WOMEN IN BUSINESS: The gourmet way – Personal chef targets working couples

ACME – How does this sound: You come home exhausted andfrazzled from a hectic day at the office and your kids are hungry andcranky. Instead of pulling out a can of Campbell’s soup, you open thefreezer and find a healthy, complete dinner that needs only to bereheated.

It’s not a fantasy or a Brady Bunch rerun. It’s a service offered bypersonal chef Luise Bolleber of Acme. And it’s not just for the “richand famous.”

Bolleber will come into your home, cook two week’s worth ofdinners in one afternoon, package them in recyclable containers,label them and put them in your freezer.

She’ll even leave reheating instructions and a spotlesskitchen.

She’s actively marketing her business, the Healthy Gourmet, toworking families, professional couples, busy singles, seniors, caretakers and those recovering from illness or injury. Her motto is:”I cook so you don’t have to.”

“I specialize in gourmet vegetarian cuisine and I help people withhealth problems or those recovering from illness and surgery,” shenoted. “People’s time is valuable and this is an affordable way toeat healthy, reduce stress and enjoy life.”

Bolleber said she’s always had an interest in cooking, and decidedto do something about it.

“I’ve always liked to cook, but last year decided to get seriousand went to the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in New York where theydo mostly vegetarian,” she said. “I don’t do just vegetarian, though,I also cook meat. But it’s a healthier style–no prime rib; I usepoultry.”

Bolleber buys all of the groceries and uses her own equipment.

She puts the “personal” in “personal chef” by sitting down withclients and having them fill out an assessment form. Thequestionnaire asks about food allergies, what spices they like, whattheir favorite dishes are, and so on. Most clients simply choosedinners based on menus she suggests.

“Everyone has different likes and needs, so I do a clientassessment to determine the client’s food preferences, as well as anyspecial dietary or medial parameters that must be met,” she said.”That’s also when I find out if they just plain can’t standsomething, like cauliflower. I’ll make certain cauliflower neverfinds its way into their kitchen.”

Bolleber is keeping her service area to a 30-mile radius so thatshe doesn’t bite off more than she can chew, so to speak. Her feevaries according to family size and food preferences.

While she does do catering, her main focus is cooking for peopleon a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.

Her service can also be used for special occasions, such as afamily that’s just welcomed in a newborn or a wedding or anniversarypresent. She offers gift certificates for these kind ofoccasions.

According to the United States Personal Chef Association, thepersonal chef industry contributes over $50 million to the U.S.economy every year, a figure that’s expected to be over $100 millionby the year 2000.

Call Bolleber at 938-0553 for a free consultation;lbolle@gtii.com. BIZNEWS