Business aims to bring families together at the dinner table
Space is becoming too small, business is booming and shelves continuously need to be restocked. Not a bad problem for a local business that has only been open for 15 months.
Over the last year, Marvelous Mealz in Telford has been warming the hearts and bellies of the local community as their frozen meal business is bringing families together at the dinner table, something owner Lori Leaman feels has been missing in some households.
“Being able to come to us takes a lot of pressure off of families,” said Leaman. “Parents come home from work, have to take the kids to soccer practice, come home and then make dinner. But at that time they’re too tired and just want to grab take out. Luckily for us, you can still eat a nutritious and healthy meal that won’t take much of your time to prepare.”
Throughout this last year, hundreds have walked into the Marvelous Mealz shop located at the Telford Train Station, 131 Penn Ave., Telford. Leaman’s business partner, Julie Landes, who joined in April of 2012, said she believes numbers have been so good be- cause of the variety of clientele and foods.
“Our foods hit with a wide range of people — the empty nesters, working class, singles, on-the-go families, picky eaters — you name it, we’ve seen it,” said Landes.
Both Leaman and Landes prepare Marvelous Mealz items, which are handmade with fresh and healthy ingredients, every day, offering meals that are portion sized anywhere for two to eight people.
As you walk into Marvelous Mealz headquarters, large coolers stash away the frozen meals, which range from ice cream sandwiches, french toast, chicken tetrazzini to veggie burgers. A more specialized menu is broken into sections, which include beef, chicken, pasta and bread, soups, breakfast, fruits and vegetables, desserts and others.
More than 50 items are offered and options are often rotated, fiWWLnJ Ln ZLWK ERWK WKH FDOHnGDU and food seasons. Prices range anywhere from $3 to $15 depending on the meal.
As summer is in its peak, Leaman and Landes have noticed the Asian chicken and black bean veggie burgers become favorites. Both go well on the grill.
The duo has also noticed an increase in sales over the last few months as customers have been telling them these dishes will be packed away and eaten while on vacation with their family.
A crowd favorite year round is Marvelous Mealz’s chicken parmesan — a hand-sliced chicken cutlet coated with seasoned bread crumbs and then pan fried, according to Landes.
“In the winter people really like our soups and we have our comfort foods like our chicken pot pies,” said Leaman.
For both Leaman and Landes, comfort foods have always been a part of their lives, both learning to cook when they were young girls.
Leaman used to watch and help her mother cook when she was growing up. Marvelous Mealz became a reality after cooking, preparing and selling frozen meals out of her home to friends. After receiving high interest, she decided to start a business.
“I’m not much of a risk taker, not in the slightest,” said LeaPDn. “BuW , IHOW FRnfiGHnW DERuW opening up a shop and it all has worked out.”
When Landes was growing up, her mom required all of the chil- dren to cook one meal a week. 7KLV ZRuOG EH EHnHfiFLDO WR KHU in the future.
“I used to always make basil chicken and my family always said they liked it,” said Landes. “To this day I really don’t know if they enjoyed it that much or they were just making me feel better about myself, but either way they got it almost every week.”
As Marvelous Mealz continues to take over hundreds of refrigerators and freezers, Leaman and Landes have lots of possibilities they hope to bring into their business over the years to come.
“WH GHfinLWHOy ZDnW WR Hxpand,” said Leman. “Other than that we have some new and fresh ideas like starting more veganand vegetarian-friendly dishes, while also producing some that are gluten free and using soy products.”
Whether the menu will increase or not, Marvelous Mealz stands by its saying, “Bringing back home cooking one freezer meal at a time.”
To learn more about Marvelous Mealz and to see its menu, visit marvelousmealz.com.
Lori Leaman, left, and Julie Landes at Marvelous Meals in Telford.