ABOUT Breakfast Lunch & Deener inc.
Since launching in 2016, Breakfast Lunch & Deener has established itself as the largest Done-For-You meal manufacturer in Northwestern Ontario, successfully manufacturing and distributing tens-of-thousands of meals each year for a large variety of consumers. Our private 1800 sq. ft. manufacturing facility is regulated by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, and is graded as an A-Rated Food Production Facility.
2016 to 2019 - From the Beginning
Nadine Kelly founded Breakfast Lunch & Deener as a Sole Proprietorship in May 2016 with just $350 and a vision to make healthy foods more easily accessible within our region.
For the first 3 years, Breakfast Lunch & Deener rented the commercial kitchen at the Thunder Bay Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA) every Sunday. Without a production facility of our own, we really had to focus on becoming highly efficient at producing hundreds of meals, completely from scratch, in a very short amount of time. We quickly reached our capacity for what we could produce just 1-day per week.
At the end of 2018, we realized we had to make a choice: Sustain this specific output forever, or create our own production facility. In March 2019 we began renovations, and by August we officially had our own commercial kitchen!
2020 - How we handled COVID-19
When the pandemic started in March 2020, Breakfast Lunch & Deener was positioned well to be able to continue business as usual: All orders were placed online from the comfort of your personal "bubble", and all payments were handled online, which meant there was no cash exchange or need for human-contact at any time. We put programs in place to make our meals even more easily accessible so we could directly support essential and front-line workers through the difficult times.
Realizing we had an established online platform and strong distribution model, we also opened up our online platform to other local businesses to list their products, so more people could support local. Our goal was to assist the local business community as much as possible during these uncertain times.
2021 TO AUGUST 2022 - Post-Pandemic & Personal Struggles
While 2020 was a record year for us, in 2021 life happened and things shifted... big time. Nadine, our founder and CEO, experienced a lot of personal struggles which noticeably started to impact the business. In the spirit of full-transparency.. It became really tough to grow a business. We needed to take a step back and go into survival-mode.. which is exactly what we did.
In August 2022 after almost 2 years of struggle, and realizing we weren't able to meet the demand for our product without spreading ourselves too thin, Nadine decided it was time to close the Breakfast Lunch & Deener chapter... or so she thought!
MAY 2023: We're back baby!
In hindsight, it certainly would have been wonderful to go through our challenges with little to no impact on the business, but that just wasn't our reality. We are truly sorry for how we showed up for you in 2021 and 2022, and from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your patience, understanding, and support through our difficult times.
Struggle is a very real part of our story. But we're not going to let that stop us. We're back, and we're proud to reconnect with all of you!
OUR WONDERFUL TEAM
Breakfast Lunch & Deener is composed of a small (but mighty!!!) production team who takes exceptionally high pride in the work that they do! We have a very high standard for cleanliness and food safety procedures, and always do our best to go above-and-beyond for our customers.
ABOUT NADINE KELLY, FOUNDER & CEO
Nadine here! I'm going to approach this section very informally:
As you already know, I started this business with $350 and a vision for making healthy foods more easily accessible. The 7 years I spent in Thunder Bay have been an incredible journey, and while I still have a lot of learning to do, I'm so grateful for all of the support I have received. Thank you for being a part of the community that supports both myself, and my business ventures.
I was born in Germany and moved to Canada in 2005. Right after high school, I moved out and started my Kinesiology degree at the University of Guelph. When I was in my last semester at the University of Guelph, I was trying to decide what to do.
Originally I wanted to travel for a few months after graduation, and then return to the University of Guelph to pursue a Masters degree. But at the time, my mom was in Thunder Bay, so I wanted to explore the possibility of coming to Thunder Bay to support her.
After some research, I decided I wanted to start my own personal training business to get some hands-on experience with my newly acquired Kinesiology degree. I moved to Thunder Bay at the end of April 2015, with the intention of staying as long as I needed to help my mom.
As my training business grew larger, I realized the lack of services available to help busy people with their nutrition, beyond just advisory services. I was (and still am) a firm believer that nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and grew increasingly frustrated as clients struggled with nutrition, simply because they just didn’t have the time or the desire to cook.
And so, Breakfast Lunch & Deener came to be! Established in May 2016 as Thunder Bay’s premier prepared meal service, intended for individuals who are busy and would rather not spend their valuable time grocery shopping, cooking, and doing dishes.
(PS. I know you're curious... Deener was my nickname growing up!)
To provide fresh, convenient, and fully-cooked meals for people in Thunder Bay and throughout Northwestern Ontario!
Recognition & Community Involvement
November 2020 - 2023: Nadine held a position on the Board of Directors on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.
January 2021 - December 2022: Nadine was a member of the Lakehead University Ingenuity Advisory Board.
October 2019: Nadine Kelly was nominated for a NOVA Award in the category of Business and Professional Achievement. The Business and Professional Achievement award is presented to the most significant movers and shakers in their fields. These young professionals excel in business and/or their careers. Their work is impactful – creating jobs, improving quality of life, driving innovation, and propelling advancement.
September 2019: Nadine Kelly was nominated for "Rising Star Award" with PARO, which recognizes a young woman’s emerging talent. A Rising Star is a current leader or an aspiring future leader who is starting out in business, managing her own business, and quickly rising through the ranks. This award is open to young women under 40 who are ‘women to watch’ in terms of future contribution and community leadership.
April 2019: Nadine Kelly won the first ever Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
December 2018: Nadine Kelly was nominated for "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.
April 2018: Breakfast Lunch & Deener was nominated in 2 categories for the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards: Game Changer (awarded to a business who introduces new offerings, breakthrough solutions or a revolutionary approach to enhance our lives and challenge the status quo) and Quality of Life (awarded to a business who goes beyond its day-to-day activities to make an outstanding contribution to the Quality of Life of another person, group or organization in Thunder Bay).