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Just because you're spending most of your time at home lately amid the pandemic doesn't mean you're not busy AF. If I had to guess, you're probably still trying to figure out the best way to manage your time between working from home, parenting, exercising, maintaining your overall mental health and sanity, and, oh yeah, feeding yourself. If you tend to struggle most with that last one, it's high time you start looking into meal-prep delivery services that can make your day-to-day a little easier.
And sure, you could try Blue Apron, HelloFresh, or one of the dozens of other popular meal subscription boxes out there. But knowing the power you have as a consumer, why not put your money toward supporting smaller businesses — particularly those that help foster diversity in an industry where it's often lacking? (Related: Why Wellness Pros Need to Be Part of the Conversation About Racism)
Whether you're looking for the delicious taste of a home-cooked meal after a long day of Zoom meetings or you simply want to avoid a trip to the grocery store, these Black-owned meal-delivery businesses have your back — and your stomach.
First Batch Artisan Food
Founded by culinary artist Dymetra Pernell, First Batch Artisan Food specializes in all of your vegan soul food needs, from vegan mac and cheese to vegan smoked brisket sandwiches. Located in Chamblee Tucker, Georgia, First Batch offers a weekly meal-prepped spread of five single-serving entrees accompanied by five dairy-free desserts, all for just $100. The menu changes every week, and you'll need to get your order in by noon on Wednesdays to have your meals ready for pick-up on Saturdays. Oh, and did I mention that First Batch's dairy-free ice cream once received the Critic's Choice Award for Best Ice Cream in Atlanta?
MealZac is all about feeding the soul. Created and founded by chef Thomas Mulzac, the catering business services New York City and neighboring areas, whipping up everything from collard green artichoke dip and spinach-stuffed salmon to lavender cake and fried rice and dumplings. MealZac also makes a variety of GMO- and MSG-free superfood seasonings you can use to spice up your meals, including a mac and cheese seasoning, cocoa vanilla extract, and adobo and sazón spices. Check out MealZac's full catering menu here to get a ~taste~ of their other offerings. (Related: 12 Healthy Spices and Herbs You Need In Your Kitchen)
Chantel's Catering LLC
Queens, New York native Chantel Quailey is the founder, owner, and head chef of Chantel's Catering LLC. Her passion for food began at a young age as she watched her grandfather, who was also a chef, whip up cuisines in the kitchen. Quailey later went on to earn her degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University and has been in the food industry for nearly a decade. Now, she's using her skills to create delicious meals such as broccoli cheddar quiche, spaghetti squash with black bean quinoa meatballs, and much more. Prices range from $35 for a daily meal-prep service (which includes one hot lunch/salad entree plus one hot dinner entree) to $360 for the entire month (including 20 hot lunches/salad entrees and 20 hot dinners).
Rebel Chef Meals
Whether you're a carnivore at heart, a pescatarian, or you're trying to ease your way into vegan or vegetarian foods, this Atlanta-based, Black-owned meal-prep service has something for you. Everything from Asian pepper steak to a Cajun squash medley topped with portobello mushrooms can be found at Rebel Chef Meals.
And, trust, each meal is definitely made with love: In an interview with local publication Voyage ATL, founder Ashley Hernandez said her passion for food began in her childhood when she'd "study" her mother in the kitchen, amazed by her ability to whip up a perfect meal for the family after a 12-hour workday. "Combine my hunger for food, impatience, and wanting to give my mother a break after a long day of work, I started cooking full course southern meals at the age of eight," Hernandez told the outlet.
Fast-forward to 2021, and Hernandez is *still* killing it in the kitchen. Her menus are available for request on Mondays and have a deadline to order by 6 p.m. ET on Wednesdays. Delivery order links can be requested through direct messages on Instagram.
Formerly known as "Chef Jess", Sauce is a meal-delivery service based in Washington, D.C. run by Jessica Swift, a registered dietitian and trained chef. Her interest in creating meal plans first started when her father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Swift used her culinary and dietary skills to get her father's eating habits back on track, and the rest is history. Now, she's the co-founder of Sauce, which offers catering, at-home meal delivery, and nutrition consultations in the greater D.C. area.
From curried butternut squash soup and paprika-braised tofu to grilled pork loin with blueberry BBQ sauce, Sauce has countless mouthwatering options to try. Meal-delivery services are available in options for a single delivery or a weekly subscription basis. First-time customers can get $20 off of their first month's order with the code GET20IG. Even cooler: You also have the option to send a meal as a gift to a friend, or feed families and essential workers in need across the D.C. region. (Related: 10 Black Essential Workers Share How They're Practicing Self-Care During the Pandemic)
Global Village Foods
Global Village Foods is a Vermont-based, Black-owned company that brings the bold flavors of African cuisine right to the comfort of your home. Founded by wife-and-husband duo Mel and Damaris Hall, Global Village Foods was inspired by their child's food allergies. After seeing firsthand just how difficult it can be to find flavorful, nutritious food options when you have severe food allergies, Damaris turned to her Kenyan roots to re-imagine traditional African dishes as allergy-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free meals (think: chickpea vegetable tajine and Ethiopian vegan lentils).
In addition to meal-delivery services (including public meal distributions throughout Chittenden County in Vermont), Global Village also makes frozen foods that you can find in local Whole Foods stores and natural co-op markets.
Founded by chef Amanda Chigumira, this Toronto-based brand is serving it up with your personal health goals in mind. FitChef Toronto offers four meal types — balanced, low-carb, keto, and vegan — and works one-on-one with customers to design a meal plan that's best for them. Sample menu options include a green power bowl made with vegan-friendly ingredients such as quinoa, okra, and spinach; a turkey sweet potato bowl for low-carb eaters; a keto-friendly orange beef stir-fry; Cajun chicken with brown basmati rice and steamed broccoli; and much more. FitChef meals are available in quantities of six, 10, 15, or 20 meals, with prices starting at $116 for six meals.
Sam Boyce was inspired to create BoyceMode after realizing the power of food amid his struggles with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and hypertension. With the help of his doctor, Boyce researched and studied the most effective ways to reprioritize his health and reach his nutrition goals. Now, he's helping others accomplish their food goals with BoyceMode, a New Jersey-based meal-prep delivery service that offers tons of delicious plant-based options. Whether you're craving Mexican flavors or a heaping bowl of linguine and mixed vegetables, BoyceMode has you covered. Weekly subscriptions start at $75 per week for five meals, or you can try BoyceMode's one-time introductory trial, which includes a five-day supply of the company's smoothie packs, plant-based lunches, dinners, and daily snacks, all for $119. (Related: The Plant-Based Diet Benefits Everyone Should Know)
Throughout Black History Month, you can score a 15 percent discount on your BoyceMode order by using the code "BM15" at checkout. And, if you're an essential worker, that discount bumps up to 25 percent off (DM BoyceMode for the full details).
Meal Prep Kingz
Based in southern California, Meal Prep Kingz delivers to Orange County, the Inland Empire, San Diego, and Los Angeles, with meal-prep options ranging from paleo pancakes to keto Swedish meatballs to creamy chicken carbonara with spaghetti. And, if you have a mean sweet tooth, you can treat yourself to one of Meal Prep Kingz's many keto-friendly desserts, including chocolate muffins, coffee cakes, blueberry lemon cakes, and more.
To get started, you can either mix and match from Meal Prep Kingz's à la carte menu where individual meals start at $12, or you can try one of the Chef's Choice weekly meal plans which start at $130 for 10 meals.
Perhaps the only thing better than MacroBites' food is its backstory. The meal-prep delivery service was founded by three New Jersey natives — David Lewis Jr., Jarrette Atkins, and Fritz Georges — who share a passion for food and were inspired to start a business together after serving time in prison. Despite initially facing discrimination because of their past, the trio persevered to launch MacroBites, a meal-delivery service that helps people prioritize macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) in healthy ratios. From lemon chicken piccata and New Orleans-inspired strip steak to a hearty southwest salad, MacroBites' options are sure to satisfy your cravings and help you meet your nutrition goals. (Here's your complete guide to counting macros.)
While MacroBites is based in New Jersey, the meal-delivery service is available in over 30 states across the U.S. and promises delivery in three days or less, regardless of where you're located. Try the company's sampler package, which includes six meals of your choice for $75, or you can go with The Weekday Warrior package, which includes 10 meals of your choice (lunch and dinner for five days) for $130.