Calgary’s Subsequent Financial system: Menu Mandala cooking up wholesome, sustainable, ready-to-eat meals



Ricky Kawa mentioned they’re out to create the healthiest meal prep in Calgary.

He, together with fellow co-founder Jasen Stein, are bringing Calgarians sustainable, ready-to-eat meals by their firm Menu Mandala.

“We’re within the enterprise of automating your well being and well-being by devoted vitamin and scrumptious meals,” mentioned Kawa.

Kawa mentioned they wish to give their prospects entry to plant-based protein meals, sourced primarily from native producers. Their meals are additionally complete meals and gluten-free.

Stein mentioned they attempt to push the envelope with the meal prep.

“We’ll attempt to sneak in wholesome methods of doing all the things within the meals,” he mentioned.  

“There’s at all times one thing fermented in each dish as a result of that’s wholesome on the intestine. We don’t use white rice as a result of it’s processed and never wholesome carbs. We make all our personal sauces, or we attempt to supply regionally as a lot as attainable. We’re making an attempt as many Canadian corporations and merchandise as attainable.”

Kawa’s years of kitchen expertise at Calgary eating places, plus his vitamin program coaching at SAIT, together with private coaching have helped them design the correct of meals.

Stein had expertise as a line chef when he was in his teenagers, however went the route of many Calgarians, and spent 10 years as knowledgeable engineer.  He then checked out pursuing his MBA, however Covid-19 sidetracked that as he didn’t wish to do it nearly. 

Then, he and Kawa began up Menu Mandala.

“That was a crash course MBA, I might say,” Stein mentioned.

Meal prep service at its core

Whenever you go to the Menu Mandala web site, you place your meals order. You may get one among two sizes: Handy (one individual), or Communal (roughly equal to 4 Handy parts.)

The meal is then ready with native items in a facility the place no gluten or animals have been processed. It’s achieved in a kitchen proper right here in Calgary.

As soon as full, the meal is delivered (inside Calgary), able to eat. In essence, it’s a meal prep service like others which have popped up lately.

“One factor that has modified is the price of meals, the time to have the ability to exit, procure that meals, prep it at house, after which additionally deal with your life in addition to all of the issues which are happening outdoors of your life,” mentioned Kawa.  

“Time is the most important commodity and foreign money that we have now as people and the extra we go on in life and all these busy features preserve coming in, the much less time we have now.”

Whilst you would possibly assume all meal prep corporations are minimize from the identical material, Kawa and Stein mentioned they’re dedicated to sustainable meals prep.  Meaning limiting waste, too.

Kawa mentioned different suppliers, like Howdy Contemporary, you’re getting further packaging and also you’re slicing all your individual greens – creating extra meals waste.

“We go that further mile to save lots of all of our veggie scraps, flip it into inventory, which has ventured into soup,” Kawa mentioned.

They’ve additionally acquired their thoughts on the neighborhood. Final month, within the wake of devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, proceeds from choose dishes went to reduction efforts.

Invaluable connections by the Velocity program

The very first thing that involves thoughts, when requested in regards to the affect of the Alberta Catalyzer – Velocity program by Platform Calgary, is the connections.

“I might say that the primary factor has been the community and the connections — the folks that we’ve met, and it’s been invaluable,” mentioned Kawa.

Stein mentioned that this system additionally compelled them to consider areas of a enterprise which are simple to neglect. Issues like governance and company construction.

“That’s one thing we did very early on, and we haven’t touched since as a result of there’s a lot else to do,” he mentioned.

In the beginning of 2022, they had been seeing 30 per cent progress every month. Then they hit some extent the place they needed to take a step again and re-evaluate future progress. There’s solely a lot order-in enterprise.

Kawa known as it their first entrepreneurial roller-coaster dip.  

“We’ve got a brand new trajectory and a brand new projection of the place we’re going to be and we have now a significantly better thought of forecast and plan accordingly and pivot,” he mentioned.

“It compelled us to get actually inventive and determine that we have now totally different avenues to go after. So, it was a blessing and a curse.”

They’re having meals prepped for native grocery chains. There’s additionally a chance to do non-public catering for bigger occasions.

“It’s been actually distinctive to see the place we might go,” Kawa mentioned.

“There are 4 totally different doorways. It’s a matter of which door we wish to select to stroll by.”

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