If you’ve haven’t heard of Sensible Meals, you will soon. It’s the fastest-growing and largest meal-prep company in the country,and it’s based in Mandeville, The business was started by 36-year-old entrepreneur Ingrid Rinck. A personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industries, Ingrid explains, ‘My clients would ask me how to eat and how to lose weight, and I would give them written meal plans. But there was only so much I could do since I couldn’t watch everything that they ate.”
In February 2014, Rinck received the devastating news that her young son had Type 1 Diabetes. She says, “It’s a very serious disease. He’s insulin dependent, and his diet has to be regulated or it can be life threatening. So, I made the decision that our whole family was going to change our diet, as well. That meant I really had to follow my own advice and weigh, measure and portion our food properly.”
Eating healthy, controlled portions, Rinck quickly lost the weight she gained while pregnant with her daughter—and an additional 45 pounds. Her clients, desirous of similar results, asked if she would cook for them. And that‘s how Sensible Meals was born.
Sensible Meals offers fresh, affordable (15 meals for five days costs $80 to $120), chef-prepared meals made in a licensed, certified and insured facility with an A+ health rating. Rinck describes the food: “The meals are half diet food and half fun food. We give you things like macaroni and cheese or waffles topped with Nutella.”
The company has just finished building another facility in Hammond. Sensible Meals provides live assistance to its customers from 9 am to 9 pm (Central Time), seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is the only meal-prep company that does this. “We have staff available to answer your questions within an hour. Whether it’s a billing question or you need motivation, you can contact us through our social media sites (@sensiblemeals) on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.”
As a local company, it’s important to Rinck to support Louisiana and the regional economy. “All of our employees, even our vendors—the people from whom we buy our food products—are local. We try to keep our resources in Louisiana rather than buy from the big national brands.”
The breakdown of Sensible Meals’ workforce is 98 percent women, of whom 90 percent are moms, As a former single mother of three, Rinck says, “I don’t hire people based on their résumé. I hire them based on their work ethic. If you’re a single mom, I know that you’re going to be the hardest worker because you have no one else to rely on.”
Rinck never imagined herself at the helm of such a large enterprise and doesn’t take her success lightly. “This is a passion project, and it started because of my son’s illness. I tell him every day that his tragedy is turning into triumph not only for our family, but for people all over the country. It’s changing people’s lives for the better.”