Food Box

Image: COURTESY SALAD ENVY

Easy Greens

One supersize salad, please.

Irony: As a consulting nutritionist to individuals, schools and businesses, Deanna Moncrief knew it was important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. But she didn’t like her own salads. She just didn’t enjoy the preparation process and found her own salads boring.

Her clients told her they were buying good things at farmers’ markets, but didn’t know what to do with the produce. She heard parents say their children knew more about healthful eating than they did, because people like Moncrief and the Kokua Foundation teach in the schools. And she was receiving her own children’s monthly school lunch menus, writing a check and thinking, hmmmmmm.

What if there was a lunch-time salad delivery operation assuring that harried employees got something nutritious to eat at lunch, something that didn’t leave them nodding over their desks at 2 p.m. while they digested fatty, heavy fast food?

If you made getting a really great salad as easy as ducking into McDonald’s or a greasy spoon, wouldn’t people respond?

Then, the Kailua woman had a talk with an old friend of her husband’s. The friend was a caterer with a long family history in the restaurant business, a man she’d barely said “hello” and “goodbye” to. He is Chef Christian Schneider from the Buzz’s Restaurant family, and owns Cater to Me. Sitting in in her back yard, Moncrief sketched out her dream, rather hoping he’d talk her out of it. He said, “Let’s do it.”

Salad Envy–the name materialized one day as she was driving on the freeway–was launched in April 2012, a year after that conversation with Schneider.

Schneider, who loves Indonesian food, came up with a list of romantic salad names and a menu that drops lettuce-tomato-cucumber at the starting line. Business has exploded, both with company customers, who buy lunches for their employees, and individuals. Salad Envy delivers in downtown Honolulu from Chef Schneider’s Kailua commercial kitchen. They require notice by Saturday of each week for free delivery Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday of the following week. Prices for the sizable and dramatic concoctions range from $5.75 to $14.

Oh, and after interning with Schneider for three weeks when he was preparing to go on vacation, Moncrief now knows how to make a mean salad herself.

Go to [www.saladenvy.com] to learn how it works, see pictures of the salads and order.