The Fresh Fork: For the Weary And the Hate-to-Cook Crowd

BY SARA SHEIKH

With made-to-order meals prepared just before pickup or delivery, The Fresh Fork offers hungry Bloomingtonians a locally owned meal planning service. The inspiration for founder Stacy Thompson’s vision was hearing people, over and over, say how difficult it is to prepare healthful meals.

Thompson, 39, a local attorney, appreciated the business model of national companies like Blue Apron or Plated, but there was one aspect of that model she didn’t like: Those companies drop boxes of prepackaged ingredients and recipes at the door, leaving the burden of preparing the meals on the customer.

The Fresh Fork caters to people who lack the time or inclination to prepare meals themselves, says Thompson. Her company cooks made-to-order meals, which include proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables that are prepared just before pickup or delivery and are ready to reheat at home.

While Thompson focuses on offering customers quick and easy meal alternatives, she appreciates the need for variety and constantly works to evolve and expand The Fresh Fork’s rotating weekly menu. “I like variety,” she says. “If I’m going to eat a lean meat, I don’t want to eat something that tastes the same three times a week.”

She also likes to keep things simple. “I want to make a recipe taste good but eliminate unnecessary ingredients,” she says. “I only keep ingredients that are necessary for flavor.”

Prices range from $3.95 to $14.95. Reheating instructions, typically involving 30 to 60 seconds in a microwave, accompany each meal. All meals arrive in microwave-friendly containers. Unlike national chains that deliver meals boxed with each ingredient packaged separately, the local company minimizes waste by avoiding multiple containers for each menu item. Meals can be refrigerated for up to seven days after pickup.

Monroe County residents can place orders by midnight for next-day delivery or for pickup Sunday through Thursday. Preorder is not required for Grab-n-Go meals, which are available at The Fresh Fork, located at 338 S. Walnut. The Fresh Fork also serves Columbus, Indiana, where preordered meals can be picked up Monday and Thursday at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club.

For more information, visit thefreshforkonline.com or call 812-650-3139.

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