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Entree Kitchen Takes Made-To-Order Food To The Next Level

By Michael Abelson

Eating healthy is the right thing to do, but it's also difficult to do right. Luckily, Entree Kitchen in Carol Stream is there to help. The company, which is now owned by former customer Diane Beaulieu, makes high-quality meals and delivers them right to your door. Beaulieu answered some questions for Illinois Homes about her motivations to buy the company as well as how she keeps everything the highest quality.

What​ was the inspiration behind opening Entree Kitchen? How long have you been in business?

Entree Kitchen was opened in September of 2005 and I became a customer in November of 2007 while 7.5 months pregnant with my twin sons. I had found myself too tired to cook healthy dinners after returning home from my corporate job as a director for a company in Naperville and needed help from a service like Entree Kitchen. I knew that eating healthy was important on so many levels for myself and for so many reasons including ensuring that my son who was almost three and my husband were eating healthy too. So I sought out businesses like Entree Kitchen to solve my "dinner dilemma".

I ultimately picked Entree Kitchen because it was the company had most interesting menus and a flexible membership program that allowed me to save money on my meals and all my sides as well. Upon taking ownership, our vision for the business was and still is to help busy people enjoy delicious meals at home without all the work. We like to think that we are "Bringing Dinner Back to the Kitchen Table!"

How would you describe the style of meals you usually offer for clients?

Our monthly menu includes 14 made-to-order entrees which we can create for pickup or delivery. Customers can also opt to come to our kitchen to make their own entrees, thus allowing them the chance to customize all of their meals to their own personal tastes as well. These meals are a broad selection of all genres from Italian and Mexican, to Asian, Greek and Southern, plus old-fashioned "American" fare too. Every month is a mix of these paired with hand-trimmed chicken, pork, beef, fish and vegetarian choices, plus we always offer a breakfast option too, because breakfast for dinner is fun and many of our customers like to enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch too.

What is ​one of your personal favorite recipes you feature?

Of course, I love all of our recipes or they would not make it on the menu so if I had to narrow it down to one right now, I would go with our Pork Marsala with Peas & Orzo from our February 2018 menu. This dish is packed with amazing flavor, it's super easy to cook and it has everything in it so I don't have to think about pairing it with anything else at home.

Why do you think everyone should try Entree Kitchen's meal services at least once?

By having Entree Kitchen fully prepare meals that are ready to cook on hand at home, our customers tell us that they are saving money by not dining out when they know they have a delicious, easy-to-cook meal waiting at home that will be table-ready in around 30 minutes in most cases. In addition, our customers love that they are bypassing all the prep work, because we not only do all the "shopping" for them, we do all the chopping, dicing and slicing so they are saving time at the end of their busy day and thus can use that time for other tasks, like homework help, laundry or simply relaxing. Families love that we provide them with the opportunity to expose their children to a variety of meals throughout the month. Plus, we have found that when children help to select the meals, come in to help make the meals during a meal assembly session, as a fun family activity, they are then more inclined to want to help make the meals and eat the meals at home. Thus we are proud to help families raise adventurous eaters too.

Another aspect of our service that customers enjoy is the many options they have in working with us. Some customers stop by on their way home from work Monday through Friday to pickup a few of our 30 minute "Delicious Dinners in a Dash", while others order monthly through our free-membership program and stock their freezer for the busy weeks ahead. Best of all, is the fact that customers don't have to plan ahead, we always have frozen meals available, some of which can actually be cooked from frozen, or are ready to cook after a 24 hour thaw time. Many people use these meals as gifts for friends who have babies, or surgery to help their lives a bit easier.

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