Bringing the farm to the kitchen table

New Port Coquitlam business delivers home-cooked meals with ingredients sourced locally

Two Port Coquitlam restaurant industry veterans are hoping to convince time-strapped Tri-City families to try their farm to table cooking instead of relying on frozen food, fast food and deli counter staples on soccer night.

"More and more people are concerned about what they eat and we want to make it easy for them," said Laura Woods-Cronsilver, co-owner of Grass Roots Meal Planning and Prep Ltd., which opened recently at a commercial kitchen in Port Coquitlam.

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Although home-cooked meals delivered to one's door is not a new idea, Grass Roots is trying to carve out a niche among those who want to avoid hormones, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or chemical food preservatives in their food.
"We do all the research for them," added Woods-Cronsilver, who does the marketing and makes the deliveries while Alaia Fayad, a local chef, plans the menu and does the cooking.

Fayad also grows some of the produce herself in her own garden plot. "I'm getting used to my green thumb," she acknowledges, showing off several jars of canned preserves she produced with her own vegetables.

The two say they grew up eating their own home-grown produce and want to pass on those values and high standards onto other families. They deal with local farms and butchers or local businesses that source local products, such as organic, grass-fed poultry from Chilliwack.

Such attention to keeping food local gives them a lot of control over what they buy. Woods-Cronsilver says they read labels and ask questions to make sure what they buy is indeed local.

The result is a wide range of seasonal menu items, such as blackberry feta salad and root vegetable ribbons, quinoa tabouleh, wild mushroom ravioli, thai coconut curry and sweet potato shepherd's pie.

The containers are all microwave and oven save, as well as recyclable, and, with deliveries Monday and Thursday, easily worked into a family mealtime schedule.

"It's the farm to table concept for a food delivery service," explained Fayad.

For more information, visit Grass Roots Meal Plans is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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