Basalt-based Good Clean Food Delivered makes healthful eating at home a snap
When the ladies of Good Clean Food Delivered hit Whole Foods Market on Sunday and Monday mornings, they create “quite the stir.” Picture it: two fit women, shopping lists in hand, shepherding multiple mountains of fresh produce and plant-based pantry staples through the shop’s bright aisles at a confident clip.
“It’s a jaw-dropping experience for people who haven’t see it,” quips co-founder Kelly Hollins. “We’re using three or four carts of groceries, but we’re keeping 30 families out of the grocery store. We have a very close relationship with our checkout friends.”
Having completed the a.m. haul, Hollins, a certified health coach, vegan chef and entrepreneur, leads a tour through the company’s production kitchen in the Willits Design Center with partner Lisa Cohen, an accredited nutritionist, health coach, and weight-loss expert. Together they manage a team of private chefs in prepping and packaging the myriad colorful components that comprise Good Clean Food Delivered meals.
True to its name, the business champions weekly home distribution of nutritious fare that is entirely vegan, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, and absent of refined sugars and GMO ingredients. Clients sign up online (by Sunday at 10 a.m.), then receive a week’s worth of meals at their doorstep on Tuesday. An emailed menu includes ingredient lists and light assembly instructions, accompanied by a Vanna White-style video preview of the week’s featured dishes.
Unlike other meal services shipped from farther afield, Basalt-based GCFD is ultra-fresh and exceptionally diverse. Consider last week’s Fajita Bowl, known in-house as a gateway vegan concoction for steadfast carnivores: A 32-ounce glass jar layered with crumbled walnut and portobello “taco meat,” cauliflower “rice,” sauteed onions and peppers, crisp purple cabbage, and chopped Romaine lettuce, alongside scallions, cilantro and a grain-free Siete Foods tortilla in compostable, corn-based bags. I counted 18 ingredients in this one dish alone—not including another 10 in the Vegan Chipotle Ranch dressing!
“There is so much love in the washing and chopping of vegetables,” Hollins shares, adding that visitors are always boggled by the kitchen’s 50-plus large roasting pans. “That’s important to us: to make it diverse and special and not something you could whip up on your own in five minutes.”
Near the windowed kitchen’s sanitizing station, a tall rack holds hundreds of pieces of reusable glassware, glistening in the Colorado sunshine. Soon these will be stuffed with creations that promise to deliver “over 100% of your daily nutritional requirements, youth-enhancing antioxidants and phytochemicals, tons of fiber and leafy greens for optimal gut health, superfoods and adaptogens to heal and promote balance.”
Avid recipe collectors, Hollins and Cohen source ideas from the likes of Goop and The New York Times and feature favorite, trusted brands: Four Sigmatic mushroom chai latte mix in chia seed pudding and Sunwarrior protein powder in frozen smoothie cups (just add water or nut milk and blend). In addition to hearty soups, “buddha bowls,” crunchy salads, and inventive entrées, kits include a robust “Rainbow of Health” crudité sampler, featuring 10 to 12 different vegetables (watermelon radish, tiny sweet yellow peppers, jicama sticks, among others) and flavorful dips such as a Costa Rican black bean spread or cilantro-jalapeño pesto.
“Sometimes a client will send me a picture of their finger, holding up (a vegetable), like, ‘What is this?’” Cohen says. Before GCFD, she offered an abbreviated version of the plan as a wellness amenity, hand-delivered to about 15 of her private clients. “I called it a ‘whole foods cleanse,’” Cohen explains. “That program was so much fun, and so well received, that I started to think about how it could be a sustainable business.”
Cohen pitched her dear friend Hollins in January 2019 after a long-awaited hike.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about the glass jar thing!” exclaims Hollins, who envisioned a farmers’ market-feeling, zero-waste endeavor. They launched Good Clean Food Delivered officially in April 2019. Now, “We treat it as a creation of art—we want the dishes to look beautiful. We have a method to how we stack, so the assembly takes time. We are constantly laughing, like, ‘I just prepped butternut for three-and-a-half hours.’”
This week, that squash is roasted and combined with shaved, seared Brussels sprouts, tangy tamarind sauce, and chopped peanuts in an NYT Cooking-inspired pad Thai. There’s also a Thai-coconut hummus; puréed Szechuan carrot soup with Sriracha-toasted cashew-coconut garnish; and a low-oil, high-spice riff on widely available chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce.
“Last week was Mexican, (so we’re presenting) Asian this week, to keep the flavor profile fresh,” Hollins notes. And a cauliflower-based “Better Than Bolognese,” served over creamy polenta with sautéed greens and vegan “Parmesan” made from ground macadamia nuts, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and garlic powder.
In addition to collecting the glassware and cooler bags, GCFD will gather recyclable items if clients do not have residential collection. Mindfulness is baked into the GCFD philosophy: a new “Mini” option is available for customers who might find the Signature plan (starting at $325; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for five days, includes $50 first-order packaging fee) overwhelming. The Mini features 16-ounce portions (instead of Signature’s standard 32-ounces) and four fewer servings total—likely more manageable for single folks with smaller appetites or those who eat some meals away from home.
For many locals, the timing is right.
“When COVID hit, we changed from a luxury to a necessity,” Hollins says. “Instead of feeling like they’re gonna splurge on this service, clients started to feel like (they) need this service.” That drove the duo to launch a Boulder/Denver satellite with a dedicated chef in May.
“We bridge the gap between knowing what to do and actually being able to execute it,” Cohen concludes. I feel that lately. The promise of stress-free meals packed with a rainbow of whole foods, minus any shopping, chopping, cooking or cleanup? Sold.
Amanda Rae is the editor of “The Aspen Cookbook,” out now as a fundraiser for local restaurants. AspenCookbook.com
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