Small Business Spotlight: Real Eats

March 13, 2019 06:41 PM

GENEVA, N.Y. (WHEC) -- What could be better than healthy, delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients? How about healthy meals you can serve in just six minutes. 

In just two years, Real Eats has become a major player in the meal delivery business.


Inside an industrial kitchen in Geneva, they are doing more than just cooking. They are helping to solve the dinner dilemma. Renowned chef Aliya LeeKong oversees the menu at Real Eats and recently gave News10NBC a tour of their operation.  

"Real Eats is a meal delivery company that delivers whole, all natural, chef-cooked meals that can be prepped at home in less than six minutes," explained LeeKong.

On this day, the 33 employees are cooking up a variety of dishes that will be shipped off to subscribing customers.

"We have this great zucchini and peppers happening right now that are going to get roasted for our mushroom ragout," LeeKong said.

The company offers 18 different dinners and four different breakfasts that rotate on a weekly basis.

With a focus on locally sourced produce and meats, LeeKong says Geneva was the perfect place to start the company. 

"Geneva was a really great place for us to go because it's so agriculturally rich, she said. "So for us, it was a really natural place to be to access amazing local produce and farms."

Real Eats isn't the first meal delivery company, but it may be the most convenient. Many other meal kits require you to still do the cooking.

After the dishes are prepared, they are vacuum sealed, labeled, and boxed up for delivery.

"We're different because our food is already cooked and all you're doing is a reheating process," said LeeKong. "For us, the secret sauce is we vacuum seal the food which gives us a seven-day shelf life."

The sealed packets are simply dropped in boiling water -- six minutes for the meats, three minutes for the sides.

One of the perks of this assignment was getting to taste some of the dishes. We sampled the brisket, honey soy salmon, and a variety of side dishes. All the meals are under 600 calories.

With thousands of members in just two short years, Real Eats has found the recipe for success.

"In the last few months alone we've grown 20%, so I think we're going to continue to be on a pretty big growth schedule for this year," said LeeKong.

It is growing so fast, the state recently announced funding to help Real Eats expand its operations in Geneva and create up to 400 additional jobs over the next five years, allowing it to keep delivering on a promise of fresh, healthy and easy to prepare meals.

"The reality is there's this trade-off between health and convenience and what we aim to do is to make no trade-off and give you both."

The dinner meals cost between $12.50 and $15, depending on the subscription.

For more information on Real Eats, click here. 

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Brett Davidsen

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