Your Dinner Belles: Taste and convenience, to go
05/24/2016 12:16PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
There are no degrees from prestigious culinary schools hanging in the homes and kitchens where Sandi Norris and Olivia Boggs both live and work. There are no photographs of them anywhere with great chefs of the world. In fact, Your Dinner Belles – the company they began in May 2015 that offers pre-made, healthy food for easy pick-up – occupies just a portion of their busy schedules.
For now, that is.
A few years ago, Norris, a coach and manager at the Crossfit Wheelhouse in Avondale, had been doing some personal cooking for a client of hers, who eventually connected Norris with Boggs, also a member of the Crossfit Wheelhouse. Slowly, the idea to collaborate on a business began to evolve, but the conversation kept coming back to a shared life change.
“My husband Michael and I wanted to change our lives and see how our bodies changed and responded to how we were fueling them,” said Norris, a former college athlete. “That was inspiring to me. I didn't realize that what I was eating was not conducive to good health. I can eat a pound of pasta every single day and not look five pounds heavier, but the way I felt and the way my body performed after I changed my diet was so much better.”
“For me, it was about being able to eat better in order to perform better at the gym,” said Boggs, who is a member at Crossfit Wheelhouse. “In learning more about the different allergens and what they do to you, they can cause issues down the road, which is why I cut out peanuts, soy and gluten. I grew up with intestinal issues, and I never knew why, so by cutting out the allergens, I began to see a great improvement.”
The idea to begin a company was soon born.
Your Dinner Belles offers pre-packaged, homemade, gluten-free, soy-free meals, with a constantly changing menu that includes options such as a Spanish omelet, cranberry orange muffins, and sweet potato biscuits for breakfast; and lemon ginger meatballs, thai basil beef with rice, and apple arugula burgers for lunch and dinner. Each package comes with nutrition information, and all meals are prepared by Norris and Boggs in a certified commercial kitchen – and heat-and-serve ready. Selections are reasonably priced in the $9 to 13 range.
The route from pick-up to table is simple. Customers call in their orders before midnight every Tuesday and the food is cooked and ready for pickup at the Crossfit Wheelhouse by the following Monday at 5 a.m.
With one year in business, Your Dinner Belles has expanded to 25 regular and semi-regular customers, with nearly all of them being Crossfit Wheelhouse clients. By next year, Norris and Boggs see Your Dinner Belles expanding to additional fitness centers and health clubs – as well as business offices – throughout Chester County.
In five years, however, Boggs envisions that the Your Dinner Belles brand could be franchised to other areas.
“When I think of Dinner Belles, I eventually see us expanding to satellite branches that can provide our service, as far away as Lancaster and Harrisburg,” she said. “What Sandi and I are selling isn't just healthy food options, it's also time put back in a person's day. Anybody who finds themselves with a lack of time will benefit from adding us into their daily routine.”
The connection of Your Dinner Belles to her work at the Crossfit Wheelhouse is a natural one for Norris.
“I like to help people realize their potential,” she said. “Once a client realizes that they have the ability to jump up on a box, it opens up another door to talking about their diet, which opens up a whole new avenue to feeling better about themselves.
“Everyone can stand to choose healthier food options in their life.”
Your Dinner Bells is at 9035 Gap-Newport Pike in Avondale. To learn more, call 814-880-3465, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.yourdinnerbelles.com.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.