Prepped and Portioned — Bellingham’s Pre-Planned Meal Options Give Families the Gift of Time

The ingredients of each Acme Farms + Kitchens are carefully chosen from local sources. Photo credit: ACME Farms + Kitchen.

From sports and full-time jobs to school activities, families and professionals today are busier than ever and pressed for time every day.

Healthy lifestyles, while a priority, can be a tough commitment when schedules are packed.

“My goal is to give back to the community in such a way that it creates the opportunity to actually get back time,” says Oleg Vetkov, owner of Salt, Pepper & Oil in Bellingham.

Salt, Pepper & Oil, located at 4073 Hannegan Road, Suite B, offers high quality, ready-to-cook meals at affordable prices. What makes Salt, Pepper & Oil so unique is a changing weekly menu, not to mention the average time of only 15 minutes to complete each meal. Giving back the gift of time is what Oleg does with his service — the time to shop and the time to prepare.

Salt, Pepper & Oil
Each meal from Salt, Pepper & Oil comes vacuum-packed for freshness. Photo credit: Salt, Pepper & Oil.

Locally sourced when available and emphasizing organic produce, free-range and pasture-raised meats, Oleg takes pride in the fact that he offers 11to 12 menu options each week for people looking for a high-quality meal in little time.

“Quality is important,” he says. “I want the food to be so good, you’ll want to come back time and time again.”

Two local working moms of toddlers had the same idea of giving and getting back time in 2011 when they started ACME Farms + Kitchen. They wanted to bring local, clean food into their homes without the exhausting time it took to find it, figure out how to use it and then finally prepare it in a family friendly way.

After finding a way to make it easier for families and professionals to access and shop for these local foods, they realized that what people really needed to save time was a preparation plan and good recipes. The plan would include how to use these local and seasonal foods to create amazing, family friendly dishes.

ACME Farms + Kitchen’s Locavore Boxes were born out of that plan and research for recipes. These boxes contain an array of local and seasonal food paired with recipes and a meal plan. Customers place their orders online for the specific Locavore Box that fits their needs and that box is delivered right to their doorsteps. The selection of the Locavore Boxes varies to meet different lifestyles from the Getaway Box to the Happy Hour Box to the Paleo Locavore Box. The complete meal boxes come in different sizes with enough food and essentials to create anywhere from three to five meals.

ACME Farms + Kitchen Localvore Box
Each week the Locavore Box is packed and delivered right to the customer. Photo credit: ACME Farms + Kitchen.

“I love the idea that the service we provide frees up so much time,” says Michelle Grandy, Director of Marketing, ACME Farms + Kitchens.

But what makes ACME Farms + Kitchens unique is what they provide beyond the meal. In addition to the main ingredients, each box includes basic essentials needed for that week’s meals, including cheese, eggs and even milk, all locally sourced and delicious. Ingredients aside, it’s the experience that sets these boxes apart.

“We’re hearing that the actual meal creation is becoming the favorite time for families,” Michelle says of the feedback she gets from customers. “One couple told us that they are so busy they don’t have time to shop or even to spend much time together. They look forward to preparing their meals together each day. And the reward for that time spent together is a great meal.”

Recently, ACME Farms + Kitchen launched a new program in limited release, the School Lunch Box program. This program gives families yet another option that saves time while delivering good, clean food. These lunch boxes provide school kids with a healthy, pre-planned lunch for the school day.

Ciao Thyme
At Ciao Thyme, a full-time chef is committed to creating a weekly menu of pre-planned meals, available for order in advance online. Photo courtesy: Ciao Thyme.

And taking the prep time right out of meal time is just what Ciao Thyme does with their CT2GO meals that can be ordered online.

With a full-time chef dedicated to creating a menu of completely prepared meals, CT2GO provides families and busy professionals with high-quality meals, ready to go. Most of the meals simply need to be heated and ready to serve in a glass container when customers pick them up a the Ciao Thyme location at 207 Unity Street in Bellingham.

From options such as Taco Salad to Tangled Thai, each handmade, high-quality meal is prepared to feed four to six people.

And customers can always stop in and check out what’s in the freezer and ready for a quick meal or even to bring to a dinner party for a fast and easy addition to the menu.

Spending time with family and friends in our busy days is a priority. ACME Farms + Kitchen and Salt, Pepper & Oil and Ciao Thyme all deliver their services with that same priority and purpose. By creating menus and ready-to-cook options, families and professionals can enjoy more time together creating memories while still enjoying high quality, locally-sourced foods.


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