For 10 years, Bob Swallows patiently waited until the time was right to add another element to his successful Bob’s Gym multi-location facilities. Finally, two years ago, Swallows felt like he had a business model that could work. After a positive test run, Perfectly Fresh was born.
Perfectly Fresh meals are affordable, convenient, delicious, and healthy, which was a choice that the market was lacking, says Swallows. The refrigerated meals range from $5.50 to $7 each and are available for purchase at each gym location with no gym membership necessary.
“It seemed like the missing piece for what we do and such a crucial piece,” says Swallows, owner of the four Bob’s Gym locations in Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana. “We were giving advice about what to buy at the grocery store and what to eat, but we were letting people, who were relying on us, to go out on their own to try and do it with very limited information and limited willpower.”
Swallows opened his first Bob’s Gym in 1991 after Gold’s Gym announced its move from Downtown Evansville to the East Side, which created a void for West Siders. The Evansville native said in order for Perfectly Fresh to work, he needed someone qualified to run a commercial kitchen. Swallows called on Blake Kollker, former executive chef at Evansville Country Club, who works alongside fellow chef Chris Garrett, who also worked at Evansville Country Club.
“Blake has been a huge part of our early success,” says Swallows. “He has been invaluable … Over the last 18 months, he has come so far in understanding in what he has to work with. The meals in the past several months have improved dramatically.”
Perfectly Fresh meals are prepared in a large commercial kitchen at the West Side gym location on N. Rosenberger Avenue and packaged in microwaveable containers. The chefs use only grass fed local beef, free-range chicken, and vegetables grown by local farmers. There are 15 choices of meals that rotate every four to six weeks with 65 different meal options. Most meals have 350 to 500 calories and protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats are balanced. Lean Lemon Turkey, Pesto Chicken, and Turkey Quinoa Meatballs are among the most popular. Meals, except for the salads, are microwaved.
Newburgh, Indiana, resident Jeri Utley says she eats Perfectly Fresh meals one to two times a day as a healthy alternative to eating on the go with busy schedules. Utley joined Weight Watchers on Jan. 1 and at the same time, began using Perfectly Fresh consistently. As a result, she lost 19 pounds over the course of a month.
“It is such amazing food,” says Utley. “It’s always a better choice than fast food. It doesn’t seem possible that they can taste this good and be so healthy for you.”
In the first year, Perfectly Fresh sold 45,000 meals; January marked its 12th and most successful month yet. Swallows expects to sell 70,000 meals over the next year and plans to soon introduce the sale of healthy and great-tasting ice cream.
For more information about Perfectly Fresh, call 812-760-1474 or visit facebook.com/perfectlyfreshmeals.