Written by Rachel Erin McKeighan
As Mother’s Day approaches, we here at AZFoothills.com wanted to highlight several local women in the Valley who are not just mothers but overall BOSSES.
Over the next few weeks, stay tuned as we highlight more fantastic and incredible women in this amazing city.
Stacey Weber is the owner of EAT by Stacey Weber in Phoenix, which offers prepared meals and catering. Stacey has been offering private chef and catering services in Arizona since 2007. She provides an innovative and healthy approach to in-home dining and catering and thrives on creative requests.
Her creations focus on seasonal ingredients and she loves to use the flavors of the Southwest in her cooking. Much of Stacey’s inspiration is drawn from her working as the Executive Chef of the Arizona Cardinals. Stacey is on a mission to help more Valley families eat better quality meals. She is a self-taught chef that is making a strong impact on the local dining scene with her business.
She recently started consulting for a few different restaurants to help improve their healthy menus. www.eatbystaceyweber.com
What inspired you to start EAT?
I started as a private chef working with families and athletes that needed help eating well. It can be challenging for people to get meals on the table. Between the groceries and my hours, it was an expensive service. This inspired me to start EAT because I wanted to create a place where people could get those healthy, prepared meals at an affordable price. The original concept was a grab-and-go place open seven days a week. Then I switched to a pre-order service. I was inspired to make eating well easy for everyone, even those who do not like cooking or who do not have the time to cook.
How did your work as a private chef with athletes and families influence your view of the foodservice industry?
I have done extensive work with athletes. Developing the Cardinals meal service plan was also an enormous task. I learned through these experiences that everyone has different needs when it comes to feeling nourished, and those needs cannot always be anticipated. One person may need help getting his or her three-year-old to eat well; another person may have a particular diet to combat some illness. A good diet can support you in so many ways.
How do you balance your work life and your home life?
I continue to try to do better. Balance is tricky, and I am still learning. One thing I do is make everyday things at-home fun for my four-year-old son, Jack. It is a challenge to give him enough time due to the crazy schedule of my industry. I also try to provide enough time to myself and the people I care about. For me, that self-care time is often working out. I used to hike with Jack on my back to kill two birds with one stone. The balance is hard, but we have late bedtimes in this house.
What is your best tip for eating healthy?
Preparation. Set yourself up for success by having healthy snacks and meals available. That might mean keeping a banana in your desk drawer or a bag of nuts in your glove box. When you are hungry without healthy options available, that is when bad decisions can happen. Healthy is different for everyone. For people who eat out, instead, you could keep work lunches in your fridge. There are 60 ingredients in a Chik-Fil-A sandwich, just an FYI.
What is the most rewarding part of EAT?
One of the most rewarding aspects is hearing success stories from our clients. It is fantastic to attend one of our pre-order users let us know that the only change they have made is eating our meals, and they feel so much better. I also love seeing people come together via our food and celebrating life when we cater an event.
What has been the biggest challenge of EAT?
It has been challenging to accomplish as much as I want to achieve. I have big aspirations for this company. Those aspirations require a lot of time and people who are equally passionate about providing healthy, affordable meals to people.
What is your favorite food?
That is a tough question, but I would have to go with tacos. We have an amazing butternut squash taco that I could eat all the time. I also really like avocado toast and hemp seeds on an everything bagel (the gluten-free everything bagel from Gluten Free Creations is a must-have in your freezer).