A new store offering pre-made healthy meals has just opened its doors in Taylors.
Lean Kitchen is a franchise that caters to health-conscious customers who want to eliminate the time spent going to grocery stores and preparing meals of their own.
The concept, originally from Missouri, gives customers a choice of about 25 different meals, with rotating options, that are made from scratch and prepackaged, with prices ranging from about $5 to $10 per meal. Prices are cheaper when customers purchase a meal plan, and all meals are available through delivery.
“Having that option where you don’t have to go out and buy your meals, don’t have to prepare them, but still have that variety and know you’re eating healthy — it’s what people need and want right now,” said franchise owner Colin Medlock.
To prepare at home, one simply has to pop the lid of the container, microwave for about a minute and enjoy.
Meals include relatively normal options like steak and eggs, chicken wraps and turkey tacos, as well as more unusual creations like deconstructed cheeseburger bowls, protein powder donuts and “meatza,” which is basically a pizza with the dough replaced with ground turkey.
A former high school swimmer, Medlock said the time constraints inherent in maintaining a work-life balance left him constantly rushing through the day.
“Everyone’s jobs want more and more of their time, so you have less and less of your own time,” Medlock said. “I used to do those meal kits where they send you the food and you cook it, but even with that, after awhile I was getting tired of spending 45 minutes or an hour cooking and cleaning up every time I wanted something healthy and filling.”
All meals at Lean Kitchen are prepared on-site in the open kitchen, and meals have a seven-day peak freshness time window. Meals are prepared using “only ingredients people can pronounce,” Medlock said. No ingredients used are ever frozen, although he said all meals can easily be frozen and thawed in the microwave at a later time for those who want healthy, long-term microwavable options.
Originally founded as a workout supplement store, Lean Kitchen still offers supplements and healthy drink options to go.
Medlock said he plans to open a second location in the next year or so, most likely closer to downtown Greenville.