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I stumbled upon Bella’s Kitchen, a meal prep service started in 2020 by Sara Hurst that delivers fresh, local, and delicious everyday meals to the Little Rock and North Little Rock area after a reader suggested the business to me a few weeks back. And I have to say, absolutely everything my family and I have tried since then has been fantastic.
“I started Bella’s Kitchen because I wanted to feed my newborn and family fresh, delicious, and nutritious foods. When I couldn’t find anything else I liked already prepared, I knew there had to be another solution. As a mom, I know how hard it is to have a home-cooked meal ready after a long day. Food is meant to be shared and enjoyed with loved ones. Family dinners help build and enhance relationships. It’s something we really cherish,” says Hurst.
Frankly, with so many meal-prep services now available, just what separates Bella’s Kitchen from the rest of the pack? According to Hurst, “We take pride in every meal and product that comes out of our door. We work on sourcing the highest-quality ingredients from farmers and purveyors we trust. We believe taste and nutrition can go hand in hand and food does not need to be bland in order to be ‘healthy’.”
Using healthy, quality ingredients is one thing, but taste is another, and that’s something not lacking with Bella’s Kitchen’s creations. So far, the Breakfast Burrito Bowl, comprised of cilantro-lime rice, bacon black beans and Salvadoran salsa, and curtido topped with a 7-Minute soft-boiled egg is my favorite. And don’t let the name fool you. This dish is great to eat any time of the day. Says Hurst, “Chef Michael Qandah is the mastermind behind it. We have known each other for about ten years, and he is familiar with my Salvadoran heritage. Curtido and salsa are a must for all Salvadorans and were an inspiration for this dish.”
Bella’s Kitchen’s weekly menu also includes a variety of offerings, from breakfast and individual meals to lunch boxes and family-style meals. There are even smoothies and kombucha.
“Chef Michael Qandah and I plan the meals a month in advance. We talk about the different produce that’s in-season or any special offerings by our farmers, what has been selling, and any customer requests and feedback. Also, if you ask Chef Michael, his inspiration can come to him at any moment, and it will just hit him as the next creation we need to try. He is a very talented and creative chef, and he ultimately creates the recipes we utilize for our meals,” says Hurst.
And there are two ways to get the food after ordering on the website. There’s a convenient pick-up location at The Toggery in the Heights (in Little Rock), or you can have the food delivered right to your front door for a reasonable fee. Either way, orders need to be placed by midnight each Wednesday for your food the following week. I can vouch for the delivery system, both in reliability and communication (via text update).
As for future expansion?
“Yes, currently, we deliver in the Little Rock and North Little Rock area but eventually, we would like to expand to more cities,” says Hurst.
That sounds like good news for the rest of Arkansas.
*Photos courtesy of Bella’s Kitchen
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