stroy and photo by Bobby Anderson, staff Writer
Given the option, few people would turn down a good, home-cooked meal.
But sometimes circumstances just don’t make it possible.
That’s why Cynthia St. Peter decided to create Mealfull to give everyone – even those who can’t afford it – the opportunity to have comfort food.
“Even though I’ve turned 63 I have an entrepreneurial spirit,” the company founder said. “When I get bored I create something.”
After retiring from a 40-year music ministry career, St. Peter found she still had a passion to create.
“Food – it’s a win-win for everyone,” St. Peter said. “Feeding people is just a basic need. Whether they’re homeless and they can’t afford it we’re going to give it to them. If they’re shut-ins and can’t get out of the house we’ll get it to them.
“And if they’re millennials and they just wished something was on their porch when they got home it’s going to be there.”
Mealfull operates out of Earth Elements Kitchen in the historic Farmer’s Market District in Oklahoma City.
All food is locally-sourced, farm-to-table..
Breads are baked fresh at 4:30 a.m. by St. Peter’s chef, who then prepares that day’s offerings.
“My heart is in three special places,” she said when asked what the business looks like.
ON THE GO
With 15 years as a single parent, St. Peter knows first-hand there is a need for quality food for busy people.
“It would have been great if there was a food delivery service that actually cooked it, it was delicious and they brought it to you,” she laughed.
Busy people get up early and work late. There’s really no desire to shop then come home to cook.
All too often the drive-thru is the default first-choice for busy people.
“We stop at a fast-food place and pack on 40 pounds,” said St. Peter, who admitted even when she worked as a chef she would go through the drive-thru at the end of the day.
Today’s millennials encounter a job market like no other in history. St. Peter sees her own daughter’s embedded in the rat race, with little time to slow down between work and family.
Mealfull can have hot selections waiting for them on their front porch or can go inside and stow them away in the fridge.
Another facet of the business is providing meals to seniors in their homes.
“They don’t feed themselves. They have the money but they make friends with the pizza guy so that’s what they order every night,” she said.
“Wonderful, comfort food” is how St. Peter describes her menu, which rotates weekly. And it’s not just a drop-off solution.
Another option Mealfull offers is going into a client’s home and cooking the meals on-site.
“I have a real passion for Meals on Wheels but it makes me sick they don’t have the time to visit,” she said. “It’s drop off and go.”
That allows for hot food and good company – something many seniors are starved for.
At the end of the day, MealFull coordinates with local social workers. St. Peter prides herself on a zero waste policy.
“We deliver the food to the homeless at their under-the-bridge camp,” St. Peter. “We have so much waste in the food business. If we were a restaurant we would have to throw it away. But we’re not … so we can do whatever we want to do with our food at the end of the day.
“That’s a very exciting part of what we’re doing.”
For the past 10 years, families have hired St. Peter to go into their loved one’s homes to cook for them.
“Families would hire me because their parents wouldn’t eat,” she said. “They wouldn’t cook for themselves because they couldn’t. They wouldn’t eat because they would think they weren’t hungry – especially those with dementia.
“I would serve them and they would woof it down. It was just taking care of our brothers and sisters.”
St. Peter quickly became a part of the family, going into the home and serving not only as a provider of sustenance but a source of peace of mind for the children who worried about how their mother or father was doing living alone.
Mealfull is also offering the option of ordering an entire holiday dinner for as few as two to as many as 12. Feasts include slow-roasted turkey breast, sliced spiral ham and a cornucopia of sides and desserts.
Delivery is offered at no extra charge.
Orders are now being accepted through Nov. 17 or while supplies last.
Got to mealfull.com for more information or call 405-568-6684.