On a regular (and busy) Wednesday afternoon, I received a text around 3 p.m. – my Instead of Flowers supper delivery was at my doorstep! Moments later, I was literally pulling out container after container of my tantalizing main course plus sides, desserts and thoughtful extras. From the ready-to-bake rolls to the blackened salmon with fresh mango chutney to the salad with lovingly packaged dressing, this was a far cry from regular takeout or sad, soggy delivery – this was a gourmet feast, prepared solely for me.
The concept of this brilliant company is simple: everyone needs food, and sometimes life gets a little hectic … our own or someone else’s. That’s when Instead of Flowers can handle the task of providing a heartfelt and delicious spread. Named for the notion of giving a friend or loved one food instead of flowers, the company was purchased by three Atlanta guys named Kenny Baer, Mark Beal and Kevin Wilensky, then rebranded and leveled up to include even more tasty offerings. Three different menu categories — standard, deluxe and premier — offer an assortment of handmade dishes. “We have something for everyone,” says Baer. “Comfort food, vegetarian, meatless, seafood."
Best of all, you can customize your meal. For example, with my blackened salmon, I could have opted for mashed potatoes instead of the wild rice, or I could have ordered a different dessert or vegetable (but the cheesecake squares were heavenly, as was the spinach salad with bacon dressing, so I’m personally glad I didn’t!). Portions are generous – I had enough salmon for two nights — amazing, since it was a busy week — and I was enjoying my salad and cheesecake well into the weekend.
Recently, Instead of Flowers introduced Molly’s Meal of the Month, a special, limited-edition entree chosen by Baer’s wife, Molly. Because the three owners are not always able to be the “face” for the company, Molly’s Meal of the Month offers a personal touch – not to mention a mouthwatering, often seasonally focused, option. “This month, it’s baby back ribs, green beans and potato salad,” Baer explains during our chat in late May. By the time this article is in your hands, Molly’s Meal for July will be a delicious selection for peak summer.
If you’re sending a friend or family member a meal and want to add on a little something extra, Instead of Flowers has that covered as well. Special kitchen gifts, such as an apron or a tea towel, can brighten the delivery for someone who is celebrating or who needs cheering up. “We have different ways to give — our gift cards offer the recipient choices; they can pick out their own meal and when they want it to arrive,” Baer says.
One thing is for certain; the meal will arrive fresh, with no complex cooking requirements. For Georgia residents, a courier service will deliver a cooler of food right to your doorstep, ready to warm and enjoy — and the shipping is free, so go ahead and try more than one meal. You honestly never know what you’re going to love next.
“This is an option for businesses to send a meal to clients or employees – or for holidays or anything else,” Baer comments. “It’s great both personally and professionally."
To learn more and order a meal, visit insteadofflowers.com.