What It's About
When excuses are abundant, this local meal prep delivery service finds a way to trim the fat!
Words of Wisdom
There’s a lot of learning through doing. When we asked Loren if he’d do anything differently, he mentioned that he’d do everything differently. But you never know what to do until you’ve been through it and learned on your own what works and what doesn’t.
Loren says that one of the most challenging parts of building Fit Kitchen Direct was learning how to not be afraid of saying no to somebody. This has allowed them to stay focused and not be distracted by every opportunity that came along. They stick to their niche exclusively (not doing catering or family-style meals for example) and it has allowed them to grow vertically.
Notes from Chris
Episode 653Megan Benedict had heard all the excuses. A personal trainer at a CrossFit gym in Portland, Oregon, Megan knew that nutrition was critical for her clients’ health and well-being. No matter how many pull-ups you do, without the right food, you can only go so far. But it was also true that her clients were quite literally fed up with the strains of maintaining a healthy lifestyle on top of their already full schedules. So instead of shrugging off their concerns, Megan tried a different approach—she listened and took note of them. Her clients weren’t the only ones with challenges. Although she had a full-time job that she loved, Megan felt the need to create something more flexible and forgiving. Because while she was kicking butt in her training sessions, the long hours were kicking hers. As her boyfriend and partner in crime, Loren Castillo, can confirm—the hours of a CrossFit trainer were brutal. There were plenty of days where she’d be out the door with nothing more than a protein bar at 5am, returning when it was dark and time for bed. It was a true labor of love, but even Megan had to admit that the lifestyle of a personal trainer was rough. It also didn’t help that she suffered from chronic migraines that would occasionally force her to cancel or reschedule on clients. Their shared goal was to reach a point where they’re able to support themselves and start a family, and this lifestyle wasn’t conducive to any of that. So, when Megan took note of the healthy eating challenges of her clients, she didn’t see them as excuses. She saw them as an opportunity. An opportunity to fill a very obvious need. Megan wrote down all of those excuses on a piece of paper, and one night, she and Loren put their heads together to try to come up with a solution to each: “Health food is boring and bland” was an easy one—Megan had a black belt in meal prepping, and let her taste buds lead the way when it came to putting together delicious meals that were also healthy. Check! “I’m too tired to cook after a long day at work” took a bit more consideration—this was the beginning of 2016, and the market was saturated with meal prep companies. Some were healthy, some not quite so much, but for the most part, all of them required some effort despite the convenience of having all of the ingredients delivered to your door. That’s when an idea really started cooking. What if they could find a way to do the cooking for them? They were already meal prepping for themselves, why not take what they had learned and turn it into a legitimate business? “Vegetables and fruit end up going bad before I can even use them” led them to the decision to make weekly deliveries to each customer with meals that would stand the test of time, so to speak. And they’d set everything up like a subscription model which would ensure repeat business for them. Although it may have had some humble beginnings, this piece of paper ultimately became the business plan for a meal prep company that they ended up calling Fit Kitchen Direct. By the end of their 8th month, they had roughly 50-60 subscribers that they could count on every week. They offered a seasonal menu, with four different dishes every single week. They began with a plan for Omnivores, but added a Vegan option after getting a lot of requests. Then, they got a license for Whole30 and began offering that option as well. They now have 200 weekly subscribers and some one-off sales. These 200 subs are all paying hundreds of dollars a month for deliveries, which means that each month’s revenue is currently in the $80,000 range, with a profit margin of between 30-40%. It’s not just a business, it’s a recipe for a whole new life!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Fit Kitchen Direct: Learn more about Megan, Loren, and the local food delivery service they're cooking up over on their website!
- Bottles: The platform that Loren and Megan use to manage their subscriptions on the backend
- Drift: The conversational marketing platform that Loren and Megan use to communicate with customers and potential customers over on their website
- Quick Research Leads to Meal Planning Subscription Service: Healthy meal planning can be rough. One man is on a mission to help people be more health-conscious with his subscription-based website selling meal prep recipes
- Pre-Made Meals Bring In $5,500/Month After Layoff: After losing her job, this digital marketer turns to the kitchen, where she whips up pre-made meals and launches a successful crowdfunding campaign
- What’s In the Box? Low-Carb, Low-Sugar Snacks: A CPA and Side Hustle School listener learns to start her own subscription box. In less than a year, it brings in more than $5,000/month!
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