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Celebrating 2 Years + Cafe Opening!

December 11, 2022 5 min read

Celebrating 2 Years + Cafe Opening!

A letter to our people:

People say, as parents, the days are slow yet the years go by fast.

Now, I’m not ‘actually’ a parent yet, but Salad Club has been my baby now for two years and it certainly feels like time is racing by.

As many parents might say, I had no idea what I was doing starting SC. Each part of the journey has been taking it step by step. Following my head(and my heart) to lead me to the next thing.

Salad Club was born after my first business, Love Your Fat Personal Chefs, had been around for about 5 years. And it emerged as a desire to give more people a sample of what I wanted to offer to Chicago. LYFPC has been a beautiful place to form deeper relationships with clients, assess their needs from every angle, and provide optimum support through tasty and nutritious food items. But, it was very limiting due to cost of time and ingredients. I thought there must be something I can do to bring more nutritious foods to not only those who can afford personal chefs, but those who need meal support for under $20.

After getting SO busy with LYFPC, I started getting meal support for myself at the Whole Foods salad bar. (I was there 2x per day anyway!) Each day, I would load my plate with greens and grains, cooked and raw veg, crunchy things, herby things, plant proteins, animal proteins, and cheesy things. Chefs gotta eat too!

One week, I was super busy and wasn’t able to get my normal lunch. I decided to make myself three salads with the dressings and crunches on the side. I put them in my fridge, and took one with me each day to work. It occurred to me that this is exactly how I would like to eat, and I wish there was a service out there that would stock my fridge in the same way. But I wanted variety! I wanted curiosity. I didn’t want any old garden salad. I wanted to make it interesting and exciting to eat lunch.

When you get to put the ‘fun’ in functional foods, healthy eating becomes an adventure instead of a chore.

We launched Salad Club in May 2020 with the idea that we would be bringing adventure to your meal with, of course, all the other stuff (high quality ingredients, nutrition, dietary restriction conscience, etc.) in mind.

It is now 2022, and we have learned a lot! (And we are still learning.) I wanted to share a few of those things:

  1. People WILL spend $17 on a salad. The best ingredients cost more money than commodity ingredients. Has it been hard to run a 90% minimum organic kitchen? Yes. Have I wanted to reduce prices and find ways to cut cost? Yes. Would I ever compromise on the quality of our ingredients to do so? No. Food cost is the one area that we have drawn a line in the sand. It will be the most costly thing in our business. And guess what? It SHOULD be.
  2. Energy influences food. Do I have science to back this up? No. But I do have countless stories of people who have commented on the changes in food based on who has prepared it. As a personal chef, I firmly believe that whoever is cooking the food should care beyond their job. They should care about the ingredients, environment, and the people they feed. My rule: the energy my staff brings to the kitchen should match the quality of the food we prepare. I always joke that our kitchen is a “zen space.” But it is! In the last two years we have fluctuated dramatically with how many people are cooking in the kitchen. We went from 2 people, then 5 people, then 9 people, then back down to 3 people. I have been delighted to learn that we can get more done in a day with 3 people versus 9 people when the motivation is more than financial but centered around finding purpose and the creation of meaning. Toxic energy will never be in our kitchen, or in our food.
  3. A salad & a cookie are the perfect meal. We have brought more menu items because you have requested them. We love that our members eat intuitively and with balance. Eating well to BE WELL. And sometimes(okay most of the time) that means ending your meal with a cookie.

This barely scratches the surface of what I have learned raising this baby of mine, but I also wanted to share with you some important details about what’s next.

We have been working out the The Hatchery Chicago, a food incubator, since they opened in February 2019. Since then, we have grown tremendously and I’m so grateful for my time there. The one thing I wish I could change: having a space to interact with our clients and customers… YOU!

So, last year we decided to look for our own space to continue to run our businesses, but also be able to bring people in for a meal, or a smoothie, or a breakfast sandwich. It could also be a place to bring your laptop to work or meet up with friends. Lastly, it could be a place that provides wellness beyond food in the form of mental health support with meditation classes or in the form of learning with cooking classes and lectures.

I wanted to bring everything we have done for the past eight years together under one roof, and invite people in to taste and experience it all! Bringing everything together under one roof, for me at least, means bringing everything in under one name.

Which is why we have decided to rebrand Love Your Fat Personal Chefs and Salad Club under one name PLENTY GOODS. This name, for me, represents all the things I love about food and wellness, and gives us the opportunity to offer more without restriction. Salad Club will still be the same but it will be Salad Club by Plenty Goods.

And guess what? We found that space! I’m very proud to announce the opening of our first physical location opening Winter 2023, PLENTY GOODS CAFE. It will be located at the Kimball Arts Center - 1757 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, 60647. Not only are we SO excited to be part of the KAC family, we will be at the Kimball entrance the Bloomingdale Trail, or the 606!

The past two years have been challenging but so rewarding. And it is because of YOU that I get to continually bring my passion for food and wellness to our community. I’m beyond grateful for your membership and support to me the past two (some eight!) years.

I’m raising a glass to you: Here’s to many more years of learning, growing and staying curious!

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

Chef Sarah

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