It’s been a very little a lot more than 10 yrs since Karen Kurr, of Oxford, stood guiding her array of sluggish cookers at a North Mississippi farmers current market and presented samples of savory meals from the bayous of her indigenous Louisiana: spicy gumbo, crawfish étouffée and red beans and rice.
At the time, Hurricane Katrina had devastated the coastline, and numerous survivors experienced come north.
“It smells like my mama’s kitchen area,” 1 purchaser informed her.
When she tasted Kurr’s household cooking, her eyes welled with tears.
“I haven’t tasted gumbo like that due to the fact I still left New Orleans,” the customer explained.
Bought out by day’s conclude, Kurr understood she had a new enterprise opportunity on her arms, and she named it No Time 2 Prepare dinner.
Like lots of property-centered business owners, Kurr, a graduate of Mississippi College for Females, experienced a large amount to discover about managing a small business, particularly a person as seriously controlled as the foods marketplace. She turned to the Mississippi Point out University Extension Support and began mastering every thing she could about turning No Time 2 Cook into a profitable operation.
From the “Food as a Business” workshop to personal consultations with meals science and organization specialists, Kurr had a community of specialists she could depend on to assist her get her business off the floor.
“When I experienced to have Food and drug administration-permitted labels, I turned to Dr. Anna Hood with the Extension Provider,” she claimed. “I have a degree in residence economics but minor formal meals instruction. I was at the mercy of individuals with know-how, yet lucky to be building a food stuff organization in a condition with 1 of the strongest foodstuff-assist units in the region.”
Extension offers a wide variety of solutions to people in the food stuff sector, from holding lessons on greatest practices, food stuff protection, and safety, to functioning with MSU experts on product or service analyses and shopper preferences.
“I went to lessons essential for licensing and bought assistance from MSU agricultural economists on pricing and cost investigation. With out their support, my dream would have been difficult,” Kurr claimed.
A legitimate residence organization
Kurr’s small business, like her adore of cooking, begun at residence. But if she experienced lived in town, zoning laws would have stored her from expanding.
“As we grew, we turned a room connected to our household into a commercial kitchen,” she reported. “Then we took around my daughter’s bed room, the sunroom, my husband’s business, and the full garage. I hired quite a few mates to assist with the cooking, and my driveway began to search like a automobile great deal.”
Kurr cooked, froze and offered her signature Cajun dishes at flea markets and farmers markets. About time she expanded the menu to contain casseroles, facet dishes, desserts and appetizers, which include downhome favorites, these types of as shrimp and grits, aged-fashioned meatloaf and dwelling-type rooster pie.
A commitment to family members and top quality
Kurr’s enthusiasm for high-quality food stuff and loved ones mealtimes modified each her cooking behavior and her occupation. Immediately after she experienced her second youngster, Kurr spent weekends batch cooking so she’d have suppers on hand.
“When I obtained dwelling from function, I’d pull evening meal out of the freezer, incorporate steamed greens, a salad, and bread, and we would sit down together as a family and eat,” she mentioned. “The strategy at the rear of No Time 2 Cook’s frozen meals really came from the way I fed my loved ones as I tried to preserve up with our busy way of living.”
Her very own childhood activities also inspired her company. When she was rising up, Kurr’s family put in their weekends on the family members farm.
“My daddy’s hobbies provided increasing Black Angus cattle, tending his grape vineyard, and generating selfmade wine,” she claimed. “My mom was an natural gardener just before any individual realized about organic and natural gardening, and we grew up taking in her clean greens in the summer and home-canned and frozen greens by means of the winter season.”
Mainly because of Kurr’s determination to refreshing, superior-high-quality components, all of No Time 2 Cook’s first recipes are cooked from scratch.
“We test to hold our elements record as brief and basic as possible, and we continue to be away from added preservatives and extenders,” she claimed. “We use serious dairy products and solutions, these types of as butter, milk, cheese, and cream. We also avoid MSG and hydrogenated oils.”
No Time 2 Prepare dinner is evidence households do not have to sacrifice flavor or top quality to take in a quick, family members-style meal at dwelling.
A blessing in disguise
Just one day Kurr received a telephone call that improved her existence and almost set her out of small business. She had been leasing areas in antique malls all around North Mississippi and maintaining freezers in those areas stocked with her items for sale. Sad to say, advertising meat goods this way violated U.S. Division of Agriculture regulations.
Kurr confronted a large selection: To increase her business, she had to be equipped to wholesale all of her products and solutions. But without the need of a facility regulated by the U.S. Division of Agriculture, she would be limited to nonmeat products.
“I had to create a bigger household and go, establish a food plant and shift the enterprise out of the dwelling, or just shut down completely and obtain an additional use of my time,” she states.
Kurr made the decision to establish what is now the only USDA-approved modest casserole plant in Mississippi.
After once more, she turned to the MSU Extension Assistance for assistance.
“Anna and Ken Hood helped me with all kinds of concerns, and I toured the foodstuff creation services at MSU,” she states.
The flavor of achievement
Currently, buying this Mississippi-built solution has never been easier. No Time 2 Prepare dinner items can be found with the household-sized foods in freezers at 300 Kroger grocery shops throughout the Southeast such as the areas in Columbus and Starkville and at East Mississippi Wholesale in Starkville. Strategies are in put for continued growth. No Time 2 Cook offers mail buy shipping nationwide.
“When I commenced this business 11 many years in the past, hauling coolers to area farmers marketplaces, I had no thought we would end up in one particular of the biggest grocery chains in the earth,” she stated. “At the time, I was just thrilled to see my shoppers returning every single week to acquire additional of my family favorites. In searching again at the company’s progress, it looks like it should really have been an unachievable task—and it would have been, if not for the support and expertise I received from the Mississippi Point out Extension Company.
“Every connect with and stop by I produced to campus was satisfied with useful facts, new assets, and encouragement. I feel 1 of the most important things Drs. Anna and Ken Hood gave me was their perception that I could be prosperous, but they also gave me the applications to do so. I will permanently be grateful to them and to the Extension Services for staying there for me.”
Past her business accomplishment, Kurr’s heartfelt hope is that her company will assistance her customers.
“Studies have concluded that the one most crucial point households can do to minimize down on drug and alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity among their teenagers is to sit down at the family desk, share meals, and genuinely discuss to each and every other,” she explained. “By furnishing very affordable, property-design and style foods, I hope No Time 2 Cook dinner can improve American households by aiding to bring them again to the supper table.”
To understand extra about No Time 2 Cook dinner, like product or service descriptions, recipes and a retail store locator, go to http://www.notime2prepare dinner.com.
KAREN’S Almost Home made TAMALE LAYERED DIP
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 15 min.
Overall time: 30 min
Serves 12-15 appetizer servings
1 No Time 2 Cook tamale pie — Available at Kroger in the frozen relatives foods portion
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. guacamole
8 oz. chunky salsa or contemporary pico de gallo, drained if much too watery
Lettuce, shredded tomato, chopped cheddar cheese, grated green onions, chopped
4 oz. black olives, drained Tortilla or corn chips
■ Microwave the Tamale Pie for 15 to 18 minutes, and stir every single 3 to 4 minutes. [May bake according to package directions, which takes about 60 to 70 minutes.] Stir the tamale topping and filling from time to time when it is cooking.
■ Spread the tamale combination on the bottom of your serving dish.
■ Spread the sour cream, then the guacamole, and then the salsa about the tamale mixture. Layer the lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, and olives over the salsa.
■ Provide with chips. Delight in!