Meal prep services have become a popular and time-saving amenity for dozens of families and busy professionals across the country. Steve and Cynthia Schick noticed a need for such services in the Charlotte area, particularly when it comes to meeting the dietary requirements for seniors. In November of 2019, the couple launched Chefs For Seniors – a unique business that pairs professionally trained chefs with those seeking fresh, customized meals prepared in their own homes.
“Our chefs have worked previously at several of the high-end restaurants in Charlotte,” explains Cynthia. “Many have extensive culinary backgrounds and will prepare really anything the client requests while also being able to follow specific dietary restrictions if needed.”
Cynthia and her husband Steve started their business following a family tragedy several years ago. Both have corporate and franchising backgrounds and wanted to devote their time and energy to a career they found meaningful and rewarding. While their clientele includes seniors, patients discharged from the hospital and others going through rehab, in-home chefs also prepare meals for active families, busy professionals or those who are simply tired of eating out.
“For many of the seniors we serve, we are not only preparing healthy, delicious meals. In many cases, when our chef is in the home, we are providing a wellness check, companionship and social interaction all in one visit,” adds Cynthia.
During an initial consultation to discuss dietary needs and preferences, clients can review more than 160 unique recipes to choose from or can request favorite meals they prefer. There are no contracts to sign and chefs handle all grocery shopping for recipes they will prepare. Clients pay for their groceries (with no upcharge) and for the in-home meal preparation that includes cooking, packaging, labeling and dating all meals. A weekly visit typically lasts about 2 to 2 ½ hours and is customized based on the need and budget of the individual client. Costs typically range between $135 to $150 per service.
What differentiates Chef For Seniors is its ability to meet a client’s very important dietary restrictions including low sodium diets and diabetic or renal friendly diets. Chefs can prepare a week’s worth of meals at a time, or dishes for just a few days a week. They also assist with garden parties, ladies luncheons and dinner parties. Everything is personalized for the specific needs of the individual or family.
For clients who are elderly, recovering from surgery or dealing with a physical impairment, having a chef come into their home can be exactly what is needed to allow them to remain living independently. The service also provides relief to family members who may not be available to cook daily for their loved one, but want to ensure they are healthy and getting the proper nutrition.
“Chefs For Seniors of Charlotte believes that food is medicine,” explains Steve. “Good food gives you more energy and can allow you to age gracefully in your own home.” Clients look forward to trying new recipes with each visit. For many, having meals prepared and ready to go is one less thing to worry about during a hectic week.
South Charlotte Lifestyle's co-publisher, George Zorilla, loves being a client of Chefs For Seniors. His chef, Deneen Delevante, has a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and has been cooking professionally for 22 years! Working for Chefs For Seniors allows her to cook for a variety of clients, specializing in personalized menu planning and design customized to fit the needs of each individual home.
Chefs For Seniors is a national franchise, with operations in several states. For more information or to book a consultation, visit ChefsForSeniors.com/Charlotte or call 980.245.7145.