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How it all started


Busy. The honest answer I always use when people ask how I am, but the word I wish I never had to respond with. Like many people, I always felt like I was running around, frantically crossing off items from a to-do list that was never-ending. Between working, raising our daughter, household maintenance, taking care of our dog, Ladybug, cooking, etc, there never seemed to be enough time in the day. And when there was, sometimes I felt all I had the energy to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. Not exactly the way I had dreamed of living my “adult life.” And most of all, I just felt tired. All the time.
There was no big “aha” moment or “New Year’s resolution” to turn things around. But I did start making small changes to get some time back in my life. Some were material changes I felt great about: I bit the bullet and hired a cleaner. Truly the best weekly splurge and I felt like I’d “made it” as an adult. Some were changes I felt a little sheepish about: I decided that folding laundry took too much time and I’d just pull items to wear straight from a pile in my laundry basket (after a quick spray of Downy Wrinkle Release, it’s almost as good- I swear!).
But the one area I couldn’t crack was meals. To be honest, it was disheartening. We have a restaurant background- meaning we have a natural leg up above most in regards to efficiency with meal planning, prep, and outcomes- but it was still so hard to fit in. It felt like we were always shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning. It took the joy out of cooking, something we had always loved (and had as a profession!). So we tried it all:
  • takeout: too expensive - we had many abandoned UberEats carts from sticker shock ($35 for a single pizza?!) - and generally always unhealthy
  • weekly meal prep on Sundays- not actually that time saving and it quickly the number one trigger of Sunday Scaries- no thank you!
  • meal kits- was it just us or did they take just as long to cook as any other recipe?
  • Grocery store prepared food- I will be happy if I never see a Publix rotisserie chicken again after eating them
  • Meal shipments- a little queasy to think about where the food was actually made (several thousand miles away) but, the nail in the coffin was the delays in shipping causing whole packages to be thrown out (but not before having to open a rancid box of meals and photographing “proof” of an issue- yuck!)
  • Frozen meals- honestly sometimes not that bad (I am a sucker for Trader Joe's and we always have a couple of their meals in our freezer), but nothing I ever felt proud about
What we wanted were prepared meals that were made locally and felt “homemade.” Nothing too fancy and something we felt good about eating ourselves and feeding to our daughter. Which led to Artichoke Dinner Club, which does just that.
We are so passionate about our business and continue to put metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears into it because this product was life-changing for us. Not in that all-out way (like having a baby or finding your dream job is), but in the way that feels impactful and meaningful to our lives during every workweek. And that sentiment is echoed by our wonderful, loyal customers. You can eat good food- that is easy, affordable, and feels good. Welcome to the Club.