Suzanne Takla moved her corporate catering company, Citrus Blue, into a commercial kitchen in August after initially trying
Corporate caterer serves meals to go[/caption]
out recipes to launch the company. Her first test kitchen was her Katy-area apartment.
“It was funny because I was cooking with so many onions and garlic [while trying out recipes] that it permeated the walls, and they had to do a special cleaning,” Takla said.
Since moving to 1315 W. Grand Parkway S., Ste. 114, Takla has hired an assistant and placed a refrigerated case in the front of the store so customers can pick up grab-and-go meals on the run.
Takla is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in exercise science. She said she made the move to healthy meal preparation after more than a decade as a trainer.
“I started out making hummus for my [training] clients in Chicago,” Takla said.
Four years ago she moved to Katy to be near family and decided to experiment with recipes to launch a full line of ready-made meals based on her philosophy of eating clean food.
“Clean [eating] is very subjective, and I think it’s based on your knowledge,” Takla said. “In my opinion, clean is organic, pesticide free, [and] local—that is technically clean to me.”
Citrus Blue recipes rotate on a weekly basis, and Takla sends out email updates to let customers know what items are on order and which fresh juices will be available. She is in the process of forming partnerships with nearby gyms to provide bottles of fresh juice for sale.
Takla said she features local farm-raised meat dishes and at least one vegetarian or vegan option per week.
All the sauces are made in-house, including the tomato sauces for her lasagnas, pastas and meatball dishes, she said. In addition to family favorites such, as chicken nuggets and turkey sliders, Takla created a line of treats, including the Decadent Flourless Brownie and Energy Bites made with peanut butter and chocolate.
“A healthy lunch ultimately is a start because then you get that healthy lunch and you’re more encouraged to have a healthy dinner or go to the gym,” Takla said.
The company’s main clients are corporations looking for healthy ready-prepared lunches and muffin arrangements for mornings.
Takla said since opening she has added fresh juices, individual meal portions and family-sized dishes in response to customer requests.
“We have a 21-day reset program for people who want to jump start their healthy eating program where we provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and optional snacks,” Takla said.
Since launching the storefront, Takla started delivery service to help expand her corporate client list.
“We’re not going to earn your business 100 percent, and that’s okay, but if you need a post-workout recovery meal or you’re on the go, we’re here. If you’re out all day and you don’t want Subway, we’re here,” she said.