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Here’s proof healthy food is hot (and hiring) in Chicago

KitchFix’s Moroccan Mango BBQ Chicken

A healthy foods delivery company that’s expanding on the Near West Side will announce Wednesday that it’s won a $300,000 seed round of financing led by the main investor in the Protein Bar restaurants.

Two-year-old Kitchfix — the name is meant to convey fresh, kitchen-fixed meals — will use the money to leverage a small business loan and rehab a vacant building at Grand and Ashland for new offices and a kitchen.

“We are hiring 10 more people this year — chefs, cooks, salespeople and delivery drivers — and we’re looking to grow throughout the Chicago area,” said Kitchfix founder and chef Josh Katt.

Josh Katt

Kitchfix currently employs 25 and uses a shared commercial kitchen space in River North.

The new investor, Ken Leonard, was the initial investor in Protein Bar, a fast-growing, Chicago-based healthy foods chain. He said Kitchfix has a head start in “a new industry where convenience, nutrition and lifestyle all merge.”

“Most people don’t realize that it is possible to go online and order flavorful and creative meals that contain organic, anti-inflammatory ingredients, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken and pork and sustainable seafood and have them delivered straight to their doorstep for a very reasonable price,” Leonard said.

People order meals at Kitchfix.com, and the company delivers the meals to people’s homes and businesses and to select workout clubs that serve as pickup sites.

The meals, most ranging in price from $12 to $15, aren’t all salads; they offer generous portions of meats and sides, and the large versions range from 350 to 550 calories. They include locally sourced bacon, poultry, pork and meat, and are gluten, dairy, corn and soy free.

The menu, which rotates each week, also includes breakfasts, burgers, snacks and smoothies. The company’s paleo granola is sold at 23 Mariano’s grocery stores.

Katt took interest in healthy foods when, earlier in his career, he taught children in an Englewood after-school program how to prepare nutritious meals and when he worked as a chef for people with cancer and other special nutritional needs.

“I fell in love with cooking real food, healthy food,” he said.