Episode 99 – Karissa Wold, Strong Eatz Mealz
With $500 in her checking account, Karissa Wold, was drawn to start a healthy meal prep service. Working as a personal trainer she saw her clients work so hard in the gym only to be frustrated with results. Realizing that exercise is only a portion of physical transformation, Karissa started making meals for her clients. “Food is huge, it's a big deal. To maximize the workouts, if you are eating to perform, you are going to reach your goals because of the nutrition,” Karisa shared.
With a commercial kitchen in Rigby, they serve all the way to Burley. “We're not going to stay in just one kitchen,” Karissa said. They never plan to have a brick and mortar store front because they deliver the meals. The business has grown by word of mouth but Karissa said they are investing in more on-line marketing now. The convenience is a great draw and the meals are customized to the clients. “If you can't customize to the customer that's going to be really difficult long term,” Karissa said. She feels that this is a differentiator for their business.
They have several different kinds of meals including gluten free, dairy free, paleo, keto, etc. “Now we are tapping into different things like allergies, we want to take care of everyone,” Karissa said. Helping athletes is a passion for Karissa. Her goal is to get into all the high schools to maximize the up and coming athletes.
Karissa shared that they have faced adversity as the business has grown. When she was making meals for her clients she didn't realize that it was a requirement for her to do that out of a commercial kitchen. “While I was making meals for my clients we had a competitor turn us in,” Karissa said. She would have preferred for them to contact her directly but in working with the licensing agency she quit making the meals and looked for a commercial kitchen. They found that kitchen within 2 weeks and quickly became licensed so they were off and running. This also gave them an opportunity to partner with a caterer who smokes the meat they use in the meals.
“I was super surprised how fast it grew. I knew over time that if we got the formulas right and we got the food right it would take off. I was really really surprised,” Karissa said. It became really clear that she had discovered an unmet need in the area and that customers were willing to pay for what she offered with convenience and eating healthy.
Karissa was raised in a family that owned businesses. She feels that shaped her work ethic and prepared her for owning her own businesses. She shared that when the business first started she worked 7 days a week. “It's that work ethic that was instilled in my life that kept me going. Seeing my mom and my dad work so hard for the life they have now helped me in my business,” Karissa said. Her children help deliver meals and are expected to work to pay for the things they want, this is important to Karissa because she wants to raise independent kids.
One of the challenges she's facing now is working on the business instead of in the business. They have hired several new employees and the business is growing. She has found that hiring leaders that have different traits than she does compliments the strengths and works well for the business.
For anyone considering self-employment she recommends that you are prepared to work hard. “If you don't have that work ethic, you aren't going to make it,” she said. She recommends sticking to it and keeping your goal in mind. The rewards come after you get over the launch.
They are working toward 2000 meals per week and they are creating an app to ease ordering. “Have we hit it big, no, do we want to do more, yes, but we have a purpose,” Karissa shared. That purpose of health keeps her motivated to serve her clients everyday.
To learn more about Strong Eatz Mealz or to order meals visit the website at https://strongeatzmealz.com/. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Thank you to James Manzanerez at Servants Heart Entertainment for editing the show. To learn more check out https://www.servantsheartent.com/
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