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Meet Femeika Elliott of Meik Meals

Today we’d like to introduce you to Femeika Elliott.

Hi Femeika, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m Femeika or ‘Meika/Meik’. I am a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, with Louisiana roots. Intially, I restarted my fitness journey in 2016 as I aimed to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

As an entrepreneurial Chef, initially, one of my aspirations was to promote a healthy lifestyle of clean, affordable, and flavorful meal prepping in creative ways. After struggling with minor health issues of my own, I decided to change my life with a more plant-based eating regimen.

Cooking has always been a way of life for me, but in 2019 something sparked— alchemy and creativity. Meik Meals is not just a space for vegans or ‘plantbaes’ but a space for the community. We welcome everyone, no matter where you are on your health journey. We are here to make it as fun, interesting, and educational as possible while sparking the inspiration within you. We started as a home-based business transitioning into a shared commercial kitchen called Real Good Kitchen here in Knoxville.

The most difficult barrier to eating a plant-based regimen locally that I have noticed:
1. Experiencing BOMB food that will not make me feel ‘icky’ or my stomach upset.
2. Having a multitude of OPTIONS that do not include salads or veggie plates.
3. Lack of creative plant-based dishes that are flavorful and soy-free.

One of the things I have missed: My favorite junk foods.

A few college friends encouraged me to step out of faith and create a service for meal prepping; later did I knew I would step into a plant revolution. I have spent years and funds curating a safe space for all communities that are inspired by plant-based eating.

Meik Meals very quickly turned into a business out of our home, and we were selling out of our dishes and juices at an alarming rate. Changing people’s lives through food has always been a passion of mine, and it has been a pleasure in doing so.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have always taken the road less traveled by. Does anything worth having come easy? Absolutely not. Challenges have always been a thing, but I do not make them relevant enough to stop what God has for me- I see them as lessons.

Building blocks. I was born prematurely, fighting the good fight since day one, other than that minor health issues. Initially, not knowing ‘where’ or ‘how” to start along with funding was my two biggest barriers. The biggest issue of it all: The misconceptions and miseducation of making healthy choices.

We are here to break that stigma and challenge your way of thinking vs. eating. The plant-based scene is obsolete here in Knoxville. Supply/demand could be overwhelming.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Meik Meals?
Meik Meals is a play on words despite the rapper Meek Mill- this name came to me in a daydream. The brand is very personal to me, but it’s your brand also. We specialize in plant-based cuisine and holistic health. We are known for our original dish, the ‘meatless meatloaf’ made from legumes/ancient grains, juices, and smoothies.

We offer private dinner parties, cooking classes, digital services, and so much more. We also have a digital app for ordering ahead for our markets and pop-ups. This can be downloaded in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. I am a HUGE foodie and food enthusiast. I could talk in circles about anything in the area. I am also an herbalist and home gardener, which I LOVE.

We are set apart from others because I show up as my authentic self. I want to show our supporters that it is cool to vibe out and be yourself! Also, I am not the typical entrepreneur- I like to show the realistic side of things when owning a business.

I pride myself on originality, integrity, and creativity within the food industry.

Whatever path you are on in this lifetime, we welcome everyone to be a part of the Meik Meals experience because, without you, we could not do this work- the food revolution is a lifestyle. As the owner of Meik Meals, I am most proud of my resilience while on this journey.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Knoxville is a unique place when it comes to the food industry. True Volunteer spirit- most people that interact and support our brand I have met in person! These encounters are priceless because the relationships formed are very organic; when your supporters can stop you in public and are comfortable enough to approach you, it’s an awesome feeling to feel that impact.

I would like to see the health scene change when it comes to Knoxville, it is a HUGE task, but we are up for it- healthier food options, food education, and expos. We have a lot up our sleeves for the next year. We want to show gratitude to the Women Foundation of Knoxville for playing a pivotal role in the creation of our business and assisting us with breaking the barriers we have encountered along the way.

Pricing:

  • Our pop-up market menu items range anywhere from $3 to $12.
    Other pricing for events can be found at www.meik-meals.com

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Headshots & Market shot: Caitie McMekin

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