When Jennifer Welsh's MomentAum Meal Prep service comes to your door, they hope to be delivering more than just healthy food.
In addition to providing healthful meals and snacks, Welsh has an eye on tackling community issues both within and outside of the food community. For starters, the University of Victoria environmental studies graduate is hoping to reduce waste by using reusable glass dishes and jars instead of disposable containers.
"The environmental pillar behind the business is probably the most important component to us," she said. "Meal prep businesses are on the rise and a lot of them, unfortunately, have a lot of waste associated with them.
"When I was doing my research and creating it, I saw that a similar model existed in other cities where people were using reusable, returnable containers."
Clients currently pay a $20 deposit for the containers and are charged $3 for every missing container, though Welsh hopes to waive that fee further down the line.
"Hopefully as the business grows and there's more investment behind it, we can maybe take away that deposit. We'll have more of a cushion," she said.
Another initiative MomentAum is undertaking is redirecting five-per-cent of every dollar spent before tax to hunger-fighting initiatives. Half of the donations will go to Operation Shanti, an orphanage in Mysore, India that Welsh has worked with for several years. The other half will stay to help families in the Sea to Sky, Welsh said, though the exact details are still being ironed out.
Welsh said MomentAum strives to use as much local produce and as much organic produce as possible, though she faces limitations including seasonal availability and keeping the items at reasonable price points.
The current menu offers meals ranging from vegetarian chili and vegetable curry and rice to power cookies and smoothies. With summer coming, Welsh said the menu will include more salads, cold juices and other lighter fare.
As the business develops, Welsh hopes to connect with local farms, restaurants and bakeries to potentially team up. That's just one idea to create links with people in the community, as she hopes to connect clients with a personal trainer or nutritionist to help them to healthier living. Other potential events include hosting workshops, symposiums and online programs to get Whistlerites to not only understand nutrition, but love it.
"Health is not just about fitting into a size-six pant or getting your waist to be 32 inches," she said. "It's about, 'Do I have the energy levels I want to have?' 'Do I feel good in my own skin?'"
While MomentAum is still in its first month of operation, and Welsh has been happy with the initial response, the dream has been something she's built for nearly a year. As a perfectionist, however, Welsh had to adopt a "launch and adjust" attitude to finally take the plunge.
"I've been testing all of the recipes for 10 or 11 months, so all my friends and my clients have been the guinea pigs. They've been the test runs and the feedback was really, really positive," she said.
Welsh started in the culinary arts years ago, receiving training after high school before dropping out after realizing that even though she loved food, she did not want to be a chef. She shifted gears, however, and she has now taught yoga for the past 15 years while serving as a personal trainer for the past seven years. Still, her path brought her back to food, albeit in a different way.
"Food and nutrition has always been that missing piece of the puzzle for many of my clients. I really wanted to bring all of my passions and my loves together for a service that could benefit the people in my life and the people in my community," said Welsh, who is working to achieve her certified holistic nutrition diploma.
Oh, and about the name? Welsh noted that the Sanskrit word 'Aum' (more commonly written as 'Om' in these parts) provided her with the necessary inspiration.
"All energy, all matter, all that exists exists in Aum," she said. "In every moment and every moment of your life, you have a decision of what energy you want to create."
MomentAum is currently offering Friday deliveries with an ordering deadline of Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Welsh plans to expand soon to two delivery days a week.
Unlike some other services, Welsh noted, customers are not locked in to ordering each week and can instead do so when it suits their needs.
The delivery area currently includes Whistler and Squamish, though Welsh will include Pemberton as well if the demand supports it.
The service is offering 15-per-cent off an order of $50 or more with promo code GRANDOPENINGMONTH.