Katie Swann Lee experienced the hardest moments of her life in early 2019 when her dad underwent emergency triple by-pass heart surgery. His widow-maker artery was 99 percent blocked, and a massive heart attack could have killed him at any time. Looking back, though, Katie and her husband, Steven, came to think that that scare might have been avoided if her dad had eaten differently. “We are so passionate about the clean eating because of the lack of access and a lack of knowledge about what we are putting in our bodies,” she says. And that is the drive behind the new clean eating café the couple opened at Village at Brock’s Gap (1021 Brocks Gap Parkway, Suite 141) in August. Read on to learn more about it.
How did you get connected with Clean Eatz concept and decide to open one in Hoover?
Steven runs Burn Boot Camp here in Hoover. We went up to Charlotte for a Burn Boot Camp competition, and there was a Clean Eatz across from their headquarters. Steven stocked up with the grab-and-go items and took them home, and we fell in love with the concept. When quarantine happened, it gave us time to think about our purpose in life, and we wanted this concept for us and for our families. We live in Trace Crossings and love this area, and we saw the spot between Tre Luna and Sherwin Williams and decided to move forward with that location.
What’s unique about the concept behind it?
We are focused on clean meals, so we are not adding salts or oils. When we cook the veggies, we steam it with water. My ultimate test is if my father likes it, then anyone will like it. He thinks they are delicious. They are not boring—they are not chicken and rice and broccoli. They fuel your body. For the meal plans you are going to see things like Buffalo Mac and Cheese and Popper Wraps, so it’s a fun and exciting menu. We want it to be an easy entry point for people who are eating food that isn’t the best food for them. They can choose food that excites them and that they will not get tired of. We will have gluten-free options and we can make it for any dietary restrictions.
How do the meal plans work?
Clean Eatz is a meal planning company disguised as a café. You can order lunch or dinner, but the biggest thing we do are the weekly meal plans. Every Thursday morning everyone on our email database receives our menu for the week, and you put your order in on Sunday night. It’s not subscription-based, so you can order one meal or 51 meals. We make everything in the café, and meals are fresh for pickup that Sunday or Monday and you have your meals for the week. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the email list.
What about those grab-and-go items that sold you on it at first?
When you walk in on the right, you will see four large freezers filled with individual- and family-sized grab-and-go items, and you can stock your freezer with them. They will rotate out so they will look similar to our weekly meal plans. One of my favorites is the Arnold Bowl. It’s shredded beef on top of rice with mushrooms and green peppers. We also will have meatballs with basil penne pasta, fiesta fit chicken, Teriyaki chicken bowls, barbecue cheeseburger bowls and a Philly bowl. We will have breakfast options like steak and cheese omelets and bacon, egg and cheese wraps too.
What are your prices like?
Our mission is making clean eating accessible to everyone, so we want clean eating to become a habit in everyone’s lives, not just a luxury for those who can afford it. With our meal plans they will be as low as $6.10 a meal.