Local businesses make eating healthy easy

Local businesses make eating healthy easy

For several years, a local business has made it easy for residents to serve up healthy meals. The trick is they do the shopping and prep work.

Lonnie Bouvier is the owner of Little Northern Meals, based in South Porcupine. She emails customers menus weekly and they can order prepped meals.

She thought of starting the business after her family moved North.

“I’m originally from the London area. My husband and I moved here four years ago,” Bouvier said. “He has a background in Cochrane. He got an opportunity for a job here, so we relocated. “I’ve been in the hospitality and the food industry for 20-plus years. Working in restaurants, I did wedding and event planning. Before we moved here, I did catering and was working for another company, Urban Jars, that did the same kind of idea of ​​prepared meals.

“When I moved here, I thought it was a great idea to start something different.”

Little Northern Meals make it easy to eat healthy.

“We do prepared meals pre-ordered,” she said. “I send a menu out on Sunday and they have until Monday to order. I make the meals fresh and send them out on Thursday and Friday. “Some examples are stir-fry mixes, ready to fry up. Soups that are ready to heat up. Smoothie bowls. Easy to grab, prepared meals.”

She was pleased with the reaction from the greater Timmins area.

“There’s been a great response,” Bouvier said. “I kind of thought that nobody would notice or I would just get a couple of people, but there has been a really great response. People really enjoy the salads. I think it’s nice to have something fresh to grab from your fridge. People feel a little bit better eating a salad once in a while. It’s so easy.”

Meals offered include items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are even healthy snacks available.

“On the menu, we offer overnight oats,” she said. “Everything’s all mixed up and ready to go. It’s the easiest, because you just grab it out of the fridge and eat it, or warm it up first.

“We do lunch bowls, so it’s like salads and we offer 11 different kinds every week. We also have smoothie bowls, and I change up the flavors every month. I have four flavors of smoothies so you just put them in the fridge to thaw them.

“I do stir fry mixes. You can pick your own grain and pick your own sauce. It’s all the veggies ready for stir fry. Right now, I’m offering soup, but not for too much longer. Also, energy bites, a quick protein snack I do up.”

Whether customers want to have a couple of snacks or salads on hand or plan a whole week of eating, it’s up to them.

“I have some customers who just buy a couple salads every week,” she said. “Some buy several salads if there are lots of people in the household who enjoy it.”

Little Northern Meals is developing relationships with local farms, making the farm-to-table experience easier.

“I do get microgreens from Sandhill Lane Farm,” Bouvier said. “He connected with me just before the holidays. Two of my salads that are on the menu every week have his microgreens in them. He harvests them on Tuesday nights, delivers them on Wednesday and I can put them in the salads on Thursday. So, it’s super fresh, which is really nice.”

She also plans to get some produce from Rubber Boot Farm when in season.

“What’s fun with them is I take all my vegetable trimmings and deliver them on Friday mornings and he feeds them to the chickens and pigs,” she said. “It’s kind of a fun way to get rid of my waste without going to the dump.”

RELATED: Local farm grows from rehab project into family business

For some holidays, the business offers special meals.

“I’ve done some special menus, like on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “I’ve had someone reach out for a special menu for their parents’ anniversary, so I did a special basket for brunch foods. I have another one coming up where they asked for some special things for a meeting.

“So maybe the world is changing again and after COVID there will be more catering opportunities. I really love the preparation like this, but I really love the opportunity for catering.”

All the meals are plant-based. But customers can also opt to build on the provided meals. For example, add some chicken to make it a chicken stir fry.

“Everything is plant-based, I don’t work with animal products,” she explained. “I’m not against it. Some people buy it and add their own protein. Not everybody in my own household is plant-based. I have some regular customers who are plant-based, but lots of them aren’t.

“When I make, for example, the (taco) soup for my own household, my husband will add cheese to it. They are ready-to-go meals.”

She enjoys every part of the business.

“I like cooking. I love to cook and feed people,” Bouvier said. “It makes me really happy to prepare all this food and deliver it. I enjoy the whole process.”

Contact Little Northern Meals via email at [email protected] or follow them on Facebook.

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