If you happen to have walked or driven down Millwood lately, you may have noticed some changes between Rumsey and Airdrie. One of the biggest has been the move that Today’s Menu made several months ago from the corner shop to a bigger space right next door.
I sat down with Lisa Barton, retail operations for Today’s Menu and also wife of owner Paul Hickey, to talk about the need for expansion and the greater community’s need for tasty quick, classic meals.
Paul Hickey started Today’s Menu back in 2002 as a very small business when he felt there was a need to feed his own family better food. If he felt this, certainly other busy families felt the same way, too.
With no prior experience in the food or foodservice business, Paul left his career in telecommunications and started the new venture with a giant leap of faith in a small storefront on Gerrard St. East. While this store no longer offers retail (sorry Beaches folks) it does act as the main kitchen for Today’s Menu, housing three cooks and three sous chefs who prepare each of the dishes in small batches as if they were cooking for their own families.
They strive to use local ingredients wherever possible, so your food (while flash frozen) is as fresh as possible. The new Millwood location has given Today’s Menu the opportunity to house a larger walk-in freezer with a broader selection of meal choices (nearly 87) and consistently maintain stock levels. Thanks to Lisa, the front-end of the business is now a sort of “urban market” where you can buy a selection of gourmet foods, such as Neal Brother’s favourites, Martelli pasta, as well as gluten-free choices and a collection of home goods suitable for hostess gifts, packaged and ready.
If you can’t personally walk into Today’s Menu, the niche of the business has always been and continues to be the online operation. Deliveries are made Monday through Friday using thermal bags, so selections remain frozen if you’re not home to receive them. Packages such as meals for two, meals for four and single servings are also available.
Some of the most popular menu choices at the shop are the chicken pot pie, beef bolognaise sauce for pasta, beef bourguignon, lasagna and shepherd’s pie as well as a number of vegetarian choices. Popular items for kids are the three cheese macaroni and Sicilian chicken meatballs. Back for fall/winter are comfort food favourites Beef Wellington and pot roast. And soon to arrive will be ski packages to take to the chalet so you can spend more time on the slopes.
Today’s Menu is located at 852 Millwood Rd. and online at todaysmenu.ca.