Healthy Living Market and Café has rolled out HL Fresh, a curated, primarily house-made food program emphasizing seasonality through a rotating menu. Available at all of the independent grocer’s café sections starting Feb. 1, the program brings the growing retail foodservice trend to life with a team of seasoned restaurant-trained chefs.
“HL Fresh emerges as the cleanest, most creative, chef-driven food brand,” said program creator Matthew Jennings, chef and VP of culinary at Healthy Living. “Other retailers are relying on food made in massive co-pack facilities or by using pre-made ingredients. HL Fresh is made right in our stores by talented chefs who get to be creative in executing new dishes every day, and also leverages unique partnerships with small-format local producers.”
HL Fresh’s initial offerings include breakfast sandwiches, ready-to-heat and -serve meal options, a sandwich menu, made-to-order salads, and a prepared food menu. Among the planned expansions of the constantly evolving initiative are continued growth of the ready-to-heat and -serve meals program; catering; a return of Healthy Living’s hot food bar; more cook-at-home options, including pre-marinated meats and vegetables; and a la carte cooking.
Seasonally appropriate dishes on the menu this winter are Chef Jennings’ Famous Macaroni and Cheese, spiced Thai green curry with pickled raisins, and a hearty vegan lasagna.
“At Healthy Living, our mission is to be the place where people gather to shop, eat and work,” noted co-owner Nina Lesser-Goldsmith. “Our incredibly talented and experienced chef team created HL Fresh with this in mind and created restaurant-quality to-go meals using quality whole ingredients. The quality and innovation in ready-to-eat offerings that we are putting forward with HL Fresh are not available in other U.S. grocery stores.”
As HL Fresh grows, Jennings expects chefs at each location to actively contribute to the future of the program, each bringing a unique skillset to the table. “Attracting great talent, fostering it and empowering the chefs and their kitchens to be creative and forward thinking, while still being driven by a detailed vision, is my dream,” he explained.
Healthy Living is a regional independent supermarket specializing in local, organic, and natural foods, with stores located in South Burlington and Williston, Vermont, and Saratoga Springs, New York. The company employs 320 associates at the three locations and is managed by Lesser and her two children, Eli and Nina.