Over the past year, a new food delivery service has quietly entered local kitchens.

The healthy meal company on the go Maikana Foods launched in December 2016 in Darien, New Canaan and Norwalk, growing primarily through word of mouth and social media. Unlike other popular food delivery services available in Fairfield County, such as Blue Apron or Sun Basket, Maikana meals are ready to eat and can be ordered a day in advance or for the week.

The business is the brainchild of Jamieson Van Loan, a Fijian-American chef with Dariene roots.

Trained at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, New York, Van Loan owned the Mamasa restaurant in Costa Rica before returning to her native Darien in 2015. She spent around $ 10,000 to set up her commercial kitchen, recording from his business, health service permits and other start-up costs.

She sees Maikana – which means “come and eat” in Fijian – meets a need for busy professionals without having time to shop or cook healthily.

“I found it very difficult and time consuming to always run and try to get the best organic produce and be healthy and work on it. So I assumed that other people were probably having the same issues, ”she said.

Van Loan, who takes care of everything from cooking to delivery and online ordering, prepares the food the night before and cooking in the morning. She prepares meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner on average 150 orders per week.

“I entered this project without knowing what the reception would be, but it was really great,” she said. “The community has been so supportive. “

Currently, most of its clients are busy parents who want to come home to eat on their doorstep, or health-focused offices looking for full-day meal plans. One popular option is daily delivery for $ 35, which includes food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for one. Food is delivered in frozen ice packs and dinner meals are meant to be reheated.

Meal delivery isn’t new to Connecticut. A few other local businesses are taking phone orders for door-to-door food deliveries in Fairfield County, including Simply local, a Norwalk-based catering company and Private House Chefs in Greenwich. But Van Loan wanted to make it easier to order food online and learned how to run her own website, which she updates weekly with new items.

Maikana’s menu regularly features seasonal organic produce that Van Loan purchases from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods or online. His creative, protein-rich “energy bowls” recently included Mexican roasted sweet potatoes with ground turkey and lemon and lime juice. For breakfast, Van Loan often makes honey Greek yogurt, peanut butter parfaits, or homemade granola.

“It gives people the variety they need to maintain healthy diets,” says Van Loan. “Most of my clientele tend to be people who are trying to eat better and want to fuel their days. “

Dinners start around $ 10 and electric bowls, which are large enough to be shared, range from $ 16 to $ 18.50 with additions. They’re packed with grains like quinoa, couscous, or coconut brown rice, and nutrient-dense seasonal vegetables like roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. A few surprise ingredients often complement the mix, from pepita seeds to pomegranate, tahini paste to edamame.

“The combination of vegetables, fruits, grains and protein is a very creative approach to food and you never feel like you’re eating the same thing twice. It’s good for people who eat healthy because you can get bored, ”says Leigh Gallagher, who works as an executive director for a Rowayton hedge fund, and has her Maikana bowls and dinners delivered to her office a few times a week.

The Gallagher neighborhood has few healthy food outlets, she said, and most restaurants don’t make deliveries. About 15 of his colleagues also regularly order from Maikana Foods. “These are usually people who think about what they put in their body,” she said.

Maikana’s production line has little to no wasted food every week, Van Loan said. His company does not have a physical store and does not charge for delivery. Customers pre-order for the week or at 3 p.m. the day before.

“Being in the digital world and having the ability to know in advance what needs to be prepared dramatically reduces food waste,” Van Loan said.

Maikana makes home deliveries to Darien, New Canaan and Norwalk and places orders at Lululemon Athletica in Greenwich. Butcher Darien and Neat of Darien also offer a range of Maikana bowls.

Van Loan is working on a new line of herbal powders to launch this spring. It will also begin hiring employees over the next few months and plans to expand to Westport and Stamford soon.


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