Lana Bridges spent several years preparing meals for seniors in Red Deer retirement homes.
She moved on to another job in 2004, but never forgot the value of her service to elderly clients.
Seven years later, Bridges has launched The Grocery Girl — a business that not only buys and delivers food for people, but uses it to prepare meals in their homes.
The Red Deer woman thinks a variety of customers would welcome home-cooked meals: busy parents, working people and those recovering from illness or injury. But she believes the senior demographic is the one that could really benefit from a helping hand in the kitchen.
“As the population ages, more of us are going to want to be in our own homes and have someone get your groceries.”
Customers of The Grocery Girl can review an extensive list of meal options and choose what they want and when. Bridges will then prepare the meals on site, supplying the ingredients if required.
“I’m even carrying all the spices I need for any of my recipes,” she said, explaining that this helps reduce cost for individual customers.
Low prices are important to Bridges, who wants to ensure people on tight budgets get the best value possible.
“I just want to do it as simple as I can and make it as affordable as I can.”
One strategy to achieve this is to do all the prep work and then leave oven-ready meals for clients to cook themselves. That reduces her kitchen time and cost.
“I want to go into someone’s home two hours a day; I’m not staying for the whole meal to be cooked,” said Bridges, adding that she will also do the cooking if requested.
The Grocery Girl menu covers the gamut from salads to desserts, with its entrees including the likes of dill stroganoff, baked lasagna, pot roasts, Parmesan chicken and cabbage rolls.
“I have a six-week rotating menu already set up, with all the different food groups.”
In addition to completing an Alberta Health Services food safety certification course, Bridges has taken basic first aid and CPR training. She thinks home-bound individuals, as well as their family and friends, will appreciate her checking in periodically — and even offers gift certificates.
The Grocery Girl can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 403-302-0529.