Food

Chef starts food delivery after blog – Chico Enterprise-Record

Chef starts food delivery after blog – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — Mary Chin’s farm-to-table food delivery service called My Ovens Meals started with a now-defunct blog called Life of Chef Mom that she started doing for fun.

Chin, a professionally trained chef who has worked at a Michelin restaurant in Napa Valley and other restaurants in the Bay Area, is originally from Novato. She launched My Ovens Meals in 2017. She had previously toyed with gluten-free meals, diets and lifestyles. Her friends pushed her to start the business. She attended culinary school in a junior college program in Santa Rosa.

Chin attended Chico State University between 2003 and 2006, where she met her husband, but struggled with not knowing what she wanted to do in life. She has always loved cooking, so she decided to go to cooking school and graduated, then moved back to Chico in 2013 to start her family.

Mary Chin’s Chicken Coconut Curry Meatballs are pictured in her curator kitchen in 2018 in Chico, California. (Lindsey King/Contributed)

His business was greatly affected by the campfire. She has lost many clients in Paradise. Due to the many delivery services that provided the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to do something different. Her healthy options delivery service has exploded and now she has a niche.

It employs four people and delivers meals to customers in Butte County including Chico, Oroville, Paradise and Durham.

She developed recipes and started taking pictures to put on her Instagram account.

“We eat with our eyes,” Chin said.

Chin’s philosophy for attracting new customers is rooted in keeping its social media presence attractive and aesthetically pleasing. She recruited a friend to take professional photos of her delivery meals to start transforming her brand on Instagram and Facebook.

Business has picked up since the start of the pandemic. Chin said she was lucky to partner with the Great Plates company for a month. Great Plates provides breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week to seniors in approved program areas. Seniors received healthy meals and did not have to be exposed to COVID-19.

All Chin meals are gluten and soy free and do not use refined sugars. She also delivered fresh meals with diet options including paleo, keto, sugar-free, and dairy-free. For keto folks, she makes sweet or savory fresh scones. One of his most popular dishes is the Chicken Coconut Curry Meatballs, served over cauliflower rice. The meatballs contain chicken, cilantro, carrots, onions and lime juice.

“We struggled at first, but now there’s a flow,” Chin said. “The company will be five years old in July.”

Chin has cookbooks and tries to provide a variety of fresh, seasonal dishes. Main dishes are priced at $13.99. For a breakfast, the meals increase from $5 to $10. It also offers a four-meal pack for $55, and to purchase a subscription, the price is $62 for a full week of meals with five main courses.

Chin and his team deliver 30-40 orders per week. She says there is no minimum price requirement but she charges a delivery fee.

She sells meals at the Chico Certified Farmers Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Customers have between Tuesday and Friday to place an order, then deliveries are made on Monday.

Meals are chilled and delivered at the right temperature to customers’ doorsteps. My ovens Meals are prepared in a certified commissioner’s kitchen approved by the health department, Chin said.

She has a five-year-old and an eight-year-old who have also captured the culinary buzz. They all cook together and the children have their own sets of knives.

“They’re great little prep cooks,” Chin said. “We make it fun.”

Chin said it was sometimes difficult to juggle her professional and personal life. Her husband works in a hospital 12 hours a day from Tuesday to Thursday. Fortunately with her job, she is there during the day for her children. She does groceries during the day while the kids are at school and plans meals and works on recipes. When her children come home from school for the day, she does their homework and plays sports with them. Her husband spends time with the children on weekends while she cooks. Its business model is as locally sourced as possible. When shopping at farmers’ markets, she adds vegetables and fresh produce to meals.