Biz Buzz: Rigby couple’s food-preparation business helps families reconnect
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Prepared meal service makes dinnertime less stressful for customers, owners say
IDAHO FALLS – Many people have heard the saying, “Simple moments are the stuff memories are made of.”
For Clara Stegelmeier of Rigby, it was a simple moment with her husband, Logan, that sparked an idea for what is now a successful prepared meal service.
“We were in a cabin in Island Park, and we’ve always been entrepreneur spirits,” Clara tells EastIdahoNews.com. “I’ve always loved to cook. I always cook fresh, and I am so passionate about dinnertime. I think it’s a lost tradition to gather your family together … put your phones down and connect with each other.”
A bad experience with a popular freezer meal service prompted the couple to action and in January, they launched The Roundtable Meals, a similar venture with their own twist.
“Pre-assembled freezer meals made with the busy family in mind,” the business’s website reads.
The business offers customers a variety of 10 different pre-made meals, along with several add-on items. Chicken pillows and chicken pot pie are some of the most popular dishes. It also offers Mongolian beef, chicken tacos and dessert options like cookies.
Each item is made fresh in a kitchen at 3950 South Yellowstone Highway inside Billman’s Catering. It’s then packaged, chamber-sealed and frozen before a customer comes to pick it up or it’s delivered to their home. See how it works in the video player above.
Clara says the idea is to take all the work out of dinnertime so the customer has more time to spend with family at the end of the day. And with several hundred customers throughout eastern Idaho, it seems to resonate with people.
“A lot of people are more desperate for less drive-thru meals and really want to have a good quality meal that’s convenient,” she says. “It grew faster than we could handle at first. It was just us two in a kitchen for four days straight once a month. Now here we are in our own kitchen having a team work for us. It’s been exciting.”
The duo is leasing the kitchen space inside a building that’s used by multiple businesses. They’d like to eventually have their own storefront kitchen with Roundtable meals on display and also have more options for health-conscious families.
But overall, their goal is to “encourage families to make memories together and to prioritize any ounce of connection they can have” at mealtime.
“Dinnertime (as a family) is very important,” Logan says. “It helps prevent obesity, depression, provides greater self-esteem and a greater sense of self-worth, and there’s a lower risk of substance abuse (for children).”
She said that nowadays, more connection with children is the greatest thing parents can do to help them.
“We hope that people look forward to dinnertime and that it’s easy and convenient,” adds Clara.
The Roundtable Meal prices start at $32 for four servings. There is an additional cost for delivery. Pick-up times are between 9 a.m. and noon the second and last Monday of every month. There are pick up locations in Rigby, Idaho Falls and Pocatello.