Ellen Endres is pictured here preparing meals for her new Wicked Delicious food delivery service. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
April 01, 2021WHITEFIELD — A local business that was born as a result of the pandemic is still thriving and has made a name for itself in just a short time.
Owner and Founder, Ellen Endres, came up with the idea for Wicked Delicious with the concept being quite simple.
Endres said, "The concept of not having to shop, chop and spend time on or clean up at dinner time, is the foundation of the Wicked Delicious meal delivery service. Dinner time should not be a stressful obligation after a long day, and my hope is that dinner doesn't have to be an afterthought, it can just be enjoyed."
When asked about her culinary background, Endres explained, "I've always had an instinct for cooking and an interest in nutrition, so I studied both. I have worked in the food service industry since I was 16 years old, catering for weddings, private parties and holiday parties."
Endres has worked in the field in all capacities including dishwasher, line cook to front of the house.
"My favorite thing to do was planning and writing the menus," added Endres.
In 2014 Endres, started a house cleaning company and found the daytime hours and flexible schedule to be much better for her mental health.
"Clients would mention after their service that they didn't want to mess up their newly cleaned kitchen by making dinner. I thought, why not offer a clean house and provide dinner fully prepped and ready?" said Endres.
The pandemic offered her the perfect opportunity to bring her idea to fruition.
Favorite dishes to prepare include hearty comfort foods.
"I have been trying to introduce cuisines and flavors that people may not have considered trying before. Mexican and Asian cuisines are my favorite.
For me, the best part about eating is having every bite be just as delicious as the first. I love to play with fresh flavors and use lots of herbs and spices to build depth into my dishes," she said.
"While it has been a dream of mine for years, I found the timing to be appropriate to provide homemade meals and deliver them in a contactless way in order to prevent the need to grocery shop or venture out for takeout from a restaurant," said Endres, of starting the business mid-pandemic. She went on to say, "I started in early December doing trial menus with friends and family, and spent months planning, testing, getting my licensing, insurance, and securing the appropriate kitchen for efficient operations."
After the Web site went live Jan. 1, Wicked Delicious has been in full swing since Feb. 8.
"I believe this service is a wonderful asset to the community during this time and provides busy working families with a peace of mind that they don't have to stress about what is for dinner," Endres said.
Discussing goals, Endres elaborated, "My short term goal for Wicked Delicious is to transition from hearty, winter comfort food, to a fresh, light, and local summer menu. I plan to offer kit meals for the grill, crock pot, and stove top to avoid having to use the oven in the heat."
Instead of soups, Endres will focus on fresh salads and expanding the menu to offer multiple options weekly.
"I'd also like to provide grab and go breakfast and lunch options because I myself experience being in constant motion and not stopping to eat during the day unless I have something ready to eat on hand," she added.
Long term, Wicked Delicious hopes to secure a second refrigerator and a cargo van to be able to expand the volume of her production.
"I can potentially see growth demanding more than one day of cooking per week in order to fulfill the capacity of client interest. Hiring help will be possible with becoming better equipped to handle more volume," said Endres.
Endres was born and raised in Southwestern Ohio and grew up participating in 4-H. Her favorite place to be was in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother.
"My mother is a teacher and by junior high I was putting dinner on the table for my family every night," she joked.
"Mealtime was always an important part of my family dynamic, where all chaos of daily life would just stop and we could focus on the food before us, just pause our schedule, and enjoy our time together," noted Endres.
While Endres offers a variety of dishes, she explains where her interest in Asian cuisine was born.
"I really became interested in Asian cuisine after traveling to China at age 13. My aunt and uncle took me there during a business trip and to this day, it is some of the best food I've ever had," she commented.
Another memorable meal was on a family vacation Endres took to Colorado.
"I had a Buffalo steak and peanut butter stuffed jalapeños and it made me realize that food can be beyond basic, so I strive to make mine different and fun. A regional food my family and I have always enjoyed is Cincinnati Chili spaghetti (Skyline). I look forward to introducing that piece of my hometown with the North Country," she said.
A new menu is posted online every Monday at www.wickeddeliciouseating.com. Food is prepared fresh every week and is delivered on Tuesdays.
"Right now, we are offering a hearty, family-style one-pan main dish, a soup option, a quiche, and dessert. This could easily be three nights of meals," said Endres.
Wicked Delicious will be transitioning to meal "kits" for summer with everything prepped and ready to cook. Cold salads will replace soups as the weather warms up.
"Being able to make dinner hassle-free is a huge priority of this service," she explained.
"Being able to open the fridge and have marinated meat ready for the grill, veggies cleaned and chopped for a stir-fry, or everything ready to go for a taco night eliminates the time spent shopping for all the components needed and the good half hour of prep to put a meal together," said Endres.
Orders can be placed online anytime between Monday and Thursday for the following week's delivery.
Payment is collected in full via Venmo upon receipt of invoice that confirms order. Wicked Delicious also offers gift cards and highly encourage ordering for a family member or friend who may be in a busy, overwhelmed place in life.
Endres uses locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, including using meats from PT Farms, local farm fresh eggs, and Polish Princess pie crusts and breads.