Category Archives: Meet Our Staff

Meet Elston Collins of Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine in Metro Atlanta

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Elston Collins.

Elston, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started in this business in 2005 running another local meal service company. I purchased Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine in 2012 after competing with them for 6+ years.

Since purchasing the company we have expanded from one menu to five and have also added a line of snacks (regular and Paleo), Low Calorie Desserts and House Made protein bars. We also introduced a corporate wellness program and corporate catering.

We service all of Metro Atlanta with 120 pickup locations, home/office delivery and FedEx shipping. We also ship direct to 6 states across the Southeast.

We have grown from 12 employees in 2012 to 35+ today.

Fresh n Fit Cuisine provides a local option for fresh, healthy gourmet meals.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been an exciting journey. I had been re-organized out of multiple corporate positions so I decided to take my future into my own hands. Owning a business has tremendous rewards but as a small business owner you are responsible for everything. You must balance current needs vs. future growth opportunities.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine – what should we know?
Fresh n Fit Cuisine is the premier meal service in Atlanta. We were the first (2003) and remain the market leader. With more than 350 meal choices across our various menus there are plenty of choices for everyone. Our menus: Healthy Mix (Traditional), Low Carb, Paleo, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free.

We offer organic options and purchase from local suppliers when product is available. We have 5 chefs on staff in addition to a Registered Dietitian. All meals are balanced by our dietitian with macro nutrients provided for each meal.

We have an extensive network of pickup location partners (120+) and offer home/office delivery via our fleet of refrigerated vehicles. Our product is delivered fresh NEVER Frozen. Our food quality sets us apart. We use fresh vegetables and provide complete transparency on the nutrition content of each meal, snack, dessert and protein bar that we sell.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We are an employee owned and operated company so our key staff members are fully invested in the business. 5 of our team members came from our previous company. We left there to allow us to control the product quality and take the business where the customers wanted us to go.

Source: VoyageATL


Interested in trying Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s chef prepared, gourmet meals, healthy snacks or low cal desserts? Use promo code APRBLOG20 at checkout for $20 off your first order of $50 or more.

Behind The Scenes: Making Our Lemon Poppyseed Bread

We love hearing from our customers about how much they love our meals. One of the most popular items we make is our Lemon Poppyseed Bread. Prepared each week by our Chef Garde Manger, Haley, the Lemon Poppyseed Bread will have you definitely coming back for more. Try it today at Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine and get $20 off your first order with promo code PINJUL20.

 

Behind The Scenes: Preparing Our Meals

If you have eaten any of Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s meals you know that our food is always fresh and delicious. What you may not know is the hard work and preparation that goes into making your food every week.

Each season, our professional culinary team, led by our 4 chefs, spend a countless amount of hours thoughtfully creating our 5 gourmet menus. By using  locally and regionally sourced ingredients, our food reflects the true flavors of the season. Our in-house Registered Dietitian then makes sure that all of our meals are nutritionally balanced for our 1,200 and 1,800 calories per day plans.

Each meal is weighed to make sure that the portion sizes are accurate, then they are sealed using our state-of-the-art packing machine. Once they are packaged, our distribution team loads them into our fleet of refrigerated trucks to deliver them to our 115+ pickup locations around Atlanta.

Still not sure if Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s meals are right for you? Try one of our 5 chef prepared menus that include Paleo, Low Carb, Healthy Mix, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free today and you can save 10% off your first order with promo code BLOG10.

Visit our YouTube page for more videos about Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine and our Fitness Partners.


Music: Marxist Arrow by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

 

 

Chloe Clark, food photographer

Chloe Clark

Everyone who has tasted our meals knows that our chefs work tirelessly to come up with dishes that are not only healthy but also taste great. That’s only part of the process though. Enter Chloe Clark, food photographer.

Once all of the meals are prepared, it’s her job to photograph them. By working closely with our chefs, she is able to style the meal in the way that they see it on the customer’s plate. She recently finished shooting some of our new fall menu items and is the main reason we can say our food “tastes as good as it looks.

How did you go from an aspiring photographer to doing it fulltime?

I started taking some beginner photography classes at The Showcase School. Once I realized that I enjoyed photography, I started applying for photography internships. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a publishing company, various studios, and culinary schools. I got the courage to contact local restaurants, culinary schools and chefs to offer photographer services. It took me eleven months to get my first paying client.

Why did you choose food photography?

I started out with the plan to photograph residential homes for the agents in my office. After photographing a few properties, I realized this wasn’t for me. I met an agent name Sheri Geyer who introduced me to a friend who owned a pizzeria in Alpharetta and needed photos of the new menu items. I fell in love instantly!  I started researching food photography and studying food styling.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I have a Nikon DSLR, but occasionally I shoot with a Canon DSLR. With food photography, it really depends on the look you are going for. Some shoots are just natural light with bounce cards while on other photo shoots I may use flash guns, softboxes and reflectors. I mostly shoot on-location so I like to travel light.

Who/what are you influences and/or inspiration?

I’m a huge fan of Burkle Hagen Photography, Don Matter Photography, and Helene Dujardin. I hope to attend one of Helene’s food photography and food styling classes in the near future. I’m always reading cookbooks and food magazines for inspiration. I even read really old cookbooks from the 70’s. Photography and food styling was so different back then. My office is full of Publix’s The Grape, and Family Style magazines. I love their editorial style food photography. They do an amazing job with creating a mood in their images.

How has it been working with a company like Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine?

I love the Fresh ‘N Fit crew. I’m always excited to work with them. It’s never a dull moment around there, The chefs do a great job with preparing and plating the dishes.

Have you used social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, which lend themselves toward photos, to help market yourself?

I am of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Instagram is my favorite form of social media. I post like crazy on my Instagram page.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a photographer?

Don’t listen to negative comments from people. I received a lot of discouraging words from friends, co-workers, and family. Even from strangers that were bitter about their lack of success as a photographer. Use your own faith and go  ahead. Things don’t always work out as planned, but that is what makes life interesting. I pray every morning and asked that my hands be blessed and my mind renewed. It’s the only way to move throughout this crazy world.

See what else Chloe is up to by visiting her website, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.
If you’ve seen Chloe’s photos of our new Fall menu but haven’t tried it yet, NOW is the time! For a limited time, save 15% off all NEW orders with promo code BLOG15! Offer ends 10/1 at 11:59pm EST. Offer not valid on existing orders/distributor locations.

Meet Our Staff: Chef Brady Benson

Introduce yourself and explain what a sous chef does?

My name is Brady Benson and I’m the sous chef at Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine. The sous chef is the second in command of the kitchen. If the executive chef is out or has the day off, the sous chef takes charge and runs the day-to-day operations of the kitchen.

What are some of your favorite meals that you have prepared or cooked?

Some of the favorite things that I’ve cooked are probably the shrimp and grits, our gumbo. I have an affinity for Southern food. I’m a southern transplant so I really enjoy cooking anything that is TRULY southern.

How did you get involved in the culinary arts?

I got started as a dishwasher about 10 years ago and I’ve just worked my way up ever since. I went to culinary school in New York. That was a big decision right after high school so I went to New York.

Do you have anything that you would consider a specialty?

My specialty would be Italian food. I’ve worked in several Italian restaurants and I studied under Italian chefs so I have a very good grasp of Italian food. I love their regional cuisine and how their flavors coincide with each other.

Have you gotten the chance to prepare a lot of Italian food at Fresh ‘N Fit?

We have prepared a lot of Italian cuisine at Fresh ‘N Fit. We also try to diversify with other cuisines as well but we play off of Italian food because it is VERY versatile.

Who or where do you find inspiration from when you’re cooking?

My inspiration would be my family. My mother, my grandmothers, were all good cooks. I’ve fallen in love with cooking ever since I was a little kid.

 What do you think sets Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine apart from everyone else?

What makes us different is that we’re using great products. We’re making everything from scratch and it’s fresh and never frozen ingredients. We try to use the best quality ingredients that we can and I think that gives us a leg up on the competition.

Head over to our YouTube page to see additional videos.

Want to taste some of Chef Benson’s creations? Try our one of our 5 gourmet meal plans and save 10% off of your first order with promo code BLOG10.

Q & A with Chef Haley

At Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine, we’re proud to employ three full time, highly trained & skilled chefs! Today, we’re highlighting Chef Haley Benson! Haley is our Chef Garde Manger. Translated from French, garde manger means “keeper of the food.” A chef garde manger is one that works in the cold foods area of the kitchen. As part of the Fresh ‘n Fit culinary team, Haley’s focus is on creating and preparing items such as a variety of salads, vegetarian meals, sauces, breads, scones, muffins and other breakfast specialties using all fresh ingredients.

Haley comes to Fresh ‘n Fit with an impressive educational background which includes degrees in Biology and Food Science and Technology. In 2012 she received an Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S) degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The Culinary Institute of America has the world’s largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs. Keep reading for our Q & A with Chef Haley!

1. What inspired you to become a chef?

My grandmother was a fabulous cook and baker.  My mother learned from my grandmother and even pursued dietetics and industrial administration as a career.  My fondest memories of my childhood are centered around food, the taste, the smell, my family, the conversations, even licking the mixing bowl whip after my mother made my birthday cakes.  They both inspired me to chase my dreams, and after realizing that what I thought I wanted to do wasn’t in fact what I was happy doing, I changed my major to food science, with the ultimate goal of attending culinary school.  Four years later, I have a degree from culinary school and am happy to wear a hairnet for 8 hours of the day!

2. What is your personal favorite Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine meal to eat/cook?

I love the Lentil Bolognese.  Because it is a vegetarian meal that I prepare, sometimes I even cheat and make a little extra for me to eat immediately after I cook it.  I love it that much!  It’s healthy.  It’s hearty.  It’s delicious!

3. What’s your favorite thing to cook/eat when you’re not working?

I’ve always been a pasta girl.  Pasta is easy, to prepare and clean, and cost effective.  Shrimp Scampi is my favorite thing to cook and eat when I’m not working.  Minus the butter that I usually use, which can easily but substituted, it’s not too terrible for you.  Lemon, parsley, capers, whole wheat pasta, Parmesan, and shellfish; it’s tasty and fail-proof!  Also, I’m a baker by trade; baking is what brought me to this industry.  I love baking anything and everything:crème brulee, muffins, chocolate chip pound cake, etc.

4. With so many meal plan options out there, what do you think makes Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine the best choice?

The meals at Fresh n Fit are chef-driven and never frozen, two of, in my opinion, our strongest selling points.  The meals are innovative, and with the four different menu options, the possibilities with Fresh n Fit are endless.  With our rotating seasonal menus, our meals are seasonal and fresh, and one cannot claim to be bored with our meals, as they change about as often as they are introduced!

 

Want to get the meals that Chef Haley and our other talented chefs put together? SAVE 10% on your first order with promo code BLOG10! http://www.freshnfitcuisine.com