Name of business: Valley Meal Prep
Type of business: Health food restaurant
Location: 529 N. Golden State Blvd., Turlock
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Contact information: 209-312-9621
Specialty: On-the-go, nutritious meals
History of business:
Three years ago, Matt Martin started Valley Meal Prep with one goal in mind: to provide meals that are healthy, affordable and convenient for those looking to fuel their body the right way. After finding success in Modesto and Stockton, he was able to open a third location in the Turlock Town Center this week.
“We started Valley Meal Prep to make fast food not so unhealthy anymore, so people can follow their diets and reach their goals without the stress that comes along with it,” Martin said.
From breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and dessert, Valley Meal Prep offers a rotating menu filled with balanced meals that pack a flavorful punch. Customers can order what they’d like online ahead of time and pick it up in the store, or can drop in and see what’s stocked and available whenever the hunger pangs hit. With dishes like carne asada bowls, peanut butter protein balls, blueberry spinach pancakes and more, Martin takes pride in his menu’s variety.
“Some people get stagnant when they do meal prep, and we don’t want to be that company. We’re definitely known for having a variety,” he said. “People love the food, and I feel like it’s because we put a lot of love into it.”
A former executive chef in Modesto’s McHenry Village, Martin’s transformation into a business owner took place seemingly overnight. One day, he was meal prepping and preparing for a body building competition, and the next, he was taking orders from friends and family who saw photos of the healthy meals he was creating on social media, creating their meals out of his home.
Today, Valley Meal Prep is a three-location health food powerhouse, with 14 cooks preparing over 1,000 meals a day for residents throughout the area. The new Turlock location sold out on its first day, and Martin said city residents have expressed relief that they don’t have to drive down Highway 99 anymore to get a taste of his nutritious recipes.
“There’s a lot of gratification in it,” Martin said. “It’s as clean as it gets, it’s all real food and you get real results from it.”
Martin’s recipes use no sugar and no salt, and also include dishes that are diet specific, whether you’re Keto, Paleo or have a doctor-ordered meal plan you need to follow. There are also family-size meals, as opposed to the typical, individual serving sizes, and if you buy four meals, you get a fifth free. Meals can last for up to five days in the fridge, and 30 days frozen.
“We want people to come in and know we appreciate them, so we say, ‘Hey, here’s an extra free meal,’ because we know it’s hard to afford anything these days,’” Martin said.
The transition from cooking indulgent meals for patrons to preparing cuisine that helps people in all walks of life has been rewarding, Martin said.
“I’m not just going into the kitchen and feeding people fattening food all day. Now as a chef, I can actually go in everyday and know I’m helping people. That’s a huge accomplishment.”