But growing up in a small town and trying to be health conscious are two things that don’t always go well together.
With all the fast-food restaurants along the city’s main drive, it becomes difficult to not just toss the new year resolutions in the trash along with that now empty burger wrapper.
Located at 419 N. Washington St., in the same building as the local BTX Crossfit studio, Meals N Thrills has set up shop as an alternative for those wanting something different.
Jennifer Treadwell, who opened up Meals N Thrills in early December, said, “We bring in Paleo and clean eating meals that consist of pretty much anything natural, so you’re not putting in any preservatives into your body.”
Treadwell’s setting up shop at the Crossfit studio wasn’t just by accident. Her boyfriend is JoJo Gonzales, who runs the fitness studio, and though they tried numerous other locations, it just made sense to open there.
Gonzales said, “I don’t think there’s anything else in town that offers cleaner, healthier nutrition.
“Aside from just cooking the meals, we try to tell them why it’s cleaner and why the meals are cooked this way and what products and ingredients are in them. People with health issues will obviously benefit.”
This isn’t the typical restaurant.
Patrons walking into Meals N Thrills will see a few tables, a microwave and a glass, two-door fridge stocked with containers.
Treadwell cooks the meals, usually the night before, and brings them in, so every meal is fresh.
Treadwell explained, “Pretty much what happens is I open up at 6:30 a.m., and I go until 1:30 p.m. Then I have a little break to go and shop for whatever I need.
“Then I go from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for people who are just getting off of work. Then after that is when I have to go home and cook the meals. So I spend all night cooking, and then I’m back here in the morning.”
There’s no set menu, and every day there’s something new and different. But that’s part of Meals N Thrills appeal.
“I try to mix it up with different things daily just so people will have a big variety of items and not stuck to just chicken and rice,” Treadwell said laughing. “Because that’s what people think—eating healthy is just chicken and rice.”
Her meals include a wide variety of steak, chicken, turkey and even sushi.
Gonzales said, “You can go to a local chain restaurant and try to order healthy, but the chicken breast is going to have a ton of sodium. It’s just the way they get it.
“And, obviously, at the end of the day, people have a choice of what to do. If they want to go through the drive through and get fries or go spend $40 on two meals, but here there’s convenience, and it’s quick.”
And if you ever want to know what they’re serving that day, Treadwell updates the Meals N Thrills Facebook page, facebook.com/MealsnThrills, to let people know what’s on the menu.
“There’s usually an item that will be sold out, so I just change it up every day. I try to keep five different items in there, plus the desserts, so sometimes there’s a little bit more, so you’ll have to come earlier rather than later because most times it ends up selling out.
“We have some people that come in and get their whole meals for the week. I have weekly plans, and, of course, we have the buy 10, get one free, and then if they want a monthly plan, we can do that too.”
So what made this Beeville native decide to start up such a healthy eatery?
Treadwell explained, “I left for 10 years, and then I moved back just a year ago, and I realized that there wasn’t really any healthy place to eat in Beeville.
“And the biggest thing is convenience. People can cook healthy, but it takes a long time, so why not me? I can cook for people, and it’s convenient for them to just come in here, pick up a meal and take it home, pop it in the microwave, and you’re done.
“So I decided this is what I was going to do, so I opened this place up.”
Gonzales added, “In places like Austin, people will buy into the grass-fed beef and farm-raised chickens.
“Beeville’s going to be a little tougher. There’s probably a minute handful of people that understand that or will pay an extra 50 cents to $1 for it. But in the meantime, we can at least offer comfort foods and healthier Paleo-type foods in a little to-go meal in a proper portion size.”
So far, the eatery has been doing pretty well, with people coming from Kenedy, George West and Goliad stopping in to grab a week’s worth of meals.
“Pretty much on a daily basis, I’ve sold out of items,” Treadwell said.
“I think the first day I had 120 meals in, and when I walked out the door I had 10. So it’s pretty good.
“I’m getting more ‘likes’ on the Facebook page, and people are asking more questions.
“It’s getting pretty big. I’m cooking lots,” she said with a laugh.
The worst thing about the eatery for some will be trying to explain to the wife that they like another woman’s cooking more than hers.
Good luck with that.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at stxscene@mySouTex.com.