Another Mainer Quits Job to Start Food Business and Kicks A..
Christina Carr quit her full time stable job to make you dinner and 25 cents an hour!
I wrote a story about Plucked Fresh Salsa. The owner started as the 'under ground salsa lady' and now has a million dollar salsa business run out of Portland, Maine!
Christina Carr's story is quite similar and inspiring...
I started Carr Eats out of necessity. I was a pharma rep, surrounded by crappy chain fast foods and I knew I needed to clean-up my nutrition or I’d be dead tired by noon. I started meal prepping for me and my boyfriend religiously on Sundays. Full disclosure. Sometimes this was hard. Sometimes this was really really hard (ok - it sucked). BUT, I knew if I didn’t do it, my week would get all backed-up. There wasn’t enough time to eat healthy without carving out a marathon cooking day. And so it began…
To stay motivated, I took to social media, taking tons of pictures of what I was eating. I was the Tupperware queen. Often pulling over onto the side of the road or lingering in the back of parking lots to eat breakfast and lunch. My food pics were gaining popularity on Instagram and friends and family started to say “we’ll give you money to cook for us!” I’d laugh and brush it off… but after several months of this, I decided “what the Hell!” I threw together a quick menu, purchased a domaine name and let Carr Eats loose!! The name itself was born out of several failed attempts at something better.
I thought – Ok… At best maybe I make 1-2 extra meals each week. How hard could that be? I mean I’m already prepping at home. But, oh baby! I was epically ill prepared for what was next. Over a hundred orders my first week. Honestly – I had a big BIG “oh shit” moment. I mean – I didn’t have room for anything! I had food at my house, food at my parents house, food in coolers in the living room… FOOD EVERYWHERE. I was working 40+ hours at my full time job, then I was cooking and packing meals (by myself) for 24hrs on Sunday. I’d start around 5am and finish around 5am the following day; take a quick shower without any sleep, deliver my meals, then head to my real job.
Always the eternal pessimist, I thought – This must be a fluke! But week after week, the orders grew and it became very obvious, I couldn’t sustain this pace. So… I quit my coveted high paying pharma job to make .25 cents an hour.. Was I crazy?! Probably – but I haven’t looked back.
Oh… and PS I’m totally legal now… no coolers in the living room! But, the chaos of our first few steps makes for a great story and each milestone means that much more.
Christina reached out and asked if I wanted to try her stuff that she makes at Fork Food Lab in Portland. Uh, yeah! I'm game. She sent over 4 Carr Eats meals:
Tailgating Chicken Chili : black beans + kidney beans + corn + bell peppers + roasted chicken + peanut butter + chili + tomatoes + sweet potato + scallions.
I hate kidney beans. I hate sweet potatoes. I loved this chili. At one point, I turned to Jen and asked, 'Is it better than mine?' She changed the subject.
Comfort Food : lemon chicken thighs + Yia Yia’s Greek style green beans (garlic + tomato + cinnamon) + lemon spinach couscous.
This was one of my favorites. As I was rinsing out the little tray and said (out loud) with no one home...'Jesus. That was good.'
The Humble Eggplant : roasted balsamic eggplant with garlic, pine nuts and basil + mashed turnip + sautéed kale + lemon black pepper chicken thighs.
Those turnips were life changing. Another home run. At this point, I was starting to think that this Christina Carr knew how to cook!
Barba’who?! : slow cooked chuck-eye and boneless short rib barbacoa with onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne and lime + cilantro and lime basmati rice + pickled radish + roasted corn + raw grape tomatoes + cilantro lime slaw.
I think what i liked best about Carr Eats, was the seasoning. Nothing overwhelming, but certainly not boring! I never missed cheese (dairy free) and I never missed flavor and I very much enjoyed that every meal came with so much variety!
You guys (listeners) never seize to amaze me with what you do every day and how you got to where you are! Congrats to Christina and Carr Eats! I bet you make a much better chef than pharma rep! (although I'm sure you were a fine pharma rep...just saying)