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Meal Plans for Busy Families: Interview

October 13, 2021
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Alison Mountford, CEO and founder of Ends+Stemstells us more about her amazing meal planning service that not only saves time and stress, but helps families cut down on food waste, too.
Interview with Delivery Rank.

What inspired the creation of Ends+Stems?

I’ve been a chef for 20 years, and have worked extensively as a personal chef. I also owned a café which had a meal delivery aspect to it – essentially what I do best is help people get dinner on the table. However, the environmental impact of Ends+Stems was more of a personal journey.

It was really important to me to encourage people to take action to create a better world in terms of the environmental impact we have on our planet. This is why I sold my catering business and decided to launch Ends+Stems – where putting food on the table is an educational journey for both parents and children alike.

Tell us about your meal planning program…

Having cooked in hundreds of people’s homes over the years, and having chatted with people on a practical level, what seems to be the biggest challenge for most is the stress of deciding what to make for dinner.

Ends+Stems aims to put an end to that stress. It’s a digital meal planning service that provides recipes, grocery lists, instructions for preparing ahead of time, and ideas to help families use leftover ingredients. It works on a subscription basis, costing $14 per month.

My recipes fit together like a puzzle in order to help you buy fewer ingredients at the store and use them up effortlessly. For example, if Monday’s recipe requires cilantro, I will make sure that Wednesday’s recipe requires the leftover cilantro from Monday.

Essentially, I do the mental labor, but the cooking and shopping is left to the clients.

In your experience, do most parents cater separately for their children?

Yes, definitely! I think modern-day mothers bend over backwards to make sure their kids have a meal consisting of food they like, which often means they’re cooking two separate meals. I believe children become healthier eaters if they’re introduced to a “family meal”, where they may not like everything in front of them, but are sure to find something. This is how their palate grows and matures.

I originally didn’t include instructions for kids’ meals. However, after about a year-and-a-half of running the subscription program, I realized a lot of people were happy with the meals they were cooking, but their kids were not eating them.

I then pivoted the business to cater for families with children, providing the same recipes but giving tips on how to tweak them to suit younger ones without having to cook a completely different meal. This also works for picky adults, as recipes can be simplified.

What are the advantages of signing up to Ends+Stems?

No thinking! All the work is done for you. I wanted to provide people with a meal plan and grocery list but…….Read the full interview here!

Alison Mountford is the Founder and CEO of Ends+Stems, a meal planning service designed to reduce household food waste and stop the effects of climate change. Alison has been named a Rubicon Waste Fit Champion, was a finalist for the Spoon Tech Startup Showcase, and has appeared on many podcasts and radio shows, and works as a food waste consultant.

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