[caption id="attachment_342488" align="alignright" width="397"] 7227 W. North Ave.[/caption]
The Real Good Life, a food service that prepares and delivers ready-made meals, recently opened in Wauwatosa at the former Tall Guy and a Grill Catering space.
Owner Maggie Joos, who launched the business in September 2016, had been cooking meals for about 25 clients from a church kitchen in Shorewood until she moved in to the 7227 W. North Ave. space in early January. Shortly after putting signage on the windows, her clientele doubled and The Real Good Life now delivers meals to about 45 households within a 15-mile radius of the store.
"We keep growing so we could actually use more space, but the location is amazing and it's a hot street for our target market," Joos said. "Being in Shorewood for a while, we have a good following from the north shore but now, being in Tosa, we are able to reach a different audience."
Each week, the business prepares, cooks and delivers one, two and four-serving meals that are ready to eat-- sometimes requiring minor assembly or re-heating in the oven or microwave. The week's menu-- consisting of three entrees, a green salad, a soup, side dishes, and a dessert-- is posted on the website on Wednesday for orders to be made until Sunday.
Joos and her crew of four employees purchase the needed ingredients on Monday, cook the meals on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, they make final preparations before delivering the orders to clients' homes. Meals are an average of $8 to $9 per serving, she said.
"I serve my customers the way I feed my family," Joos said. "I sneak veggies in all the entrees and offer options that are healthier than restaurant fare, but the meals don't necessarily follow the latest diet trend."
Joos said The Real Good Life has two main client groups: working mothers who don't have time every night to prepare a full meal for their families and single professionals who also don't have time to cook and will often order enough food for a few days worth of meals.
Joos' next goal for her business is to break into the local farmer's market scene to sell its ready-to-eat meals. She has also considered using the new storefront for pick-up orders, but no plans are in the works yet, she said.
"I might eventually write a cookbook or offer cooking classes," Joos said. "I want to teach people that what I do isn't hard and they can do it too. My end goal is just to get more people sitting at a table and enjoying a meal together and to help folks fuel their everyday passions and goals."