I would love your feedback re: lunch - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 03-19-2008, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(x-posted in working mamas and polls when I fgure out how to do one)

After coming home from working all day yesterday, I cooked dinner, cleaned up, gave DD a bath, paid some bills, played with the dog, read books to DD, folded some laundry, got the garbage out for the morning pick-up, and got the coffee ready for the morning. (is this routine sounding familiar to anyone?)

I was exhausted and just as I went to sit down, I thought - "crap! I have to pack DD a lunch for tomorrow!" It was the last thing I wanted to do then but something that couldn't be ignored. So, I spent the next 15 minuted scouring the fridge for things to put in her lunch. I am pretty particular as to what DD eats (my whole family as well) so it's not like I would run to the store and pick up a few lunchables for her and her daycare does not provide lunches. Not only was I tired but my options were limited since I am severely in need of a visit to the grocer.

Later, as I lay in bed exhausted - BAM!!! like a ton of bricks my idea emerged. What if there was a service that offered nutritious, varied, fun and homemade sack lunches for kids??? A service that had both a morning pick-up option or a delivery to your school or daycare? yes yes yes!

So, my question to you parents is: would you use a service like this? would you be willing to pay a little more than the average price of a school lunch to ensure your child had a nutritious lunch that you didn't have to shop, make and pack? would you use it at least occasionally?


We have a great local CSA here and a vibrant farmers market. I'm thinking season and local foods when available; organic lunches with a fun kid-inspired menu. Obviously I would have to hire a nutritionist, rent a space with commercial cooking facilities, permits, etc, etc, etc but I' not going to jump the gun until I do some legwork.

My big dream is to be self-employed and I am always trying to think of business opportunities that I have a passion for. (primarily dogs, kids, and the environment ) DP is behind my ideas 100% which is a great feeling. As he says; "whatever you want to do honey, just tell me where to sign"

Any feedback at all would really be appreciated

\m/

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#2 of 11 Old 03-19-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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HECK yes, I would use it, and I wish you were in my area.
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#3 of 11 Old 03-19-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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I love the idea, but I think using it would depend on a few things. Can you customize the lunches for my LO who is allergic to wheat, my LO who hates carrots, or my vegan LO? What happens between the time you drop off the lunches and the time LO gets them? Is someone at school willing to hand them out? What if it gets handed out to the wrong kid on accident? Do I need to sign up like a "subscription" or is it pay as you go? Can I call up on Friday and ask for lunches for the following week? For little ones starting solids, how will you communicate with the parent/school to discuss when the LO is ready to introduce other foods, new textures, etc?

And honestly, it would also depend on what the school offers. If they offer or I know my LO consumes mostly unhealthy stuff, I would be more inclined to get this service. On the other hand, if my 13yo LO insists on eating pizza everyday and throws anything else out, then I wouldn't spend the money.

Again, I think it's an awesome idea! But I'm cheap, so I always overthink using services like this one. But maybe this post will help you prepare for annoying potential customers like myself.

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#4 of 11 Old 03-19-2008, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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becoming - I wish you were in my area too!!


heather8 - these are fantastic questions and I have a lot to consider!! I am thinking of a subscription service to those who are full-time and pay-as-you-go for the part-timer.

I am thinking of planning lunches at minimum 2 weeks in advance. Maybe have it set up so kids can have a choice between 3-4 entrees (vegan or veg options included) choose 2 sides/snacks, and choice of drink.

I'm thinking store-front for cooking/pick-up and also website for menu viewing, ordering, special requests, food nutritional info, etc.

For schools, maybe trying to arrange the drop-off right before lunch-period begins. Have someone in the school that can help hand them out to the right person or class.

\m/

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#5 of 11 Old 03-19-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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I was wondering how you'd handle allergies too. And the whole having to stop and pick them up would be a pain, but if you offered a delivery, that would be great.

Other than that, sounds like a great idea.

Honestly, I think I know the area you live in and I think you'd get tons of customers.
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#6 of 11 Old 03-19-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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What would be really great is if they were lunches that would keep for a few days, and the parents could pick them up from the store any time of day on Sunday & Wednesday. That way a parent could get his/her child's lunches for Monday-Wednesday all at once on Sunday, and Thursday & Friday's lunches on Wednesday. Then there wouldn't be the problem of delivery to the schools, which honestly I can't see some schools (ours included) allowing because of disruption of class, confusion, etc.

However, I don't know how many lunch foods would still be good on the third day.
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#7 of 11 Old 03-23-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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I think you'd do well to contract with a Montessori or other preschool.
You will have to get a food license for your kitchen but can get around that by using another kitchen that is already licensed (a friend's brother does this for his hot sauce business, makes it in a small restaurant that is only open for breakfast and lunch).

ETA: I think you should offer: vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, nut free, and other combinations for kids with special dietary needs.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#8 of 11 Old 03-25-2008, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the responses. This is something that I am putting some serious thought into. I have a friend who runs a deli and is willing to let me rent kitchen space. I am going to do research this summer and also keep an eye on the local economy. I don't want to sink a lot of time and money into it when/if people are really starting to cut back on their spending.

\m/

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#9 of 11 Old 03-27-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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I know there are a few of those services around here. You may want to google it to get some idea of how they work it.

But i agree, it's a great idea. Depending on how exactly you want to structure it, and how crunchy your area is, I would suggest looking into Tiffins, which are stainless reusable lunch "boxes", generally used in India. I picked one up about a week ago and I love it, it's allowed me to get almost all the plastic out of my lunchbox AND it's completely reusable. I know some restaurants deliver to businesses in tiffins, and pick up afterwards. Something to think about, instead of just using disposable packaging.

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#10 of 11 Old 03-28-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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AWESOME! I would love that!
Please franchise to Toronto ASAP!!
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#11 of 11 Old 04-05-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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I'd like this and I'm an adult!

A supportive military wife and mama to my busy boy and sweet girl.
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