, that you can stick in your refrigerator, that you can just heat them up whenever you want to eat them. The food stays good in your fridge for up to 7 days, so you can even stock them in your refrigerator, stick it in a lunchbox or put it on a plate if you want to have it for dinner or serve it to other people.

Spoon: How did you come up with this business idea?

ST: This was a business that I wanted to have in my life as a consumer for a long time. I knew that they existed in larger cities on the east coast and the west coast, but I knew Bloomington didn’t have anything like it. So for a long time, I was thinking someone should do. At the same time, I had always been wanting to own a business, so I kind of put those two things together and just decided to go for it.

2. It can help you stick with your New Year's resolution.

Spoon: What do you love about the Fresh Fork?

ST: What I love about The Fresh fork is that you have a way to eat healthy conveniently. Everyone is busy. So what I love about the Fresh Fork is that you can’t have the excuse anymore of “I want to eat healthy but I just don’t have time.” The Fresh Fork eliminates that — that’s what I love about it.

Spoon: What’s your advice for college students trying to eat healthier?

ST: I would say seek out places that provide with the food but also information about what you’re eating. In the case of The Fresh Fork, you know if you order something from here, that is healthy. You also know from the website the portion size. I think when I was in school, you were so busy and you either don’t have to go to the grocery, or you don’t have time to cook, or you don’t like doing that stuff? I would tell people there are now so many options available for you that you don’t have to make it yourself in order to be healthy. Don’t settle, that’s what I would say.

3. It's got a healthy and varied selection of foods.

Joie Li
Spoon: What kind of process goes into determining the menu?

ST: I determine the menu, and the process is basically taking either recipes that we think are delicious and we kind of it pare it down and take out what we don’t think is needed for it to taste good. For example, a chicken Parmesan doesn’t have to have oil and butter and gobs of mozzarella cheese and everything else in order to be delicious. Our chicken Parmesan has fresh tomatoes, a little bit of Parmesan cheese and so we basically take what we all consider to be super delicious food and make it in such a way that it’s also healthy. We rotate the menu, too, because people get into the habit, and I definitely did this when I started to eat healthy. You eat the same thing over and over again so even if you’re eating stuff that’s delicious, you’re eating the same stuff over and over again and that starts to get boring. That’s what throws you off about eating healthy. In our case since we rotate the menu every week, you could literally eat the fresh fork every week and you wouldn’t have the same stuff.

JS: There’s beef, chicken, veggie options every week. It caters to every type of diet  vegetarian, vegan, etc.

4. It's super convenient and can be delivered straight to your door.

Spoon: How is it distributed?

ST: We do our delivery through Mr. Delivery, so right now if you place an order for delivery, Mr. Delivery will pick it up here and bring it to you at a day and time that you select.

5. It's expanding to reach all levels of healthy eating.

Spoon: What are you most excited about, looking towards Fresh Fork’s future?

ST: I am excited for more people to start eating healthy conveniently. I know I’ve been saying that but that’s what the fresh fork about it. I do believe that people want to eat healthy, they just don’t have the time. So what’s exciting for me is from a business perspective I’m excited to grow and for my employees to be doing well, but at the same time I’m excited for people to not have that excuse anymore. I can eat healthy conveniently.

JS: I also feel like it’s been ingrained into people’s brains. Eating healthy tastes bad. Eating healthy is eating a salad. A salad can be unhealthy, and eating healthy can be delicious. You just need to replace the meals you normally eat with healthier ingredients. You can have the same flavor, not 1000 calories and 50 grams of saturated fat when you go out for a burger.

ST: I totally agree. I think sometimes when people think they’re going to lose weight and they’re going to get healthy, they roll their eyes and think that’s punishment. Chicken, broccoli, and rice, or whatever they’re thinking lettuce, with tomatoes, so they think of it as a punishment? I know whenever I eat at the Fresh fork, I think of it as a meal that I know is coming. When I pull it out of my lunchbox I’m excited to eat it and it really deters me from wanting to eat anywhere else because when I go eat somewhere else, I’m trying to look for healthy food and I’m disappointed.

spam, pizza, beer, tea, coffee
Joie Li