Jessica Kelleher is a self proclaimed health nut and has been all her life.
“I just love to cook,” she said. “I feel like I’ve got an old Italian grandma living inside of me just dying to feed everyone.” But instead of making lasagna, pasta and pizza, Mattituck native Kelleher is much more focused on making healthy food for people without making it boring or bland. Her new business, That’s What She Fed, which she launched in October, centers around meal prep and planning for people who want to eat a healthier diet but need help getting there.
“I’ve been cooking for friends for years,” she said. “They come over or I’ll drop food if I make something extra. It’s gotten to the point where a few of my friends said we need to start paying you for this.” From there, Kelleher started small, prepping healthy lunches for people close to her.
“And then word got out,” she said. Now, she works with multiple clients on the North Fork and beyond.
“I taught a bunch of people to eat healthier just by cooking for them, realizing that they don’t have to go to the grocery store and pick all these ingredients,” she said. “They have this idea that a gluten-free or dairy-free diet is a boring way to live and then I make them an amazing meal and I say it’s gluten free and they say, ‘Who knew?’”
That’s something Kelleher is trying hard to do — make healthy eating accessible and take away that stigma that good for you means tasteless. She also works with people who have restricted diets, like one client who has gut issues, something that Kelleher herself has struggled with.
“Being able to work with this person, compassionately understanding that I’ve had my own gut issues, and trying to make them have a positive and healthy relationship with food despite all the restrictions that they’re under — my main goal is to make eating healthy accessible,” Kelleher said.
Her prices start at $70 for a weekly menu, which includes four large meals with two sides. She also does a la carte pricing and is willing to work within varying budgets.
She also wants to keep her business and branding fun, starting with the name. “When it came down to like setting up an Instagram, I didn’t want to do a boring food account,” she said.” “I couldn’t connect with just taking pictures of food and then my friend came up with the name.”
The playfully suggestive theme is something she carries through the branding. In a recent instagram post, she starts off the captions with “It’s hot and steamy, goes down easy, and I love to blow it.” She’s referring to soup. In another, “Damn, I love them. So long, thick, and firm. Fits perfectly in my grasp. I can just reach out and take a bite whenever I want.” But get your mind out of the gutter, because she’s talking about carrots. Further down in the post, she gives her followers different ways to enjoy carrots and their benefits.
When it comes to inspiration for making meals, Kelleher sticks to two things — what her clients love and what’s in season.
“I really love to go by other people’s cravings,” she said. “If they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I’m all about that arugula’ or whatever. Seasonal is a big thing for me, like this time of year being the season of warm and cooked vegetables.”
To use That’s What She Fed meal planning and prepping services, reach out to Kelleher on Instagram or email her at [email protected]. And keep an eye out for her website coming soon.