This past week, Mike from Concord Sentinel had the chance to chat with Sonia, from All Real Meal in Manchester, NH.
In our latest business article, we’d like to share some of what makes All Real Meal a local favorite for clean, healthy food delivery.
All Real Meal was founded by co-owner Kasia Lojko in 2013. Sonia and Kasia partnered up a few months later, where they prepared their first meals for delivery in a “rented station in another working kitchen, in Manchester,” according to Sonia.
She says, “We learned as we went along. We had no professional cooking experience and developed our recipes based on our very different food backgrounds, Kasia being Polish and me Puerto Rican.”
All Real Meal is a special concept. Fresh family-style delivered food.
Sonia says, “We wanted to make food like the home cooked meals your mom or your best friend brings to you after you just came home from the hospital with a new baby”
Kasia and Sonia try to source as many ingredients as possible from local New Hampshire farms, such as local free range eggs, grass fed beef, and other produce. Many local items are sourced during harvest times, right now during Spring & late Fall, when there is easier access to organic local ingredients.
And not only is All Real Meal a customer favorite, it’s also award-winning. Voted “Best of New Hampshire” in 2017, 2018 2019, and 2020 by New Hampshire Magazine for “Gourmet To Go” — and just recently won “Best Gluten Free Options in NH” for 2020 as well.
How does All Real Meal work?
Well, you can visit their FAQ here, but in short, there are 35-45 menu items to choose from at one time. Deliveries are weekly on Tuesday (and Friday right now), for many local surrounding towns ranging from Concord to Portsmouth and even Northern Massachusetts to towns like Lowell, Haverhill, and Andover. Or they can be ordered and picked up at their Manchester storefront while curbside pick up is still available daily, storefront is temporarily closed due to Coronavirus.
Sonia was also very clear, “This isn’t a meal kit. These are prepared dishes, ready to eat. We often get mistaken for meal kits, which take upwards of 30 minutes to an hour to prepare, while our meals are ready to eat in 2-3 minutes with no prep and no clean up. We believe this is a much better option for busy families.”
And there is a new menu every week (Tuesday) published on their website here. There is also a special Friday menu, with meals for less than $10.
Frozen meals can be purchased at their store only half price. All meals are delivered fresh and chilled, not frozen (but can be frozen after purchase, as meals are delivered in freezable containers). There are many dairy-free and gluten-free options as well. All Real Meal has options for different budgets, some cost-savers like Eggplant Parmesan and even some higher end items like wild caught seafood.
There’s also tons of delicious add-on items, like organic avocado popcorn, maple pecan croissants, freshly local organic baked bread, and Legally Addictive Cookies. But also you can purchase baked chicken breast, and buffalo mac & cheese, items that could be combined, or frozen at home for enhancing home cooking. According to Sonia, another local favorite is their “One Crust” a vegan and gluten-free Cauliflower pizza crust, that they sell, and is used by other local restaurants as a gluten-free alternative.
Purchases can easily be placed on their website, and there are great deals with volume discounts if you purchase your meals using their Prepaid Wallet Program.
All Real Meal also offers a best-seller cooler bag that can be bought with 8 meals and can adjusted depending on eating restrictions.
We asked Sonia how the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak has affected her business.
She said, “Kasia’s family is in Poland, so we were able to get a preview of things that might start happening here very early, so we decided to break the team down into mini-teams to prevent cross contamination. We instruct drivers to wear masks, wear gloves, and to use hand sanitizer. We are being very diligent in keeping the kitchen sanitized. We offer contact-free delivery, and curbside pick up. About 80% of deliveries were contact-free already, as the majority of our customers leave coolers outside for our drivers. Our delivery team will call if needed as they are delivering an order. They are very professional and make sure the customers always get their meals super fresh. Payments are all made online, reducing the use of cash and contact.”
Sonia mentioned that All Real Meal has been so busy lately, that they have also partnered with local errand and delivery services, A&E Errand Services out of Merrimack.
Conveniently, families and friends can order together using a Prepaid Wallet and ask that orders be shipped to multiple addresses. While they don’t advertise themselves as caterers, Sonia & Kasia have also catered many times, even for large corporate events and weddings. They also offer a “Suspended Meals Program,” which allows customers to order meals for those in need. In the past, they did a ‘buy a meal, give a meal’ with the NH Food Bank, which was a resounding success and appreciated locally.
Recently, All Real Meal was able to add toilet paper, paper towels, and water for seniors to combat local shortages. One kind-hearted customer immediately purchased 15 rolls of toilet paper and said “give it away to those in need.” Sonia also told us that many customers have donated small balances on gift cards to those in need.
Sonia says, “We work with a lot of families, some with serious illness, and we always want to be able to provide a meal to someone that needs one, regardless of ability to pay.”
We asked Sonia her favorite meal on (or off) the menu, and she quickly had an answer, “Our butternut squash lasagna, it’s incredible.”
It was wonderful to get to know Sonia and All Real Meal. One thing is for certain, after our conversation, we were ready to place an order for our office!
All Real Meal is located at: 87 Elm Street, Manchester NH.
If you’d like to learn more about them, you can visit their website here: https://www.allrealmeal.com/
You can also visit them on social media here: