A pattern we often see in natural or health related issues is that moms lead the charge with their families in mind. Though moms were part of his inspiration, CookSimple CEO Keith Lauver approached the problems he saw as a father of three boys and an unhealthy man who needed a dietary change as much as they did.
“I spent a couple years doing home parties with moms,” Lauver explained. He heard a lot of the same things from all those moms. “[They had] a lot of guilt from using shortcuts to feed their families, and a lack of time to make the meals nutritious.”
That’s when he started Healthy Pantry, a company boasting the easy and healthy boxed meal kits, all 30 of them. All the offerings he’d come up with weren’t as successful as his number one seller Cowboy Chili was, so he decided to simplify things.
“We looked at all our best-selling data and realized there wasn’t enough room,” Lauver recalls. “The customer’s chose Cowboy Chili and several others, and those are what we kept.” Now that they had the real ingredients working, the favorite meals ready to go, they needed to revamp their mission and logo. CookSimple was born with the motto Healthy Cooking Made Easy.
Not only are the meal kits healthy, they fit into specialized diets. All of them are part of the Non-GMO project and gluten free. Certain products are also specified vegan or paleo such as the Cranberry Wild Rice and Tibetan Dal, and they can be easily modified to make them milk-free or vegetarian as well. I love that each label tells you what you’ll need to buy to round out the meal, and it’s enough to feed a family of four. Plus, I recognize and can pronounce every ingredient on the list. This week, they’re excited to announce a line of reasonably priced side dishes for four.
Food sourcing was especially important to make sure they could make the above claims. Lauver had two criteria. First, he knew if the meals were flavor free they would fail. All of the 80 ingredients from 30 companies here and abroad were approached with taste in mind. The second part of his criteria for his product was the stringent regulations and certifications he makes sure everything goes through. They not only send out every batch, but they also do their own testing. Everything in their facilities must be in the gluten limit of 5 parts per million, no exceptions.
If all this commitment to their customers weren’t enough of a reason to support this company, consider the fact that they give back 10% of profit to charities, especially Feed My Starving Children. It started in Twin Cities where they heard about how the organization provided nutritious meal pouches to those in need.
“We were inspired by the volunteers. It was something we could get behind and support.” Lauvers and his family often help with that and more. Last fall, they crowded into an RV and went on a 10,000 mile trek, stopping often to help with food packing. If you happen to be in the Red Lodge area, they’re looking for about 1000 more volunteers.
“We need volunteers to help pack food for 2 hour shifts when we schedule our event in Montana (information on what that looks like is at http://www.fmsc.org/mobilepack/about), and we’d love to direct others to consider volunteering at any of their events held year-round around the country (http://www.fmsc.org/volunteer),” Lauver confirmed. They’re giving a free box of food to every volunteer who emails them as well!
CookSimple is being just as generous to those of you reading right now. He’s offered two giveaways on this post, plus a 20% discount and free shipping for any online orders from our readers!
The Grand Prize Giveaway: A 16 pack: one each of the entree kits and side dish kits.
Second Prize Giveaway: An 8 pack: 4 meals and 4 new side dishes
Be sure to check out www.cooksimplemeals.com to see their complete meal and side lines. There’s also a variations tab where past customers and the company themselves have changed up what they add into the kit for different flavor, texture, and nutrition combinations.
Mr. Lauver wants to encourage not only those with dietary restrictions but everyone with every budget to eat nutritiously. “It’s all about choices. Economize; look for good nutrition in lots of forms. Choice local and seasonal veggies and minimize waste. Buy exactly what you need so you don’t throw away half a tomato or cucumber. Find ways to use the rest of it. It’s not expensive to eat healthy.”
Entering is easy…