Ipswich’s answer to Hello Fresh launching this month
PUBLISHED: 19:30 15 September 2020
Get nutritionally-balanced, healthy meals delivered to your door in Suffolk - with no cooking involved.
There were two camps when it came to eating at the height of lockdown.
Camp one methodically planned their meals, stocked up the cupboards as if preparing for a nuclear winter, and filled their social media feeds with glossy images of sourdough, cakes and gourmet dinners.
Camp two (myself included) were massively underprepared, couldn’t find what they needed at the shops, and were so stressed about the whole Coronavirus affair they reached for the nearest bottle of gin and family-sized pack of chocolate.
Now, with relative levels of normality starting to creep back into our lives – work, school, perhaps dare I say it, the gym – those days of whipping up a storm in the kitchen, or slouching in front of the latest Netflix box set seem a distant memory. The time we gained for shopping, planning, preparing and cooking has vanished, as Tommy Cooper would say, “just like that”.
A new business (Munchies Ipswich) launched by Suffolk chef Mr Munchie (who prefers to go by his pseudonym) aims to solve the age-old ‘what’s for dinner’ problem, delivering handmade, largely organic ready meals in a service he hopes will locally rival food boxes such as Hello Fresh and Gousto.
Each meal, made from scratch by the chef, is calorie counted and comes with full nutritional information in branded, temper-evident packaging. Rather than having to actually chop or cook anything, all the meals are ready to simply pop in the microwave, and delivered in bi-weekly batches.
“During lockdown,” says Mr Munchie, “I was approached by friends and family and others to create meals for them...so I was trying to think of a business that was sustainable. It had to be an essential business or service – I just don’t know if the world’s ever going to go back to ‘normal’. I know I’m definitely more cautious about going into restaurants.”
Munchies Ipswich meals launch towards the end of September with trial packs currently out to the first testers, and with a personal trainer being brought on board to supply fitness plans alongside some of the meals where clients require them. The dishes, says Mr Munchie, are balanced and packed with goodness, including lean proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables.
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“Our main goal is healthy eating, but I’ve been doing a lot of polls on Instagram and people are asking ‘why is it all healthy?’ so I’ll be introducing winter dinners – things like shepherd’s pie and curries. Even people on healthy eating plans want a cheat meal once or twice a week.”
Order online by midnight on Thursday for a delivery on Sunday and a following delivery on Wednesday in IP1 to IP12 and Colchester CO1 to CO3 postcodes. Meals have a fridge life of three to five days with Mr Munchie being against freezing which he says “totally ruins food”.
Options (priced at £5.50 or £6 for a single portion) include piri piri chicken fillets with rice and rocket, vegetable and lentil curries, a five bean chilli with lean beef mince or Quorn and rice, and meatballs with penne pasta and green beans, with the menu changing at least once a month.
Everything is locally sourced where possible (meat is from Salter & King in Aldeburgh and fish from Suffolk Food Hall) and all vegetables are, says Mr Munchie, 100% organic. “There are other people doing similar things but using cheaper ingredients and producing cheaper meals, but I don’t think that’s good.”
Find Munchies Ipswich on Instagram and look out for the website munchiesipswich.co.uk launching online soon.
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