Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Featured photo: Seth and Haylee Houkom in their new downtown location on 2nd Ave N
Husband-wife team Seth and Haylee Houkom are the forces behind Power Plate Meals, a local meal service focusing on accessible, healthy meals.
You’re hungry and have two choices. One: find a recipe, go out and purchase ingredients, prepare said ingredients, cook everything together just right and then enjoy the healthy, hearty meal. Two: pick up something from the drive-thru.
After a long day at work, you’re cold and the idea of all the steps it would take to prepare a meal for yourself is just too much. So fast food again it is…or not.
Power Plate Meals is a Fargo-based company that provides healthy, pre-made meals. The company strives to provide the ease and attainability of quick eats, but with all the nutrients and health benefits of a well-researched meal plan.
West Fargo born and raised, the husband-wife team of Seth and Haylee Houkom are the powerhouses behind Power Plate Meals. With Seth being a 4th generation farmer with an exercise science and pre-med background and Haylee having a nursing background, these two have a special interest in health and wellness. According to Haylee, “three years ago, before we started Power Plates, Seth and I did bodybuilding shows. When we did that we had our own fitness apparel line which was run through social media, so we started with that.” She said that when they had the apparel business going, Seth always pushed the idea of doing something with food and creating healthy meals, something she noted that he was always good at.
“If there’s something you wanted to eat, [Seth] could turn it healthy. If you want a burger and fries, he could make it in a healthy way,” said Haylee. During their bodybuilding show days, they noticed that there were many big meal prep companies, but Fargo didn’t have anything of the sort. Upon seeing a need they wanted in the market, Seth said “We should do something like that. I feel we could do it,” to which Haylee met with skepticism, more specifically with the phrase, “you’re literally absolutely crazy!”
Three years later their idea has turned out to be anything but crazy. The business has created a loyal following of customers and has expanded over time. You can find Power Plate Meals in three different Fargo-area locations as well as in Bismarck, Grand Forks and Eagan. The business has grown an impressive amount in the small amount of time it has been cooking up dishes. In June Haylee and Seth opened a downtown location on 2nd Avenue, introducing their business to a whole new range of clients in the heart of the city. Beyond their new Eagan, MN location, three more Minneapolis locations will be opening in early 2019. Their successes and growth prove that there is plenty of local demand to eat clean and watch what we digest, but many of us want a little extra help to get there.
Not everyone has the time or expertise to research nutrition and the steps necessary to eat a well-balanced diet. With Power Plate Meals the work is done for you, so all that’s required is to choose from one of the dozen or so menu items. Seth works with their head chef Tom Olson to ensure that each dish meets their nutritional standards while also tasting (and looking) good. The whole team works to look for what types of dishes are trending at the time and transforms them into something that appeals to customers in the Fargo-Moorhead area. “Tom and Seth work together. Tom creates the original recipe and Seth’s expertise is on making sure the meal follows our nutritional guidelines. They kind of tag team in that way,” said Haylee.
Haylee noted, “We’re always trying to expand our products to make it interesting for customers. That’s the biggest thing with us, that our menu does change every two weeks.” As a testament of their desire to continue expanding options, juices and salads were introduced this summer and this winter/fall season they will be introducing soups to the menu. There are always new dishes to enjoy…without the guilty conscience. With most dishes under 400 calories, options ranging from Chicken Pesto Pasta to Mongolian Beef Fried Rice to Tater Tot Hot Dish have never been so healthy.
“My favorite part of it has been to see it grow, but also to see our team grow too. The people that really live and breathe Power Plates, just like us, and the people that help us no matter what,” said Haylee. “It’s been really fun to build our team, but also just to build our communities in the locations that we’ve opened, too. Through it all, it’s just fun to see where we started, where we’re at now.”
Power Plate Meals
Downtown Fargo: 621 2nd Ave N, Fargo
South Fargo: 2603 Kirsten Ln S #102, Fargo
West Fargo: 1380 9th St E #605, West Fargo
Bismarck, Grand Forks and Eagan
Power Plates Meals ships to 12 states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan.