There’s a new business you’re going to love if these 3 conditions exist: 1) You’re hungry RIGHT NOW. 2) You don’t want to eat trash again. 3) Someone already made a delicious and healthy meal for you.
Yes! Meal prep doesn’t sound exciting, and it’s usually not. But the whole vibe changes when those things come together! And when it looks like the pictures in this article, it’s just that much better.
You can pay $10-15 or more for fast food with untold amounts of salt, fat, sugar and who knows what else in it, or you can take a sec to choose some truly great and reasonably priced meals that will come in handy throughout the week. Enter Makayla McNeil with Farm Fresh Arkansas. She started as a personal trainer, and you may be more familiar with her than you think. More about that in a minute.
Makayla quickly saw the missing link for most of her clients. They needed to get their diets right. A fitness trainer doesn’t just sit around, so Makayla went to the next level and got her nutritionist certification and started making meal plans for clients.
This was great for some, but others still struggled with executing those plans she formulated. At this point, she was prepping her own meals every week, so it wasn’t a big difference to prep meals for some of her clients as well. “That quickly took off to the point I needed a commercial kitchen space,” said Makayla. “Since being in the meal prep / health industry, I have continued to further my education. I am now an Ayurvedic Specialist and an Integrative Nutritionist as well.”
Fast forward and Makayla has been in the meal prep industry for 5 years. “My background aside from my nutrition training, dates back to cooking with my family growing up. I was always in the kitchen with my mom and grandma. They taught me the ropes in the kitchen. The same ideas I learned growing up of southern homestyle cooking are brought into my meals, we just throw a healthy spin on them! Familiar flavors and dishes developed with holistic health in mind is what I specialize in.”
So what exactly is Farm Fresh Arkansas and what all do they do? Preparation of healthy meals is a big part of it. Makayla said everything is fully prepared so it is different from meal kits. “We do all the work so all you have to do is heat and eat! Our meals are focused on maintaining a balanced diet so it can be incorporated into many lifestyles and health goals.
“Our meals are designed to support balanced blood sugar levels, hormones, gut health, & weight. We also provide convenience for customers who live busy lives and find it hard to carve out time to get into the grocery store or into the kitchen.
“Plus, when you are living a busy life, doing a load of dishes is the last thing you want to do! We take all that work out of having a good home cooked meal that not only taste amazing but supports your body & health.”
All of the products are high protein, seed oil & artificial dye free. They source locally when possible, based on season and availability. “Our goal is to bring whole food, holistic health focused meals into the community in a way that is easy, accessible and convenient,” said Makayla.
It’s not just the same few meals every week. If you look at the website right now you’ll see several choices for lunch, dinner and breakfast, but the menu cycles through nearly 250 recipes. She explains, “We offer a wide variety of menu items and services. Each week we feature 8 lunch/dinner meals, 3 breakfast meals, 4-6 snack & healthy desserts, 2 family pan meals and a la carte protein options. Each lunch/dinner item is available in our “Standard Portion” (350-400 calories, average of 30g of protein) and “ProteinPLUS” (50-100% more protein per meal).
What else? Farm Fresh Arkansas has a new location in Benton, and they will be offering a full grab & go menu including the weekly meals, fresh daily salads, chicken salad, yogurt parfait, chai pudding, fresh cut fruit salad, berries and cream, and more!
They will also have a full “wellness bar.” This will offer real fruit smoothies, cold pressed juice, detox waters and tonics, wellness shots, bulletproof coffee, addrenal mocktail, matcha latte, iced green tea, smoothie bowls and something they are calling “quick bites” (avocado toast, loaded oatmeal, caprese toast, banana almond toast, etc).
They also offer Holistic Health coaching. Makayla is Integrative Nutritionist accredited through ISSA & IIN. She offers coaching in 3-month containers. She fully customizes the plans to meet clients at their level, to move towards achievable health and wellness goals in their lives. “The success stories could fill up a book,” says Makayla, “but one of my most memorable was the first person who lost more than 50 pounds eating my meals!
Over the years in the industry she has helped clients lose weight, gain muscle, improve blood sugar and blood pressure, balance hormones, improve gut health & digestive issues, and more. And while each of these things are absolutely life changing, the most important transformations happen beyond the scale.
“Hearing from clients say they feel like they are less sluggish, have more energy, feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies is the most rewarding,” said Makayla. “I’ve had some clients even say their body odor goes away when they are consistent with eating the meals. And not to dive to deep into the science of things, but it’s because the toxin build up in the body is significantly less when eating high quality balanced foods like our meals.”
And here is the reason you might recognize Makayla’s name or picture — Previously she owned a different local meal prep company, called Lmtless. They closed during the pandemic. She spent some time in the following months, drafting up recipe books full of their best selling recipes. “Something in me just couldn’t pull the trigger on letting go of my “secret” recipes,” said Makayla. “Jump forward 1.5 years and I had a previous client reach out and ask if I was still doing meals. At the time I was not, I was still on maternity leave so I figured I could prepare his meals in my spare time. I began to operate out of ghost kitchen location in a friend’s restaurant during their off hours. I began to just slowly gain more and more clients again.”
Since she got comfortable in a commercial kitchen again, she started a search for her own space. Right at the same time, another local meal prep company closed. “The owner of that company reached out and said she was going to be sending people my way, said Makayla. “So call it divine timing, coincidence, or luck, but the cards all lined up for me to jump back into the business. I am also convinced I subconscious knew I wasn’t done before, which is why I was not able to let go of my old recipes.”
She said she has always wanted to own a cafe / bar business. The space they are in now is the best of both worlds. “It has a beautiful store front side where we will be starting our wellness bar.” The address is 1203 Arkansas Hwy 35, Suite 200 & 300, Benton, AR, 72019. It was formerly a bakery.
The storefront will have a soft opening on Monday, July 24th, and until then customers can order from online. New menus go live on Mondays with a deadline of Friday at 9 p.m. Order pickups are Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. You can also choose to have your order delivered on Sunday if you are in Benton, Bryant, Bauxite, and most parts of Little Rock. Rates are based on distance. If it’s your first time to order, you can use code FIRST25 for 25% off that first order.
Farm Fresh Arkansas will announce their grand opening and ribbon cutting soon, so be sure to follow on Facebook for updates.