Tucked away in a brick building across from the Evanston Police Department headquarters on Elmwood Street sits Meez Meals, a meal kit company founded by Jen Moore in 2011, before many of the mainstream meal delivery services had emerged onto the scene.

Founder of Meez Meals Jen Moore Credit: Submitted

Moore, a working mom, said she founded Meez Meals – Meez for short – to help strike the balance between food that’s convenient and healthy. She said she’s making fun, fast and easy cooking her mission.

“Folks planning meals in their household are faced with a very difficult choice between convenience and health,” says Meez Chief Executive Officer Scott Zuckerman. “They want to have the feeling of doing something good for their family by cooking from scratch but all the steps involved (planning the meals, shopping, chopping, cleaning, etc.) make it almost impossible with a hectic schedule. Meez Meals take the convenience piece as far as it can go with from scratch cooking by making it as easy as possible.”

Meez representatives said they’re different from competitors, with customers being able to customize the number of meals and servings with no obligation. And they say Meez dinners require only 10 to 15 minutes of “hands-on” time, with approximately 30 to 40 minutes to cook.  There’s also a dinner hotline where customers can talk to a real person about how to prepare a dish.

“Each ingredient is cut, mixed, puréed, etc., and put into individual component bags that have exactly what you need for the recipe with no prep work from you,” Zuckerman said.

The Meez team designs a new menu each week with at least 10 meals to choose from, plus sides, salads and desserts. Customers are asked to fill out a profile when registering with specific requirements such as gluten-free, vegan and lactose-free. Each recipe’s ingredients are clearly defined to help guide customer choices. If a customer selects a recipe that contradicts an allergen or taste preference, an alert appears on the screen.  

Indian Grain Bowl with Mango Chili Sauce Credit: Submitted

Meez deliveries for local customers are made between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays or Tuesdays and arrive cold in a reusable tote that can be picked up with the next delivery.

“With our large family and crazy schedule, Meez has saved us many a time,” says Sharon Watrous, a mom of five. “It’s important to us, too, that they are local, and they are the only pre-prepped food service we use. We have been customers for years and will continue to be for many more.”

Katie Lipka gifted Meez to her college student who wanted to learn new cooking and adulting skills.

“The directions were great, and he learned new cooking techniques,” Lipka says.

When it comes to coming up with the recipe ideas, Zuckerman says it’s a team effort.

“Jen and I will look at consumer trends and our own customer data to identify concepts that would work well on our menu and be demanded by customers,” he said.  

The company’s Vice President of Operations is a food scientist with more than 30 years of product development experience and does the heavy lifting on ingredients, Zuckerman said.

“Our kitchen manager is a younger foodie with tons of knowledge about the food scene,” he said.

Zuckerman said his favorites are the espresso-rubbed steak with au gratin sweet potatoes, the Indian grain bowl with mango chili sauce and the chicken parmesan with basil aioli kale slaw.

Belinda Lichty Clarke

Belinda Lichty Clarke works as the alumni engagement director at Medill at Northwestern and is a freelance writer. After graduating with a master’s from Medill in 1994, Belinda worked in public relations,...

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  1. I’ve tried a couple of the convenience food programs and Meez is definitely the best. Kudos to an excellent, and local, company! Their cookies are awesome too.