Get to know some of Kellogg’s alumni who are bringing bold entrepreneurial visions to life.
It’s a familiar scenario: You get home from work — starving, tired and wondering what’s for dinner. Do you cook? Or do you order takeout?
Jen Moore ’04 wants you to choose the former. And her company, Meez Meals, is making the process a whole lot easier.
Founded in 2010, Meez Meals is an Evanston-based service that delivers prepped ingredients and simple recipes for making quick, tasty meals at home. Its name comes from the French phrase “mise en place,” a culinary term for ingredients that have been prepped and organized for cooking.
Each week, customers choose from an ever-changing menu of meatless meals, such as Arugula Pesto Orecchiette, Tacos Provençal and Spinach Pancakes with Basil Corn Relish, and select the number of servings. The following Monday, they get a cooler delivered to their door with all the ingredients pre-chopped and portioned, along with step-by-step instructions for making the dishes in 30 minutes or less.
Cooking up a solution
As a Kellogg student, Moore knew that she eventually wanted to start her own company, but didn’t know what it would be. She studied brand management “because it would give me the experience of running all aspects of a business, owning a P&L, managing cross-functional teams and all those other wonderful things,” she says. “That path turned out to be a great one, giving me the experience I needed to launch my own business.”
Moore came up with the idea for Meez Meals in 2009, while she was still working as a brand manger for Unilever. She noticed that her sister, a working mom, found the process of making dinner stressful, even though she used to love cooking. “She said that she just wanted someone to cut everything up for her,” Moore recalls. “And I said, ‘Well, gee, that’s an idea. I can do that.’”
The timing turned out to be perfect: When Meez Meals launched, it was the only company offering a DIY meal kit. Moore knew, however, that “it was only a matter of time until national companies entered the market.”