Stacy Thompson said she loves eating healthy and providing meals to her family, but after struggling to find any businesses in Bloomington that could give her what she wanted, she started her own.
Thompson opened the Fresh Fork, a business that sells precooked and preprepared healthy meals that are cooked in house. These meals are made from fresh, locally bought ingredients and are made with a balanced combination of proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables without preservatives.
“People often think I started this business because I love to cook, but really I did it for the exact opposite reason,” Thompson said. “It is so hard to go to school or work and function all day when you put garbage in your body. I wanted to give people an option to have these healthy meals easily.”
Customers have the option to create their own meals and choose from the entrees and sides they offer. They can also purchase salads or premade meals that stay fresh for up to a week.
The menu rotates weekly and caters to several diets, including Paleo, vegan, vegetarian and nondairy options.
Thompson said she wanted to find a way to give back to the community after living in Bloomington nearly her entire life. She is also an alumna of both Bloomington High School South and IU.
Starting this semester, the Fresh Fork offers preprepared meals in the Eigenmann and Willkie Hoosier Cafe stores.
Jerri Brown, an employee at the Willkie Hoosier Cafe, said they struggle to keep the meals in stock and have several students who are obsessed with the Fresh Fork.
“I have a girl that comes every week and waits for the meals,” she said. “She actually gave me her phone number and has me call or text her every time they bring in new meals. The meals have become incredibly popular and students seriously love them.”
Thompson said the Fresh Fork mostly serves middle-aged people, but she is hoping to expand the demographic to younger groups, including college students.
“My husband and I are total townies,” Thompson said. “I wanted to give something, but I really couldn’t do anything unless that person was a healthcare professional. This gave me something.”
Thompson said her college experience of eating unhealthy food and struggling to find healthy options inspired her to bring the meals to campus.
“I remember when I was in college I felt like I was in a completely different world on campus,” Thompson said. “I wouldn’t leave campus, so I knew it would be good idea to expand and bring this food to them.”
Thompson said that she is excited to see her business grow, especially within IU. Thompson said she has been receiving requests from many students on campus with hopes to start selling the meals in other locations.
“I’m willing to put it anywhere,” Thompson said. “I want the food to get out there, and I want it to be available for these students."
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