Sisters Annette Baker and Marianne Lacko never set out to become small business owners; it just kind of happened.
“Neither of us have a culinary background,” Baker says. Instead, their health food concept called Nature’s Plate simply “grew out of our interest and what we were doing for ourselves.”
Both became interested in plant-based food, health and fitness. Six years ago Lacko received a request from a co-worker.
“She said, ‘Would you cook for me if I pay you?’” Lacko remembers. “I had just had a baby, so I was like, ‘No way. I can barely keep up.’”
But Baker, whose kids are older, offered her services instead.
“At the time I didn’t want to make money with it because she was trying to lose weight, and so I thought that would make me feel good to do that on the side,” Baker says. “I had no idea what was involved in something like that.”
It didn’t take long before others caught on and asked Baker to cook for them, too. Eventually she drummed up enough interest to justify starting a business. She got Lacko on board, quit her job and threw herself into her new-found passion.
In August Baker and Lacko opened Nature’s Plate at Northwest Highway and Ferndale, where they offer a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrées, breakfast items and treats. Neighbors can pick up meals in-store.
The menu is entirely vegan, but Baker points out that most of their customers are not; they just want to eat healthier, she says. “Annette and I are both passionate about veganism and all that it entails, but our business is very much about helping people eat healthier food — not about converting everyone to veganism,” Baker says.
10233 E. Northwest Highway
Meal plan pick-up
Plans for $19-$200 per week
Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Fri, Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Did you know?
All meals are baked and prepared on site. Nature’s Plate is all-vegan, and most of their products are organic and gluten-free.
More healthy eating with ease
Simply Fit Meals
Simply Fit Meals on Lower Greenville opened last year to help busy people eat healthy. It features ready-to-go meals, fresh pressed juice and superfood smoothies with about 50 different menu options that rotate seasonally.
2937 Greenville,Suite #130
Snap Kitchen is another food service that caters to health nuts on the run. It offers tossed-to-order salads, cold-pressed juices, specialty elixirs, high-energy snacks, diet-friendly desserts or other ready-made meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Muscle Maker Grill
Muscle Maker Grill offers “an alternative to fast food restaurants.” It caters to any variety of specialty diets, including vegan, carb-free food and gluten-free, and each meal comes with a breakdown of the nutrition facts.