Ballard mom launches new meal service propelled by pandemic learnings

Ballard mom and Homegrown chef Michaela Skloven has launched a new meal service to help families prepare home-cooked meals in a new reality shaped by the pandemic. 

Skloven learned from experience that home, work, and family became more intertwined than ever in the last two years. The reality of working in a home office with frequent kid interruptions made activities that once were pleasant a burden. 

So, Skloven saw an opportunity to create The Speedy Dish, enabling families to bring high-quality meals to the table without the heavy lifting of preparing it from start to finish.

The chef employs experience from top New York restaurants to create almost-ready meal kits—the client only needs to work on the finishing touches to have a home-cooked meal in 20 minutes or less.

The kits come with individual ingredients prepared in advance and when it’s time to eat, the customer crafts the meal based on the instructions that come with the sets—providing the real equivalent of home cooking without it being a burden. 

Photo:  Casey Ailes

Created as fast and simple to prepare, the kits are designed for people who have limited abilities in the kitchen and also for experienced home chefs who seek a quicker alternative on busy workdays.

“We try to keep it really simple, really easy so that you can do it even when you’re burned out at the end of the day,” The Speedy Dish co-founder and former head of marketing at Homegrown Erin Metzger said. 

The sustainability values shared by the co-founders since their Homegrown days are reflected in the new business. The order window of six days allows the chef to source the exact ingredients that each meal needs, which significantly reduces food waste. Meal kits come in reusable ice bags, which can be returned and used in future orders.

“We both went to Homegrown for a reason, right? That’s part of our DNA, sustainability.”

Photo:  Casey Ailes

After a small beta conducted with 15 test clients in the fall, The Speedy Dish opened for business serving Ballard, Queen Anne, and Magnolia with plans to expand to new neighborhoods soon.