Local company catches the meal-delivery wave with health emphasis SanTan Sun News

Local company catches the meal-delivery wave with health emphasis

July 10th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
Local company catches the meal-delivery wave with health emphasis
Neighbors
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By Jessica Suriano

Achieving healthier eating habits and weight-loss goals just got a lot easier thanks to the pre-made, customized meals from AZ Taste Buds, delivered right to the front door.

The Chandler-based food prep and delivery service relocated from California to Arizona in September of last year, and now provides about 15 to 25 organic meals a week to around 40 regular customers.

“We just wanted to give back to the community, and actually help people get closer to their goals just simply by changing the foods that they’re eating,” Daniel Lindsey, master chef and co-owner, said. “We don’t want people to have to make it a job to eat – we want to make it fun to eat.”

Lindsey said the business is growing by the week. Convenience, dietary restrictions, fresh foods and even preparation for special occasions like weddings or athletic events are some of the most common reasons customers contact AZ Taste Buds.

The company now also services the entire East Valley, West Valley, Mesa, Anthem, Buckeye and Ahwatukee. Lindsey and Bre O’Donnell, head chef and the other co-owner, work with a team of employees who possess years of nutrition experience to match every meal plan to a specific customer’s health goals.

Typical meals are about $5 to $7, including the cost of delivery. They are prepared, cooked and delivered every Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m., and customers can submit orders every other day Monday through Saturday until 5 p.m. on the website, aztastebuds.com, or by visiting the kitchen at 961 W. Ray Road.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, Lindsey said the business donates free meals to churches and nonprofit organizations. These come from the “Donate a Meal” option available to customers on the website.

The rest of the week, the company is devoted to advertising to the public as well as picking up supplies and meal ingredients for the following week. Lindsey said the ingredients for the food are coming from commercial wholesale suppliers as well as organic farmers’ markets around the Valley.

“We try and stay local,” Lindsey said. “We want to boost up other small businesses as well.”

The protein doughnuts, zucchini lasagna, street tacos and “Stella’s Chili” are some of the company’s most popular menu items.

“We’re blowing through so many doughnuts, you’d think I own a doughnut shop,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey and his team will also offer customers training and fitness tips and break down every meal’s nutritional makeup, such as its carbohydrates, sugars and fats, to fit every individual’s needs.

Although not all food delivery services have the health benefit of AZ Taste Buds, the food-delivery industry could grow to be worth as much as $210 billion eventually, according to research by Morgan Stanley, a financial services company.

“We are in the early days of a potentially significant shift in access to delivery, as various mobile internet-enabled businesses begin to scale and offer unprecedented variety, speed and convenience to the consumer,” John Glass, Morgan Stanley’s U.S. restaurant analyst, said in a July 2016 report.

Thanks to word of mouth about AZ Taste Buds in the East Valley, Lindsey doesn’t see his business slowing down any time soon.

“They just loved us,” Lindsey said. “They literally eat it up.”

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