Meal prep service partners with online farmers market

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Lake Effect Kitchen Co-founders Aaron Johnson, left, and Mandy Anderson. Courtesy Lake Effect Kitchen

A lakeshore-based meal prep service that employs young adults with disabilities and autism has added its offerings to an online platform that delivers to seven West Michigan counties.

Grand Haven-based Lake Effect Kitchen said Thursday, May 26, it recently joined the online farmers market Market Wagon and expanded its sales by 50%.

Founded in 2017, Lake Effect is a meal prep service that provides job skills training, mentoring and competitive employment for young adults with disabilities and autism. The business now serves customers in a seven-county region of West Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Muskegon, through its Market Wagon vendor shop.

Lake Effect co-founders Aaron Johnson and Mandy Anderson have children with autism and said they are passionate about providing opportunities to young adults, regardless of ability.

“Teaming up with Market Wagon has taken us from a small operation with a big idea in a lakeside community to a successful regional business with a solid foothold in the Grand Rapids area,” Anderson said.

The income from Market Wagon helped fund the recent purchase of a vintage trolley from the city of Grand Haven, which Lake Effect is converting into a food truck that will allow it to be a vendor at various events.

Market Wagon Co-founder Nick Carter. Courtesy Market Wagon

Farmer and tech entrepreneur Nick Carter teamed up with logistics expert Dan Brunner to start Market Wagon in 2016. Its mission is to enable food producers to thrive by providing them an online farmers market platform.

Market Wagon connects customers to local farmers, chefs and artisans. People can shop locally grown and made products on their computer or smartphone throughout the week and place an order from multiple local vendors with one checkout. Orders then are delivered to each home on Tuesday afternoons.

The service now is available in more than 30 markets across 19 states. More information is at marketwagon.com.

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