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Low Carb Luxury offers a Special Feature called "Meet The Merchant" that allows you, the reader (and shopper) to get
a better "look" at the merchants we all deal with. There's a nice "comfort level" that comes with knowing something
about the merchant to whom you trust your shopping needs.
This issue features the The Home Bistro / Low Carb Meals, and
was written by co-owner David R. Thompson.
LowCarbMeals.com: How It All Started
"Providence has hidden a charm in difficult undertakings,
Which is appreciated only by those who dare to grapple with them."
— Anne-Sophie Swetchine
Like a great many things in life I guess, the creation of Home Bistro Low Carb Meals and
LowCarbMeals.com was the result of lots of hard work, a great deal of luck, and a whole
lot of chance.
I started my adventure in the food industry back in 1981 with what was at the time
General Foods. I was fresh out of college with a degree in economics, but not really
sure what I wanted to do with my life. Somehow I managed to land an entry-level job
scheduling trucks and rail cars in and out of their Northeast Region distribution
center. After many years of working my way through various assignments at General Foods,
along with a 2-year side trip to get my MBA at the Kellogg Graduate school of Management
at Northwestern, I eventually became a Brand Manager in the Birds Eye frozen vegetable
Birds Eye is where I got my first experience in frozen dinners. In typical big company
fashion, I was equipped with a 6-figure market research budget to "discover" things that
everyone really already knows… In this case, that people need great tasting convenient
meals because they like to eat and cooking every night is a pain! The expensive
"epiphany" led me to create and launch Birds Eye Easy Recipe® meal kits. It was an
immediate hit and is still on the shelves more than 12 years later, having established
a whole new category in the freezer case.
That success earned me an opportunity to move to Long Island New York to run the
marketing and public relations on the Entenmann's cake brand. That's where my struggle
with weight began. While my kids thought it was the greatest thing in the world that dad
got to taste chocolate chip cookies as part of his job, my waistline wasn't nearly as
impressed. I was reminded of that old episode of Cheers where Norm briefly got a job
tasting beer... definitely trouble. It was bad enough that cake and donuts were everywhere,
and that you were allowed to take home 2 boxes a day for free, but I literally had to
attend a 3-hour cake tasting every Friday morning! After nearly three years and
30 pounds later I felt awful.
I knew that if I didn't get out of the cake business I'd never reverse the trend, so I
took a marketing job with a small frozen meat and seafood company — and that's when luck
really struck. I met Scott Stillman and Denis Chauvin. Scott and Denis were partners in
a small, Vermont-based company that supplied us with a variety of frozen food products for
resale — lasagna, potpies and such. Over the next couple of years I got to know Scott and
Denis as two straight-forward, hard working entrepreneurs, not to mention nice guys. I
also learned that they were highly skilled chefs who had trained in top Michelin rated
restaurants in Paris. They had simply decided that restaurant hours were not for them
so they had started this small food manufacturing operation.
To my amazement, I also learned that they had spent 12 years developing a process to
produce and freeze restaurant quality meals for sale — meals that went from freezer to
table in about 10 minutes! Mostly through word-of-mouth they had established a small
business selling their products to other chefs who ran various foodservice operations
that benefited from the fact that the meals were made in advance, could be stored frozen,
and required little skill to prepare in a hurry. Their client list included some small
cruise ship operators, deluxe passenger rail car lines, and restaurants around the
Northeast, including one in the World Trade Center.
When I discovered their line of restaurant style meals, I instantly thought that consumers
around the country would appreciate a great meal without the hassle of shopping, cooking
and cleanup. I approached Scott and Denis with the concept of a food catalog featuring the
meals. They immediately responded, "How do we get started?" That's all it took and
within a matter of months the Home Bistro catalog was born.
Now fast forward three years later… Home Bistro is doing well but struggling to grow with
limited financial resources and I'm still struggling to lose my "body by Entenmann's,"
working long hours and getting little exercise. My older brother came to stay with us over
the Christmas holiday. I noticed right away that he had lost a great deal of weight since
we had last seen each other. His pants were just about hanging off him. When I asked him
about it, he said he was on the Atkins diet. I was surprised and had the usual skeptical
reaction that I think we all do at first. But I also decided I had to try it!
Right after the holidays my wife, Bernadette, and I bought the Atkins book and between us
lost about 45 pounds in a very short amount of time, and we felt great. That was all I
needed to know. My wife and I were never going to go back to our old way of eating.
I mentioned our weight loss success to Scott, and as chance would have it, he said he
and his wife had also been on the Atkins diet. We knew right away that we had our next
product line and the R&D began.
Finally in June of 2002 we were finally able to secure a small round of venture capital
financing. The investment was the spark the business needed to take off. In the subsequent
six months our sales increased by a factor of 22. The new capital also enabled us to complete
the R&D work and launch the Home Bistro Low Carb line of meals and the LowCarbMeals.com website
Now our biggest problem is in trying to keep up with all the orders!
Demand has been so strong that we have had to cut back on catalog mailings in order to catch up.
The good news is that we are working on the design of a significantly larger kitchen facility that
we expect to open this summer. And of course we are working diligently to expand the Low Carb
menu with many more varieties, including breakfast, hot lunches, and induction meals. And with
a little more luck we'll make it so you can low carb without ever having to cook again!
Home Bistro Low Carb Meals
Can you say SUGAR FREE MARSHMALLOWS? The Low Carb Chef can help! The Chef
is proud to bring the first sugar free marshmallows to low carbers
everywhere! These fantastic marshmallows are indistinguishable from the
"real" ones you used to get at the grocery store. Imagine the low carb
LowCarbDieters.com is proud to build on our tradition of bringing you the
best in Low Carb Products since 1977. In that tradition, The Low Carb
Dieter's Page is happy to introduce the United States Low Carb Community to
the Colac brand of maltitol sweetened sugar free products!
For those who have been waiting to find sugar free pie fillings, jellies and
syrups, Colac is the answer! Available in Strawberry, Apricot and Cherry,
you won't believe that a one ounce serving only has 1 effective gram of
carbohydrate! The fillings come in a 16.2 ounce can and are a bakers dream
If you are tired of paying high prices for jellies only to find that once
they arrive, you only have 10 ounces of jelly, you will be pleasantly
surprised to find that Colac jellies are a full 15.3 ounces and have real
pieces of fruit in the jars! Colac Jellies are available in four flavors -
Strawberry, Cherry, Apricot and "Four" Fruit!
Have you wanted something besides chocolate syrup to pour over your low carb
ice cream? You guessed it, Colac has your answer for this too - Strawberry
Topping, Passion Fruit Topping and Chocolate Topping! You are not limited
to just using these on ice cream, try them over The Low Carb Chef Belgian
Waffles! There is nothing else like these products currently available to
low carb dieters!
Sign up as a registered user at www.LowCarbDieters.com and with your first order, immediately begin earning
points redeemable for $ off of your purchases!
Only at The Low Carb Dieter's Page: |
Designed with the PRACTICAL low carb dieter in mind!