How to get a fresh cooked meal to your door for less than $15
THANKS to a chef with talent for seasonal cooking and the vision of a Sunshine Coast entrepreneur, you can now get fresh, pre-prepared meals delivered to your door for less than $15.
Affordable, restaurant-quality pre-prepared food is what Crazy Fresh owner Mat Walker is passionate about.
From Italian Frittata breakfasts to Chicken Quinoa and Lamb Polenta dinners and Rocky Road energy snacks, Crazy Fresh's winter menu is 20 meals and growing.
Busy professionals, new mothers and others in need of an easy, fresh feed, have rushed to snap up his home-delivered offering, Mr Walker says.
The meals are between $9.95 and $13.95. They are dropped to your door in a chilled polystyrene box, with Coast deliveries running twice a week.
Mr Walker spent a year developing cooking technology that allowed the food to keep its structure, flavour and nutrition after seven days in the fridge.
The meals mostly take two minutes to heat in a microwave, and containers are certified microwave and oven-safe, he says.
"You can get a Crazy Fresh meal, put it in the microwave and in a few minutes have a dinner that could have come from a restaurant," Mr Walker said.
Most of the ingredients used are grown on the Coast and Hinterland, supplied by Coolum-based Suncoast Fresh and Noosaville's Coastline Produce. An in-house chef and his team prepares nutritionist-approved meals at the business' commercial kitchen in Marcoola.
The "light bulb" moment for Mr Walker was when Chinese-imported frozen berries caused an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Australia last year.
He wanted his two-year-old daughter, Anilla, and children like her to have fresh food options, and believed Australian-grown produce was the answer.
"I worry for her future with regards to outside produce coming in to Australia," he said.
The health scare caused a consumer trend toward eating fresh, Australian-grown food, he said.
"There's a shift now, back to that (fresh food), because of these fears of outside Hep A ... from outside produce," he said.
Mr Walker was also motivated by his own experience recovering from a knee injury.
He snapped his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while playing indoor soccer, and had two months off work.
He wasn't mobile so he relied on food that could be prepared quickly, but the only options were frozen meals or takeaway, he said. It was frustrating, he said - just when he needed nutrition the most, it seemed hardest to find.
"My partner's busy and doing what she needs to do, and we've got a bub, so it was just really tricky," he said.
Research showed that new parents were in a similar position, and new mums were now some of his most loyal customers, he said.
Mr Walker is now happy to have "returned" to the food business, which he said was always his passion. He first worked at an events centre, managing 140 staff and a $22 millioin budget, and set up a business where he traded domain names before returning to his passion.
"There's no one on the Sunshine Coast currently that is producing meals the way we produce them - a fresh meal that'll sit fresh in your fridge for seven days," Mr Walker said.