After the Simply Delicious mother-daughter team created a catering company, opened a restaurant, and made two kiosk locations, they have landed in the Westport Weston YMCA, serving on-the-go food and perfecting the art of the “satellite location” business.
Lauren Peden, co-owner and chef, explained the goal of Simply Delicious is “to offer people on-the-go healthy meals for those that don't have the time to make meals at home.”
Simply Delicious started catering parties six and a half years ago, right after Lauren finished classes at the French Culinary Institute. In a recent interview with Lauren, she said that “friends and other people wanted me to cater their parties, so I decided to make a business out of it.”
The popularity of their catering company led to a kiosk in the Riverview East medical building, then the New Canaan YMCA, and most recently, the Westport Weston YMCA. Simply Delicious also has a restaurant located in the Ischoda Yacht Club in SoNo and has booths at the New Canaan and Westport farmers markets.
So, how does this mother-daughter team handle such a staggering number of locations? Peden explained that they “all cook out of the central kitchen in SoNo and then distribute it out to the different (satellite) locations."
The satellite location business model is no easy task, though. Lauren and Tracy ensure freshness with a few key measures. They split up the baking for Tracy and the cooking for Lauren, make everything from scratch (like their chicken stock that goes into most of their “Soups of the Day”), and locally source most produce from the farmers' markets and coffee from New Canaan’s Zumbach’s.
Lauren said that “a lot of people are giving it a shot” and that “it's gotten a lot of great exposure,” especially from gym-goers that pick up breakfast or lunch and buy food to pack their kids’ lunches.
While discussing the progress of the new Westport location, Lauren said, “The staff at the YMCA has been extremely welcoming. I was happy to become a part of the community there,” she added, “I'm really looking forward to the future there.”