Making life a little easier is a goal for many people, especially following the new year.
Saving time and making life easier is the goal of KnifeForkSpoon, a new frozen meal company started by Abbie Cates that will open at the end of January in Gig Harbor.
“I do all the slicing, dicing, shopping and prep so you pick up an uncooked frozen meal ready to cook,” Cates, 37, explained. “You can have healthy food and eat it too, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time and energy on your part.”
KnifeForkSpoon will offer rotating options for main dish dinners, sides, breakfast and baked goods, all a la carte for families to mix and match depending on their preferences and needs for the coming week.
Customers will order items online a week in advance and pick up their frozen meals the following Friday.
I do all the slicing, dicing, shopping and prep so you pick up an uncooked frozen meal ready to cook. You can have healthy food and eat it too and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time and energy on your part.
Abbie Cates, owner of KnifeForkSpoon
“My goal is to have everyone’s food ready for pickup on noon (the following) Friday,” Cates said. “That week between when you order and pickup is when I’m making the meals.”
Cates started experimenting with frozen meals to save time and make life easier with a 6-year-old son and 3-year-old twin daughters. She started giving her freezer meals to friends as new-baby gifts and the idea for the business grew from the positive feedback her meals received.
With a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a 13-year stint at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Cates does not have a food service background but has assembled a collection of more than 200 tried-and-true recipes that transition smoothly from freezer to oven without losing flavor or consistency.
Some go freezer to crockpot, some freezer to stove. It’s very simple cooking, nothing time consuming. I’m trying to stay away from time consuming recipes.
“Some go freezer to Crock-Pot, some freezer to stove,” Cates said. “It’s very simple cooking, nothing time consuming. I’m trying to stay away from time consuming recipes.”
A few recipes require additional steps —such as defrosting ahead of time— with everything required for the meal included. Meals will be offered for either two or four people, with prices set to remain an affordable option for busy families.
She is also working to expand her menu to include vegetarian and vegan options to fit a variety of dietary needs.
“My whole goal is to make it really affordable so it fits into everyone’s lifestyles,” Cates said. “Healthy food is something we should all have access to.”
Along with healthy food, Cates also believes that food should be safe for people with allergies and sensitivities, something that is a personal concern also since one of her daughters has a severe nut allergy. She has developed a special process to create an allergy-free environment to create meals that families can trust.
“I’m really intently diligent about this because I understand on a personal level how important it is,” she explained.
As KnifeForkSpoon expands and gathers regular customers, Cates intends to create a database of customer information to store important information, including allergies, so that she can double-check to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Another goal as her company becomes established is to create partnerships with local vendors and farmers so that she can feature local food in her recipes and help support the community.
“I’m being really intent about the quality of food I’m choosing,” Cates said. “I work really hard to make sure my recipes are good recipes ... my vision for the company is to feed people so that I’m supporting the community as well.”
For updates and more information on opening dates, visit KnifeForkSpoon’s Facebook page at facebook.com/frozenknifeforkspoon.
Meals and ordering information can be found online at frozenknifeforkspoon.com and Cates can be reached at 707-564-3301.
KnifeForkSpoon will be located at 2609 Jahn Ave., Suite F5 in Gig Harbor.