A Publication of WTVP

What to do if your biggest client is in town for a lunchtime meeting at the office? What if the lunch hour is the only available time to schedule a team meeting? A working lunch in the office can be a productive
way of getting some work done—while satisfying your hunger pangs.

Fortunately, a number of Peoria-area cafés and restaurants cater to business professionals
in this convenience- and time-driven society, offering a quick and easy solution—boxed lunches.

After finding a need in the Peoria area for fresh, affordable, delivered
lunches, Jill Grube started Lunch Box (692-0055), which prepares and delivers lunches all over the Peoria area. “Peoria is a very corporate town, and I noticed a lot of people are too busy to get lunch,” she explained. Focusing on providing a budget-friendly lunch to businesspeople, Lunch Box offers “something different—not McDonalds.”

Fahey’s Gourmet Kitchen Catering (678-9166 or 497-1100) at Eamon Patrick’s has always offered boxed lunches, said owner Mary Ann Fahey. She also noted that heavy workloads make it difficult for businesspeople
to go out to restaurants for lunch, and that it’s hard to hold a private meeting in a public place. The first-class look of Fahey’s boxed lunches make them suitable for anything
from a small team meeting to hosting executive clients at the office.

Pepper’s Café (637-6900) began offering Red Bag lunches when they opened in 2006. With more lunch meetings
going on now than ever before, Frank Pedulla said it seemed Peoria would benefit
from the service. With free delivery to the immediate
Peoria area and the classic, much-loved Jumer’s
cinnamon rolls as selling
points, Red Bag lunches quickly became a favorite.

Bill Turney of Morton’s From the Field Cooking School (263-6020) began offering Bistro Lunches on June 2nd of this year. With upscale sandwiches, salads and soups, and a menu that changes weekly, Bistro orders have steadily increased. Turney explained that From the Field is constantly looking for new avenues of business, and Bistro Lunches present the opportunity to launch an executive lunch program for the same price as eating at a fast food restaurant.

Becky Schenck of Apple’s Bakery (693-3522) said they began offering boxed lunches three years ago to satisfy constant requests for the service from customers. Since then, Apple’s menu of boxed lunches has grown, and they now offer more choices like fresh salads, in addition to sandwiches on freshly baked bread.

When Cyd’s Gourmet Kitchen (685-1100) began selling boxed lunches in the late ‘80s, not many businesses offered gourmet food from scratch. “We were fulfilling a niche,” offered co-owner Emily Henrikson. Cyd’s strives to use as many local products and produce as possible in their made-from-scratch lunches. She noted that their boxed lunches are labeled with exactly what’s inside them so it’s easy for people to pick out their lunch and continue with their meetings.

With a focus on productivity in a town of overflowing inboxes, boxed lunches offer Peoria-area business professionals a convenient and healthier alternative to fast food. iBi