BY KRISTINA ROSEN
If anyone deserves discounted or free meals amidst the temporary restaurant shutdowns and in-person dining suspensions it’s service industry workers.
BalanceBleu, a Lexington based meal prep company, has followed that notion by offering their packaged meals for half priced or free to folks in the service industry who have been laid off or received a cut in their hours and/or pay.
“I’ve worked in the industry for almost 30 years in the front of the house and back of the house. People don’t understand how hard restaurant employees work,” says Rebecca Shepherd-Smith, co-chef and dietary & nutrition director of BalanceBleu.
She continues, “It is not an easy job. It’s hard when all of a sudden they’re out of work and have come to live on those daily tips. As a server you don’t get a paycheck.”
With donations from Jake’s Cigar Bar, Manning Brothers Food Equipment Co., and many other private anonymous donors, Balance Bleu offered over 130 meals to furloughed service industry workers during the last week of March.
BalanceBleu, as the name would reveal, is known for providing healthy and tasty individually packaged balanced meals. Along with their discounted meals, BalanceBleu offers their regularly priced ready-to-eat packaged meals for $7 each.
“We have meals that are fresh, affordable and flavorful,” says Grant Wilson, co-chef and marketing & systems director. “We want to promote good health along with good food.”
Shepherd-Smith and Wilson make up the team behind BalanceBleu with Wilson bringing the creativity of meal combinations and Shepherd-Smith bringing the nutritional aspect.
The two started BalanceBleu in the commissary kitchen at Pasta Garage before recently relocating to the commissary kitchen at Southland Bagel, which also had its start in Pasta Garage’s kitchen before opening their own location.
BalanceBleu menu items change weekly while delivery happens throughout the week on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Right now they are only offering a delivery option. Orders must be placed on the prior day by 8 pm, and delivery is available for the entire Lexington area.
There’s a five week rotating menu with eight different items each week making a total of 40 different menu options. Right now, a limited menu is offered based on the availability of ingredients. Expect the menu to always have a frittata and muffin, a basic healthy option of salmon or chicken, a comfort food like meatloaf, and some type of fun bowl like taco or burrito.
To qualify for a discounted or free meal, send an email disclosing where you worked. There is no need to prove it with a pay stub because they haven’t felt the need to ask workers to do so yet. To order meals at the regular price, head to the BalanceBleu website to submit an order.
BalanceBleu is offering traditional Easter meals as part of their weekly rotating menu of ready-to eat packaged meals this week. A sampling of more Lexington area restaurants offering takeout, curbside, and heat & ready meals for Easter.
More information on the coronavirus impact on Lexington restaurant economy.
Subscribe to the Ace e-dition for Lexington news, arts, culture, food, and entertainment news delivered to your inbox.
Call today to advertise in Ace, 859.225.4889