Interview with Jackie Keller owner of NutriFit

NutriFit delivers fresh prepared nutritional meals to your home Photo: Jackie Keller owner of NutriFit/promo photo

LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2013 — Jackie Keller started NutriFit in 1987 so that she could provide a healthy and convenient option for people with different nutritional needs. Jackie took some time to speak about the company’s roots and some of the many things her company does.

Kevin Wells: How did you start NutriFit?

Jackie Keller: I wanted to start a business whose business it was to help people with their health, both nutritional health and physical health. I came up with the idea that I could do so with my culinary skills, my training skills and my people skills.

I had a client that was interested in all three services, so the thought occurred to me that there might be other people like that out there. Although it was something that hadn’t necessarily been done, I decided to just give it a try and see where it went…quite literally.

KW: How has the meal delivery service grown since 1987?

JK: The whole industry has changed. In 1987, nobody knew what having food prepared and delivered, that was customized to your tastes and had health value, there was no industry for home meal delivery service. Nutri System was probably the only company out there that did, sort of, diet food, if you will.

We were really pioneers in this field and now it seems like every week there is another company out there doing home meal delivery and making claims about their ability to help people with their nutritional needs. I have seen tremendous change in that we went from basically an unheard of business that took 10 minutes to explain what it was to something that can now be readily understood in a matter of a few words.

KW: Are there any plans to expand out of the Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange County areas?

JK: Absolutely. We already have nationwide service. The local geographic area we cover with drivers is just one part of the delivery area that we actually serve. We have the capacity and do ship food nationwide.

What makes it challenging is the cost of doing overnight shipping of perishable food is rather expensive. So we’re constantly looking for ways to be able to reduce the cost so that we can reach more people because we get many, many, many requests from out of state and all over the map. We’re looking at different options for expanding our reach.

I am happy to say we currently do it and that we’re finding cheaper ways to do it, cheaper for the client because the client has to pay for shipping.

KW: How many meals are delivered at one time and are they frozen when they arrive?

JK: We don’t sell frozen food. Our food is fresh. When the meals arrive, they are fully prepared and ready to be eaten. If they’re something that is designed to be eaten hot, they are delivered in microwave safe containers. Everything is individually labeled and they have cooking and reheating and storage instructions and corresponds to that particular client’s nutritional needs and health goals.

Whether it be weight loss, weight gain, disease management, there are any number of reasons why people want food brought to them. We can pretty much take care of all of them, as long as they are healthy. In terms of how many meals we deliver at a time, it kind of depends where the client is.

I have some clients that are out of the area so they take four or five or six days of meals that are delivered at once, but customarily we’ll deliver every other day to our clients that are in our local delivery area. If we are shipping, it is usually once or twice a week. We send thousands of meals out of here every day.

KW: Are you the person responsible for the menu choices?

JK: I am, I am indeed. I get the thanks and I get the complaints. Thankfully, there are more thanks than complaints, by far and away, but I am the one that takes responsibility for designing the menus and making sure they are executed according to the recipes that I created and we handed out.

Jackie Keller creates all of the recipes for NutriFit/promo photo

There over 2400 or 2500 recipes in our database. Everything we do is nutritionally analyzed and we know what we’re giving to our clients.

KW: Does each customer have a unique plan tailored specifically for them?

JK: Exactly, exactly, so your plan now as a guy, you sound like you’re relatively young guy, probably in good shape, doesn’t need to lose weight, just wants to maybe gain muscle or not have to cook for themselves or eat out, your plan might be very, very different from another client who might be 89 years old and trying to control blood sugar and congestive heart failure and a host of other ailments.

Totally different calorie levels, totally different meal plan design, but everybody is unique and everybody has a unique plan that is created for them. That having been said, we do have the capacity to take care of a whole family that has the same tastes and basically the mom just doesn’t want to have to cook every single night.

So she orders our family faire, which is multiple servings that come in a container. It’s not customized, but it is nutritionally controlled and features the same premier ingredients that we use in our regular individually portioned meals. 

KW: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your company?

JK: Basically our philosophy is to pattern our meals after what we know to be scientifically healthy. We default to the Mediterranean diet when we are not asked to do something that is unique or different.

We really try to take a very customized and personal approach to our clients. We don’t consider ourselves as just a meal delivery service. We really are vested in our clients’ health and as a board certified licensed health coach, I work with clients who have no need for food at all and just are looking to have somebody coach them through the nutritional waters that they’re trying to navigate.

So, we are a very well rounded company and we really take a very holistic approach to our clients. So it would be nice if your readers could absorb some of that and also visit our website, which is to get a sense of just how complete a company we really are.

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball


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Kevin Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR.


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