The Actual Good Life Takes Dinner Stress Off Your Plate

In seventh grade, Maggie Skarich Joos dreamed of proudly owning a restaurant. However years later, after learning hospitality administration and dealing in a number of eating places, Skarich Joos realized the lengthy evenings weren’t an excellent match for her. She determined to channel her passion for food into creating The Real Good Life, a meal supply enterprise serving the Milwaukee space. What began as a one-person cooking operation in a church basement has since expanded to a much bigger group with its personal kitchen, greater than 30 staff and a rotating weekly menu together with a soup, salad, entrée and—as a nod to its founder’s love of chocolate—an indulgent dessert. We spoke with Skarich Joos about how she acquired began, what challenges she confronted and the way she balances work, household and self-care.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

How did you determine to begin The Actual Good Life?

Maggie Skarich Joos: I used to be staying at residence with my first daughter, doing meals advertising. I met a girl who was a lunch woman by day. At evening she would prepare dinner meals for her colleagues and produce it again the subsequent day, and they’d pay her for it. And I believed, Properly, I might do this!

Your youngsters had been actually younger whenever you launched your online business. What was that like?

MSJ: I’ve nice help at residence; my husband is certainly an equal associate. In the beginning, it was very overwhelming. Our second baby was born in Might 2016, and our first meal supply was that September. I keep in mind being in that church basement considering, That is all loopy; that is approach an excessive amount of. There have been in all probability two years after I had a New Yr’s decision that each week, I used to be going to take a minimum of someday off. I had varying degrees of success with that.

What components helped you develop your online business?

MSJ: I’m an solely baby, and I believed I needed to work on my own ceaselessly, however I knew I couldn’t develop that approach. With the primary particular person I employed, we clicked so nicely that I noticed delegating is OK and safe. I used to be additionally in a very lucky place in that I didn’t have the stress of bringing in cash to ensure the lights stayed on in our home or we had meals to eat; my husband was capable of help us by means of that starting time.

How has proudly owning a enterprise impacted you as a guardian?

MSJ: I’ll always remember the second once we moved to the brand new kitchen. I introduced my husband and the women, and my oldest daughter checked out me and stated, “Mother, that is your kitchen?” It hit me that she was recognizing her mother was a enterprise proprietor. For my youngsters to see they can be whatever they want, and see it taking place in actual life, that’s been so essential.

Your small business donates a portion of gross sales to Starvation Activity Pressure, Milwaukee’s native meals financial institution. Inform us extra about why you needed to provide again.

MSJ: Something we will do to assist different households have a better time attending to the desk is our aim. Our imaginative and prescient is full bellies and pleased hearts all throughout southeastern Wisconsin, whether or not they’re clients of ours or not. Dinnertime is when folks must be with those they love or get to do the issues they love.

We’ve got to ask: What’s your favourite entrée and dessert in The Actual Good Life’s rotation?

MSJ: We’ve got an excellent rooster tikka masala, however we determined one week to attempt a vegetarian model. Simply the spice stage of it and getting the greens with the chickpeas… it tastes superb! After which dessert—that’s like selecting a favourite child, however I must say it’s The Actual Good Life bars, which is our tackle Twix bars, with the shortbread, caramel and chocolate on high.

How do you deal with uncertainty concerning the future?

MSJ: We’re very a lot at that worth level the place if anybody wanted to begin slicing corners, our service could be a very easy factor to let go of, sadly. I all the time have that at the back of my head. However for probably the most half, we now have sufficient methods and folks in place that if I ever find yourself having a second of panic, there’s all the time somebody who can say, “We’ve got the answer for that drawback.” And in flip, I’m that particular person for folks on our group.

What does self-care appear like for you?

MSJ: One of many issues I discovered from COVID is that I do must work out in some form or vogue each weekday morning a minimum of. It doesn’t must be arduous, loopy issues, however I would like to begin my day by transferring my physique and having that alone time. Additionally, simply being slower and extra within the second is typically an important factor to do… and having chocolate on the finish of the day! 

This text initially appeared within the July/August 2023 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photograph by ©Lindsay Stayton Images; Lisa Mathewson Images/courtesy of The Actual Good Life

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