WEST FARGO-A new business is opening in the Pioneer Center here that caters to people who want healthy meals fast.
Seth Houkom and his fiancée, Haylee Swanson, plan to open Power Plate Meals April 18 at 1380 9th St. E.
The storefront will offer lower-calorie meals with high-quality protein, good carbs, healthy fats and all-natural ingredients, Houkom said.
"We home make everything," he said. "They're all our own recipes."
They have a list of signature meals with items like chicken strips and fries, protein pancakes and chicken mac and cheese. They will also make custom meals geared toward people with specific dietary needs and goals, Houkom said.
The food is made to be healthy, and Houkom and Swanson say it still tastes great.
"People are very surprised at how good they are with how healthy they are," Houkom said.
The business first opened Jan. 1, but about five weeks into their operation, a fire broke out at Square One Rental Kitchen & Event Center, where they operated. They had planned to eventually open a storefront, but the fire hastened those plans, Houkom said.
The business also did better than they expected right from the start, said Houkom, who also helps his dad farm southwest of town and owns a construction company, which has come in handy as he's prepared the new storefront to open.
The store will not be a restaurant, but there will be a microwave so customers can heat their meals there. The meals can be frozen or cooked right away. Houkom said they all reheat well.
Customers can order meals ahead online or stop by the store to pick them up. The business will also ship meals with a minimum eight-meal order. Signature meals average $6 to $8.
They also plan to offer fresh salads made with high-quality protein and protein desserts.
Angie Sherman of Fargo is a Power Plate Meals customer and said the meals taste amazing.
"I feel like I'm indulging," she said. "The portions are also perfect and customizable so I end up feel satisfied, not still starving or overstuffed."
Kayla Sizer of Fargo said the business is filling a need in the community.
"More and more people are developing lifestyles around proper fitness and nutrition, but until now, there hasn't been a lot of options for healthy on-the-go meals," she said. "With our busy working schedules, it's not always easy to prepare healthy meals."
Houkom and Swanson, who are both from West Fargo, said they have always had passion for health and fitness. They both compete in bodybuilding competitions, so they said they understand the importance of a precise, healthy diet.
"We do take a lot of pride in cooking our food and making sure everything is weighed exactly and measured exactly," Houkom said. "Our standards for our food and our cooking are very high standards because we have to in our sport. Everything needs to be exact."
It's their fitness hobby that inspired the business, they said.
There are similar companies nationwide that cater to the bodybuilders. Since Houkom and Swanson hadn't heard of any here, they decided to start their own.
"There aren't many places in North Dakota where you can just run in and grab a healthy meal, so we wanted to bring it to life here," Swanson said.