By Irene Divaris
It probably doesn’t take much to imagine your teenager standing in front of the fridge with the door wide open to a variety of produce and leftovers, shouting, “Mom! There’s nothing to eat!” For some of us, this is a daily occurrence.
Irene Divaris understands the challenges of running a home kitchen, creating fast meals that are both healthy and delicious on a budget, and the value of your time. Irene’s business, Meal in a Jar, is an affordable solution for parents and people who spend their days on the go.
When she needed to make a quick lunch for her daughter, Irene grabbed a mason jar and layered fresh ingredients and leftovers to make her very first ‘meal in a jar’. The result was so appealing to look at that she shared a photo of her creation on Facebook, where requests from friends for jars of their own started rolling in.
Since 2013, Irene’s business, Meal In A Jar, has taken off. Having caught the attention of young professionals, health-conscious families, and local companies. Meal In A Jar has become one of the most recognizable brands in Waterloo Region.
The concept holds fast to Irene’s personal values of using whole foods with no preservatives without compromising the taste experience. Every jar is a fully balanced and colourful meal, redefining fast food with two servings of vegetables, no gluten or dairy, and a source of protein and fiber.
Irene describes her entrepreneurial experience as “exciting.” The experience has brought many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and achievements. “Meal In A Jar was featured on Dragon’s Den with a deal offer from Arlene Dickinson and Michael Wekerle. Awards have been won like Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year, and the nomination for Oktoberfest Woman of the Year.”
Her advice to new entrepreneurs and dilemma:
- If you want to spend a lot of time with your friends and see all the Oscar-nominated movies, get good sleep at night and exercise, then it’s going to be hard to give a start-up everything it needs. If you care about your startup more than you care about all those things, then go for it. But it comes with sacrifice. In order to kick ass and do big things, I think you have to be imbalanced and not balanced.
- Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time with family. Staying fit. Getting sleep and keep your business going.
- Every person I’ve seen riding on a rocket ship was imbalanced while that rocket ship was being built. You have to decide if you want it.
- Always reaching for the seemingly impossible task of balance and always feeling like you’re failing because you just can’t perfectly do it all. Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness, or Friends I don’t want to believe we have to choose, but- Ya, we kinda do.
Today, Meal In A Jar is thriving online and in Downtown Kitchener, centrally located to serve people and businesses throughout Waterloo Region and Guelph. Visit mealinajar.com.
Originally posted 2016-03-08 04:48:26.