STORY BY ANGIE FENTON | COURTESY PHOTOS
In 2016, Peggy Garbe left the restaurant industry in order to work a schedule more conducive to her family. But her love for creating flavorful, tantalizing eats never waned. A member of Four Barrel Fitness, Garbe entered a challenge to prepare meals that garnered the attention – and oohs and ahhs – from her fellow crossfitters. “I’d post my food on social media, and you get enough people saying, ‘Oh, that looks
awesome. I would pay you to do that,’ and then you kind of think, maybe I should do that on the
side. And then it kind of snowballed.” The chef had nearly a decade of experience after serving in some of the area’s most revered kitchens, including Jack Fry’s, a Louisville institution, and began her foray into the industry at Sullivan University’s culinary arts program. So, she put her talents to work and started Ready Set Prep’d with co-owner and husband Andrew Garbe, operating out of MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen in downtown New Albany, as part of the company’s incubator program. Then, in late August, the Garbes opened their own brick ‘n’ mortar, which offers premade meals and made-to-order lunches. Even though he works a full-time job, it’s not unusual to see Andrew at the cash register of the business when picking up orders on weekends. “He’s my number one fan and my number one supporter,” said Peggy, although it’s clear she’s amassed a legion of cheerleaders and customers.
HOW IT WORKS
Ready Set Prep’d offers made-to-order lunches and grab & go meals Wednesday through Sunday. Pickup and delivery is offered, and it’s always fast, whichever you choose. For those who opt to go the meal prep route, ordering is easy: Just head to the website and place a order by 12 p.m. Thursdays. Then, choose a pick up location option or, if you prefer, delivery for orders $50 and up and within a 15- mile radius of the store’s New Albany location. You’ll get a notification once your order has been received
and then another reminder of where and when to get your order.
HOW IT TASTES
I rarely pen Extol food reviews or highlights, but I gave myself this assignment because I know Ready Set Prep’d far better than anyone else on our team. That’s because I’ve become one of the businesses biggest cheerleaders. Here’s why:
Peggy’s meal prep orders are absolutely delicious.
They’re customizable (low carb, vegan/ vegetarian, add extra protein, etc.).
Ready Set Prep’d meals are super easy to heat up and they taste like they’ve just been made.
They’re super serious about the macros (carbohydrate, protein, fat and calorie counts), which has helped me keep my weight in check and my prediabetes under control.
They’re delicious (did I say that already?).
Prior to becoming a (repeat) customer, I had my doubts. I know how to meal prep, but trusting someone else to do it conjured up images of Lunchables and prepackaged airplane food. Ready Set Prep’d is anything but.
Peggy uses fresh ingredients, shares what those are on her website, and often utilizes seasonal items to ensure freshness. At this writing, for example, I just placed next week’s order, which includes a southwest chicken bowl of quinoa, cilantro lime corn, and salsa verde (I took the lowcarb option, replacing the rice with cauliflower); ground beef taco bowl with cabbage slaw, black beans, steamed rice, and a cilantro lime dressing; peanut butter blueberry protein bites (my 6-year old loves these); and sweet potato protein waffle with blueberry maple compote and turkey bacon.
I always order enough meals for two (my husband loves them) to enjoy for 4-5 days out of the week, which has drastically cut down our weekly grocery bill. And, because I’m still on a mission to keep my body from developing diabetes – I’m prediabetic – losing weight is a necessity. I lost quite a bit over a period of 12 to 18 months in 2020-2021 when I cut out alcohol and went vegan. But, I let meat (but not alcohol) creep back in late fall and stopped counting calories, which meant my weight loss stalled. At least it did until I started eating Ready Set Prep’d. Now, I don’t have any excuse for not eating and then binge eating because I’m starving (which is not a good practice; trust me). I eat regularly, know what I’m putting into my body, don’t have to count the calories or weigh out every item because it’s already done for me, and I’m back to slowly losing weight again. (NOTE: I am losing weight because I am consuming less calories than I am expending.)
The biggest benefits? Saving time: Ready Set Prep’d does all of the work for you except reheating. And the food is restaurant quality delicious. I’d tell you more, but I’m about to meet my husband so we can enjoy a meal of yellow thai curry soup, winter beet salad with lemon basil vinaigrette, and a butter chicken flatbread
READY SET PREP’D
1222 State St. • Suite 4