by Megan Minnick, Purchasing Director
It’s the season for giving thanks, and so I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all of our Owners: you fabulous folks who choose to shop in our stores and continue your support for our mission to not only bring you delicious and wholesome food, but to give back to our community and work to build a strong, sustainable, and ethical food system. Without you, we would not be able to do what we do.
One of the most inspiring (to me) of these things that we do is to consciously seek out small and local producers and work in partnership with them to grow their businesses by bringing their products into our stores. One such local entrepreneur that I am so excited to tell you about is Christy McKenzie. Christy is the Owner of Pasture and Plenty, a new Madison-based business that is doing something completely unique, with the goal of bringing more local, nutritious meals to the plates of Madisonians.
Pasture and Plenty blurs the lines between dine-in and take-out restaurant, subscription meal kit service, and caterer—all done with impeccable flavor and ingredients carefully sourced from local farms. You can pop into their dine-in restaurant on Old University Avenue for a weekday breakfast or lunch or their weekly Wednesday dinners. Feel like staying in? You can easily take your food to-go. Want something to keep in your freezer for those days when there’s no time to cook? Pasture and Plenty offers “farm to freezer” meals that can be kept frozen and reheated at your leisure. Feeling like a home-cooked meal but not sure what to cook? You can sign up for a weekly subscription service that offers customers three meals per week—one “cook kit” that includes all of the ingredients you need to make a delicious gourmet meal at home along with an easy to follow recipe card; one ready-to-eat meal that just needs to be heated up; and one “farm to freezer” meal. The subscription service is even offered as a delivery straight to your home, or at several pickup spots in the Madison area.
Cook Kits at Willy Street Co-op
And now, I’m happy to announce one more way that you can enjoy Pasture and Plenty’s delicious, locally sourced meals—their Cook Kits are now available right here at Willy Street Co-op!
Our partnership with Pasture and Plenty started with a quick email that I sent to Christy several months back. I had heard of her new business, and was curious to learn more. Over the last few years, we have heard from numerous Co-op Owners that they would like to see us offer a meal kit on our shelves—something that groups all of the ingredients needed for a meal along with a recipe for creating that meal at home. We love the concept, but we’ve struggled to find a solution that would both uphold our product standards and be sustainable for our business.
Sold from our shelves
I was delighted when Christy quickly responded. We setup a meeting, and the rest, as they say, is history. She and her talented team, including chefs Nate Carney and Jack Huibregtse, have worked hard to morph the cook kits they include in their weekly meal subscriptions into something that can be sold off of our shelves. Each kit contains all of the ingredients needed to cook a delicious locally sourced two-serving meal, along with an easy to follow recipe card that includes wine and beer pairing suggestions. Initially, we are offering two recipes—one vegetarian and one omnivore, both priced at $24.99 (or $12.50 per serving). Because produce seasonality in Wisconsin is ever-changing, the Pasture and Plenty team intends to switch the recipes they offer every six weeks or so. Since sustainability is an important factor for both of our businesses, all of the packaging used is reusable and/or recyclable, and they are working to source even more sustainable packaging solutions in the future.
What’s for dinner tonight?
So if you’re wondering what’s for dinner tonight, look for Pasture and Plenty Cook Kits in the Deli departments at any of our locations. Not only will you soon be enjoying a delicious, home-cooked, locally sourced meal; but you’ll be supporting a completely unique small startup Madison business. Dinner. Done.