Doesn’t a meal always taste better when someone else prepares it for us?
It can be the same recipe, but when someone takes the time and creativity to provide a meal it takes the pressure off and allows us to simply sit down and enjoy.
Longtime Mt. Juliet residents Jill and Aaron Satterlee live in Willoughby Station and operate the meal prep company Cooking Around Town.
“It grew out of Jill’s love for preparing food for large groups of friends and family,” said her husband, whose career was in boat sales, but now he’s Jill’s right-hand man at Cooking Around Town.
The Satterlees provide weary and tired (and hungry) customers with the opportunity to pick out meals prepared by Jill and often delivered by Aaron each week. The meals are all prepped and seasoned; there’s no last-minute run to the grocery store for that item you just knew was still in the cupboard.
Just a healthy meal ready to pop into the oven, crockpot or microwave.
It appears Mt. Juliet, Hermitage, Old Hickory and Donelson customers are “eating up” the meals in large numbers. The Satterlees had to move their cooking operation from their home into a storefront in the Meridian at Providence at 120 Providence Trail.
“She had just gotten so big with the meals, the business was overflowing our house, and now she has a great kitchen and place for people to pick up their meals,” Aaron said.
Jill said through the years she grew into catering and meal preparation services on a part-time basis. She has cooked meals at Hermitage Church of the Nazarene on Wednesday nights for more than a decade. She taught art at Mt. Juliet Middle School and the administration there knew she was certified to teach culinary arts.
“They knew I had over 17 years of experience in catering and cooking,” she said. “So, I was able to develop a course for sixth graders called Principals of Healthy Living. The kids just loved it.”
It was then Jill knew she absolutely loved cooking.
“I missed cooking for others,” she said. “I wanted to do it again myself.”
That strong passion gave Jill the motivation to leave teaching and pursue her love of feeding others and encouraging families to enjoy a meal together at home.
When Jill first started Cooking Around Town, she would get up at 2 a.m. on Mondays and cook a variety of meals for 50 to 60 customers. She’s added more cooking days so those 2 a.m. wakeup calls have turned into as late as 8 a.m.
But, it’s not all about the process of preparing healthy meals for busy families. A major component of the business is Jill’s desire for families to sit around the table together over a meal.
“Simply gathering the busy family for just a while, to discuss what their day was like,” she said. “It seems life is not like that anymore. My hope is people will come and make a healthy choice, sit down and eat together, or alone, but sit down for a few and enjoy.”
Cooking Around Town offers many meal choices. The menus change each week and feature seven options available in one, two, four or six servings. In addition to a large Meal Prep menu option, there’s an Eat Clean menu now as well for those wishing to fulfill their healthy weight goals.
“I make the Eat Clean meals with organic or natural ingredients,” Jill said.
Menu items include tuna casserole, Thai steak salad, mushroom beef carbonnade (best if cooked in a slow cooker), chicken pot pie and Indian butter chicken.
Ordering information, including grab-and-go items, is available at cookingaround.town.
“We love Mt. Juliet and love what we do,” Jill said. “People enjoy our meals and we get such positive feedback.