A new food-delivery service in Laramie aims to bring healthy, healing foods to customer front doors in southeast Wyoming and soon northern Colorado.
Heritage Foods, part of the local Blue Sky Group, has been operating in Laramie in different formats for the last three years, but only recently did the company arrive at the food-delivery approach as its way forward, said founder John Pope.
Pope said the company has had its food available at a downtown café, at Ivinson Memorial Hospital and at kiosks at local gyms, for example.
“After a couple years of exploring, we settled on a business model where people go online and order the food, and then we make the food, and a couple days later we deliver the food,” he said.
Pope said the model avoids the high cost and environmental impact of meal kits, while food arrives made-to-order from a nearby kitchen. Meals are packaged in plant-based, compostable containers and arrive via no-contact delivery.
“Heritage Foods is not taking the approach of manufacturing the food, packing it into boxes and mailing it across the country,” he said. “When you do that, you have to sacrifice a lot of quality.”
Heritage Foods currently delivers to Centennial, Laramie and Cheyenne. Pope said they’re finalizing expansion to the northern Front Range of Colorado, as far south as Boulder County.
Food is prepared in the kitchen at Cavalryman Steakhouse, which is also owned by Blue Sky Group. Heritage Foods currently has six employees with plans to hire several more in coming weeks as the expansion unfolds.
Customers can choose from among more than 50 main dishes, salads, breakfast items, snacks and desserts. They can order boxes of several meals or choose menu items ala carte.
According to Pope, what sets Heritage Foods apart is its nutritional approach, with a commitment to food prepared according to a strict set of nutritional principles.
“What’s unique about the meals is that they’re entirely clean,” he said. “What we find is that whenever we eat these foods, our bodies feel a lot better, have an easier time getting over illnesses and have an easier time healing chronic disease.”
Pope described the principles as foundational ideas within nutrition science and not among the fad diet realm. All foods have a low glycemic load, are prepared with heat-stable fats, maintain a low ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and use ingredients with low pesticide residue. Menu items are free of grains, sugar and gluten, and they also align with paleo and keto diets. Some menu items are also vegetarian- or vegan-friendly.
“The reason these (principles) are important is they are all shown repeatedly and scientifically to have a positive impact on inflammation in our bodies,” he said. “It’s also been shown repeatedly and scientifically over time that chronic inflammation is one of the primary drivers of chronic disease in our bodies.”
Pope said he personally struggled with hypertension and related chronic health issues for years, despite exercising consistently, until he overhauled his diet according to the Heritage Food principles. Part of his motivation in starting the company was to share with others the opportunity to do the same.
“I felt like I couldn’t walk away from this without making the food available to other people too,” he said.
The company’s next step is to test its model in the larger northern Colorado market and consider further expansion into more markets around the country, Pope said.
Go to myheritagefoods.com for more information.