Meal Prep Service Has Grand Opening For Restaurant In Vineland, NJ
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns in 2020, the Meal Prep Industry went from being a niche service for the Health and Fitness World to becoming a mainstream food service. Now a local Meal Prep Business in South Jersey is taking the next step and opening their own Restaurant as well.
According to data researched by the Washington Post, there was an increase of 68.5 percent growth for the Meal Prep/Meal Kit Market in 2020 with National Companies such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron gaining millions of new subscribers for their services. These companies allow people to customize food orders to their dietary needs and bypass traditional food shopping. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, supermarkets are still having supply-chain issues while the Meal Prep/Meal Kit Industry has now reached $17 Billion in worldwide revenue.
Here in South Jersey, the Grand Opening of Prepped by Prevail Nutrition is Saturday, November 11th from 10 am to 2 pm featuring the new Brick-and-Morter location for Prevail Nutrition. Ashlee Meneely is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist who originally started the Meal Prep service to help her Personal Training Clients. But once there was a growing demand for her food service, she started Prevail Nutrition after going through the Board of Health to get what she needed for an approved kitchen.
I spoke with Ashlee about how the COVID-19 Lockdowns changed the trajectory of her Meal Prep Business:
"When the pandemic hit (and) all the gyms closed, I thought 'This is it, I’m done, I’m going down with the gyms.' But the opposite happened! I had a few really great customers stumble upon my company via Instagram and they spread the word like wildfire. It was so many meals, I was extremely pregnant (with my second child) and I knew I had to throw my all into it. I started upgrading the website, the menus the serving sizes. I started catering to all dietary needs. Anything I could to keep the customers coming and it worked."
Since 2020, Prevail Nutrition has grown into a 7 days a week small business that Ashlee runs with her partner, Charles Franklin, in which they receive online orders and deliver meals to customers' homes or businesses. Prevail has also grown so much that they are sponsoring local athletes like Mainland Regional High School Graduate and the 26th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, Chase Petty.
The new home of Prevail Nutrition is on South Main Road, near the intersection with Magnolia Road. Even though they had a soft open to keep serving their customers who pre-order their meals, the Grand Opening on Saturday is the opportunity for the public to check out the business first-hand.
For Ashlee, being a small business owner is part of her number one job: being a mother and role model for her kids. Starting this new chapter for her business is also another opportunity as a parent to do more for her children:
"Being a mom and a business owner, wow it’s a balance! I started this company to have the freedom to make my own schedule. I was a single mom and I needed to be available to her whenever she needed. As the company grew I wanted to show my daughter that she could accomplish anything if she tried. I grew up differently than most people, I didn’t have a stable family life. My father passed away and my mother hasn’t played a major role in my life. - I came from literally nothing and now I run a successful business, I have my own restaurant, my own home, and many personal accomplishments that I can say I did all by myself. I want my kids to have more than I ever had. I want them to have the stability I didn’t and the knowledge that they can build anything they want in their lives."
9 Notable High School Alum from South Jersey
Gallery Credit: Heather DeLuca