RIVERVIEW – Julie Chapman and Jason Nicholson didn’t like the unhealthy food they saw at music festivals, which inspired the two friends to create their own meal delivery and catering company, Red Stone Eatery, last October.
Chapman owns Crimson Entertainment, and her business partner, Jason Nicholson, is a musician and a professional cook. The two have a passion for food and Nicholson always wanted to cook for his own business.
“This was about two years that we were talking about it before we plunged in and said, ‘ok, let’s just do it.’ We just wanted to make good food, I guess is what that boils down too,” Chapman said.
The pair started delivering individual meals to people they know and recently launched an online ordering platform on their website. Chapman also still accepts orders made via Facebook messenger, e-mails or the phone.
“It’s mostly individual meals that are pre-cooked. We sell fresh food prepared by a professional cook, and it comes in microwavable and freezable containers. So our customers can order a bunch of them, throw them in the freezer, and just eat them whenever they’re ready,” Chapman said.
Customers can order standalone $15 dishes or meals for the whole week by Monday afternoon, and Red Stone Eatery will deliver it every Thursday. The menu changes weekly.
The company also offers traditional catering services for weddings and VIP events.
“The big difference with us is we use fresh foods, we don’t use packaged foods and we try to get local suppliers whenever we can,” she said.
“For example our cheese, we’ll get from our farm in Sussex. We really try to source locally, that’s our big thing.”
In addition, Red Stone Eatery offers business lunches.
“We go into the larger businesses that don’t have food services in the building and set up a table with homemade food and sandwiches, and I sell directly to the employee, so there’s no cost to the employer for that,” Chapman said.
Chapman said the meal delivery service has become an alternative to take-out for busy people and an option for fresh meals for seniors. Because the company delivers to Crossfit Moncton, the portions of the individual meals are large enough for athletes and can count as two meals for seniors.
“A lot of our clientele, they just get our meals for the week because they’re busy. When they’d normally go McDonalds or Wendy’s or something, instead they’ll throw one of our meals in the microwave and heat it up,” she said.
“I’ve had a few seniors that I’ve delivered to. Some of them have home care workers but maybe they want something different.”
The company currently uses the catering kitchen at the Coverdale Recreation Centre in Riverview to make the orders. Nicholson, who is based in Moncton, works with one occasional helper to prepare the meals.