Friday, July 27, 2007

Supper Solutions - Great Grad Student Deal

One of the Alpha Testers is Supper Solutions - a local "meal assembly kitchen." For those of you not familiar with the concept (i wasn't), I think it is a fantastic idea for grad students (among other people), so i decided to try out two of their meals for myself and write about it here.

One of the biggest benefits is cost. For about $3.40 per meal, folks can drop by their kitchen and self-prepare 12 good healthy meals in about 1.5 - 2 hours that they can then bring home and freeze until it's time to eat. Each meal serves 2-3 people, so that's 36 meal servings. They also have an option where they will pre-prepare the meals for you ahead of time for pickup. This would bring the price up to about $4.16 per meal. If there is sufficient interest, Kirsten, the owner is considering offering delivery drop-off at INFO or Eigenmann for folks who don't have transportation.

To try this out fully, Esther and i recently visited Supper Solutions and prepared 2 meals for ourselves. We decided to try the Mexican Calzones and the Spicy Patong Pork. (this month's menu is online here)

Once at the Supper Solutions kitchen, the entire process of making the 2 meals, putting them in bags and affixing cooking instruction labels took about 10 minutes. The meal preparation stations were spotless and extremely well-organized, so it was extremely easy to do - even for those of us who are culinarily disadvantaged. While at Supper Solutions, we ran into our next door neighbor and one of Esther's co-workers who both raved about Supper Solutions. One, a local advertising professional, was visiting for the 3rd time, while the other, a doctor, is a long-time customer.

Once home, we decided to first try the Mexican Calzones for dinner. The directions are included right on the packaging (see first photo to the right). We popped it on a pan and into the toaster oven for 20 minutes, and they came out perfectly good. They were quite large and filling. Each one was pretty much a complete meal.

Two evenings later, we made the Spicy Patong Pork. Again the instructions were on the bag, and it was quite easy to make. After about 10 minutes preparation (briefly sauteeing the pork, adding the sauce and microwaving the pre-cooked rice), we had a complete meal of pork and brown rice. It was very very good (see last photo to the right).

If you are a busy grad student, do yourself a favor and look into this. It's great food, very economical, healthy, and will help to keep food expenses predictable each month. Besides, by buying from Supper Solutions, you'll be supporting a small local business who, as an early and enthusiastic support of BigTreeTop, is serious about co-creating value with their customers, not just padding their bottom line :)

Full disclosure: As an Alpha Tester of, i have an emotional bias toward Supper Solutions, but not a financial one (they are not paying customers). Additionally, i should reveal that i am now chemically dependent on the Mexican Calzones, which are really good..

Here's their contact info:
Supper Solutions
2616 Walnut
Bloomington, IN 47401


In Walnut Station, Corner of S.Walnut and Country Club Road Next to Dominos Pizza

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