A bit over seven years ago I hit a career crossroads. Actually, it was more of a speed bump. I was really bored in my job, but really didn’t know what to do next in life. I had been looking for a new job for about six months but everything I saw that I liked meant a massive pay cut or more responsibility than I really wanted. And at the end of the day, I just wanted to work part time. For people I liked.
One of the options I seriously considered was starting up a home catering company. The sort where I cooked and delivered nutritious and tasty meals for busy and over-stressed working people. I had been one of them for a few years, a few years earlier. Working 12 hour days. Getting home after 8pm, stopping to pick up a Thai takeaway who I had called via speed-dial as I left the office. Let’s just say during the 15 months in *that* particular job I gained about 12kg and developed a few less than stellar habits. And my health suffered. In a big way. Physically and emotionally.
Enough about my overworked past.
Needless to say, after I spent about five minutes researching all the regulations for running a catering company I decided it was all FAR TOO HARD. Instead I hung out my shingle as a marketing communication consultant. Far more fun. Lots of work, lots of time to do fun things (usually). And always working with people I liked (hello any clients who are reading this!).
Anyhoo. Last week I received an email from Georgia Limmer, half of the husband (Ben Limmer, chef at places such as Restaurant II, James Street Cooking School and Culinart) and wife team who have just established home catering company Wholesomeness. I was almost beside myself with excitement that someone else had done the hard work and created the business I had envisioned seven years ago. And, even better, it was in Brisbane so I can order from it. YAY!
Georgia asked if I would be interested in being sent a Box of Goodness. Um, OF COURSE I WOULD. Especially as we had only been home from the US for three days and I was already sick of having to cook (yes, I know. Most unlike me).
A few days later my box was delivered. It was like Christmas – but better – as it was nearly 6pm and hubby and I were both starving and had been anxiously awaiting our delivery, curious to know what we would be eating that night for dinner. Which, by the way, is also VERY unlike me. I normally start thinking about what to make for dinner before I actually get up in the morning. If not the night before.
Our box included three meals, with two serves of each. Georgia hadn’t asked what I wanted and I hadn’t made any suggestions. She gave us a lentil and ham hock stew, a Caribbean chicken with black beans and pineapple salsa and spinach and pine nut stuffed field mushrooms with tri-coloured quinoa. She later told me she had read my blog and chosen foods she thought I would like. She was spot on.
Our first meal was the lentil and ham hock stew. I could eat this every week. It was a very generous serve (hubby had leftovers for lunch), and absolutely laden with big chunks of ham hock. The instructions were to reheat in a microwave, but as we are a microwave-free-home I reheated it on the stove, which took about 20 minutes on a low heat.
All the meals came with microwave instructions, but these will be updated to include other forms of reheating in coming weeks.
We reheated the mushrooms in the oven, and all other dishes on the stove (I added about two tablespoons of water to the quinoa so it wouldn’t catch on the bottom of the pot).
Each of the meals were very filling, extremely tasty, and very generous servings. We had a bit of each leftover for lunch, and we used the black beans that came with the chicken dish on nachos one night.
I sat down with Georgia for a coffee a couple of days after we had started eating our way through our Box of Goodness and the excitement and joy at getting this business off the ground just radiated out of her. It was so contagious!
She told me that she and Ben started thinking about this concept about 18 months ago, and three weeks ago launched their first boxes. A long gestation period for their new baby, as they wanted to get it right. They also have a 3 year old and a 9 month old, who inspired them to start the business. I asked her if she was crazy taking on so much and she just laughed.
Their goal is to create wholesome, healthy and organic meals for busy people. I also think this would be a brilliant gift for new mums and for people struggling with the death of a loved one. Two times you definitely don’t want to think about having to cook.
All the meals are fully cooked and just need to be reheated. They will last for about five days in the fridge and can all also be frozen.
All meals are also gluten free and dairy free, which really impressed me. Mainly because I had to be told. Nothing bland or boring about this food!
As well as dinners, Wholesomeness also makes a sensational crunchy granola which is divine on some yogurt with fruit for breakfast, dessert or a snack on it’s own. It’s chock full of seeds and nuts and Georgia tells me it is Paleo, for anyone following that eating style.
How to order your Box of Goodness – go to the Wholesomeness website and place your order online – www.wholesomeness.com.au.
Delivery – orders close at 11.59PM on Thursdays and delivery is late afternoon Tuesday. Currently delivery is within the Brisbane postcodes of 4000-4179 (excluding 4025), however this will expand as the business grows and demand increases.
The food – the menu will change regularly to take advantage of food in season. Everything is gluten and dairy free, organic and absolutely delicious!
Price – most meals are $9 per serve (extremely good value and far cheaper than most take-away meals). You choose how many serves of each meal you want.
Disclaimer – The cook’s notebook was provided with a Box of Goodness.