I am honored to share with you and up close and personal interview with founder, owner and chef Roni Piterman. She has devoted her days (and nights) to helping others in need of a gluten-free diet in a very special way and has really expanded. This is a woman who knows her business!
Please do enjoy this interesting interview.
QUESTIONS FOR RONI PITERMAN
GF Meals by Your Dinner Secret
First of all, are you Celiac?
No I’m not. However I treat my son’s ADHD using diet intervention. He does not eat gluten, casein, soy protein, preservatives, nitrates, nitrites, artificial colors or artificial flavors.
Please share what your company, Your Dinner Secret-GFMeals, is and provides.
gfMeals by Your Dinner Secret provides delicious, convenient gluten and casein-free entrees and baked goods that are shipped nationwide to customers’ homes, vacation destinations, colleges, camps and to grandma’s house.
Is the business name GFMeals or Your Dinner Secrets? Can you describe each please?
Your Dinner Secret is our company name. gfMeals is our brand and our web site.
What inspired you to create your food service company?
Originally Your Dinner Secret was a local meal assembly store in Los Angeles where busy people could enjoy an ever-changing menu of high-quality, family-friendly, frozen, ready-to-cook meals that came with simple cooking instructions. We started that business because we believed that busy moms needed an easier way to quickly put a quality dinner on the table.
Were you already familiar with the food business? If so, in what way?
We were not previously in the food industry. I have a background in marketing and PR. I’m a self-taught cook. Cooking and great food has always been my favorite hobby.
Any specific reason that you provide meals for individuals on a gluten-free and/or casein-free diet?
Shortly after opening our doors we found out that a gluten and casein-free (GFCF) diet was helping recover children with autism. We wanted to help. We knew about celiac disease too. We immediately contacted local autism and celiac organizations and told them about our idea to start a GFCF business and everyone was overjoyed. They explained to us that quality, good-tasting GFCF was very limited. As we researched it more, we realized that the diet could help my son too. During Summer 2007 we tested the concept both in the business and at home. It became a blessing all the way around.
Please share with us how your service is assisting those who have children with autism.
Tina, you know how challenging gluten-free life can be. Well, it’s several times more difficult when you have one or more children with special needs who need to be both gluten and casein-free. We understand that children with autism generally have limited tastes and are texture-sensitive. We know, first-hand, how life-changing the GFCF diet is. We aim to take a bit of the stress out of people’s lives and make this gluten and/or casein-free life easier.
Can you share a real story which has “touched” you?
There are really too many to choose just one. The greatest blessing this business has given me personally, other than leading me on a path to help my own son, is that I have mentored hundreds of parents of newly diagnosed kids on how to implement a GFCF diet at home. Eliminating gluten and/or casein from one’s life is a daunting undertaking. I believe that I have given many people comfort and helped them relax and obtain an “I can do it” attitude. I even share with them a Family Guide to Living Gluten and Casein Free. It’s posted on my site at http://www.gfmeals.com/Articles.asp?ID=158. It’s actually titled The GFCF Diet: A Powerful Piece of the Recovery Puzzle.
Your company was created in Los Angeles. Have you established any other facilities around the country?
We have a fulfillment facility in Missouri. Up until now we have only sold our gfMeals direct to customers. However, we are getting ready to push into supermarkets. So watch out, Tina. I’m going to need help getting the word out. 😉
How does the process of ordering a meal work? Please share the quick, step-by-step process that explains how one orders from your website, down to receiving it at one’s door.
Customers place orders via phone by calling us toll-free at 888-700-5610. However, the majority of our customers simply order on our Web site atwww.gfMeals.com. Our Web site is very easy to navigate. We provide package, case and individual item ordering. Clearly listed for every menu item on our site are the following: item name, photo, price, description, ingredients, nutrition and cooking instructions. We ship our food frozen, in a cooler with dry ice. The food arrives completely frozen. Our baked goods are baked. Our entrees are frozen in a ready-to-cook state and come with simple cooking instructions.
How can someone order your product from another state or far away?
Just call or place an order at www.gfMeals.com.
What are your particular “popular” meals, products or best-sellers?
Our most popular entrees are Chicken Tenders, Meatballs and American Turkey Meatloaf. Our best selling baked goods include our Faux Buttermilk Sliced Bread, Plain Bagels and Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.
Tell me about this new multi-seeded sliced bread. What makes this product stand out so much? And what is it made out of?
It’s truly tasty, full of nutrients, egg-free and has great texture.
INGREDIENTS: Water, whole grain millet flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, organic evaporated cane juice, flax meal, xanthan gum, pectin (from citrus), sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, egg replacer (potato starch, tapioca starch flour, leavening (calcium lactate, not derived from dairy), calcium carbonate, citric acid, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose), yeast, salt, aluminum-free baking power, olive oil.
Do you work with or have involvement with any celiac support groups? If so, how are you involved?
I am supportive of CDF (Celiac Disease Foundation) and CSA (Celiac Sprue Association).
What sort of expansion plans can we look forward to in the future?
We’re moving into supermarkets and other venues, so look for gfMeals in your local markets and ask the store managers to start carrying gfMeals.
Do you have any other gluten-free or celiac-related areas that you are interested in branching out into?
I’m not quite sure what you’re asking here. I can tell you that our customers have many different types of auto-immune and/or inflammatory conditions, not to mention general food allergies.
For my last question – tell me—if you could share any one thing broadly with others, what would you like to share?
I would like to share that gfMeals by Your Dinner Secret is a family-run business that is on a mission to make your life more delicious. Our products are very high-quality and very delicious. We want to be around for a long time so please help us spread the word.
Thank you for this opportunity.Roni Piterman Co-Owner Your Dinner Secret 20929 Ventura Blvd., #22 Woodland Hills, CA 91364 888-700-5610 www.gfMeals.com
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.