Today we’d like to introduce you to LaForce Baker.
Moon Meals was built to solve a simple and common problem: there weren’t any healthy, late-night snack for professionals in Chicago.
LaForce, founder and executive chef of Moon Meals, found himself facing this very dilemma when he was working as a strategist for major brands like Kraft Heinz and ConAgra. How can young professionals continue to eat healthy while still burning the midnight oil?
LaForce created Moon Meals back in 2012 to offer “healthy meals under the moon.” Originally a small delivery service, one large catering order placed by a well-known, Chicago-based corporation changed the business’s trajectory. Moon Meals made its retail debut at Bridgeport Coffee, then on to 12 other coffee shops around Chicago.
By 2015, Moon Meals grab & go products could be found in deli sections of select Jewel-Osco’s, Mariano’s and Whole Foods Markets. LaForce continues to partner with retailers, distributors and processors across the country to make plant-based meals and ingredients more accessible to everyone in a healthy, affordable and convenient way.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle while building the company was competing against venture-backed competitors. Our company was founded with bootstrapped funding by its founder, LaForce Baker, by almost going homeless 3 times from using his savings and credit cards to cover day to day expenses while the company grew.
We are also one of the few companies in our space headed by a young person of color from the South Side of Chicago, so we have had to overcome misperceptions that potential institutional customers may have had about us from that.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Moon Meals – what should we know?
Moon Meals provides plant-based meals containing our propriety vegan meats, cheeses and sauces to major retailers and foodservice operators. The company uses only the finest ingredients and tries to use local and organic ingredients.
Moon Meals’ products have been featured in the “grab & go” delis of Chicago-area major retailers like Whole Foods Market, Albertsons and Kroger. As a result of the founder’s success in using food to reclaim his health after growing up in poverty in Chicago, the company’s mission is to make delicious, healthy plant-based meals more accessible to everyone.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality that is most important to our success is that we continue to make healthy and tasty grab & go meals more accessible to people.
- Moon Meals’ Fiesta Wrap $6.25
- Address: 324 N. Leavitt St., Chicago, IL. 60615
- Website: www.moonmeals.com
- Phone: 13128809521
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/moonmeals
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/moonmeals
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/moonmeals
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/moon-meals-chicago-2