I remember seeing Balanced Body Foods, Jada Blitz Fitness, and the couple behind both (Ashley and Justin Draper) all over social media a couple of years ago. I kept hearing these names, saw them at several events where they had a table present, and noticed their eye-catching fitness space on Transit Rd. in Williamsville. I connected with Ashley IRL (finally!) after we had been supporting one another on Instagram as mamas, entrepreneurs, and overall go-getters. (the power of social media!) Then- Balanced Body Foods entered our lives at a serendipitous time. I was pregnant, Beau was training for his Ironman season, and we desperately needed help with portion control and staying healthy on-the-go. I caught up with Ashley on exactly what Balanced Body Foods does for the person looking to get their proper nutrition with ease!
L: Hi, Ashley! Ok, first up- who is Balanced Body Foods? And what is it?
A: Balanced Body Foods is a full fresh food meal preparation company that Justin and I launched in 2017. With Justin owning a gym, being a personal trainer and nutritional coach we frequently see that people will come workout hard with a trainer and they will stay active, but if they don’t understand nutrition and eat properly for their goals then they don’t see the results they are looking for. It really is true that abs are made in the kitchen! Often it is a lack of knowledge or simply the time and resources to eat properly themselves. We knew we could more positively impact lives by helping making good nutrition fun, easy, and delicious.
L: When did it begin and where are your locations?
A: In 2017 we started with our Williamsville location within Jada Blitz Fitness and our e-commerce store. In 2018 ,we opened our Hertel Avenue location and at this point were also in full swing with shipping nationwide. Hertel really showed us that a brick and mortar store model worked in thriving and walkable neighborhoods. In 2019, we acquired another local meal preparation company that was based in the downtown Buffalo medical corridor. This acquisition allowed us to move our entire production facility into the city, which was huge from a logistical standpoint and employee pool potential. We also opened up a couple small outlets within fitness facilities: Rochester within a gym, GlickFit Training, and here locally in Tonawanda within Spar Self Defense. Just this month we opened up a grab and go kiosk in the Ellicott Square Building downtown! We have a lot of further expansion plans in the works and want to spread the Balanced Body footprint.
L: What is the goal of BBF? How does it help individuals?
A: Our goal is to teach people a sustainable way to approach their nutrition and diet. We live in a world of quick fixes, fad diets, and instant gratification. Nutrition doesn’t work this way. We want to help people and educate them on what they need to fuel their body, meet their goals, or live an overall healthier life. It truly is for anyone! Our clientele ranges from teenagers to senior citizens – we take the work out of meal prep and provide food that taste good and is good for you!
L: Who prepares the meals?
A: We have a full production team in our production facility in city that is led by an award winning culinary chef. Together him and myself develop our recipes, test them, and then roll them out and train our staff on them. We source our ingredients as local as we can and all our meats are antibiotic and hormone free. We want to make eating healthy fun and give our clients food they ENJOY eating.
L: We see a new space being built out- where is it and when does it open?
A: We are super excited about our future Balanced Body Cafe that will be located in the new Jada Blitz Fitness on Transit Road. We will be adding some additional offerings in this space like a full espresso cafe menu, on-site hot foods, and much more! We are looking at a December opening! And Yes, we have some plans to get more locations up and running… stay tuned WNY!
L: Where do you see BBF going?
A: Our goals are to become more visible in WNY with more stores and increase our footprint in the meal prep space nationally with our shipping capabilities. We have some unique menu offerings and lines in the works and will continue to differentiate ourselves with high quality and delicious food.
L: What makes BBF different?
A: Quality. True Nutritional Accuracy – everything is weighed and measured to the gram or ounce. Culinary Trained Chefs on staff. Balanced Body Meals are fresh-not frozen. Partnership with Independent Health – our meals are evaluated by a nutritionist at Independent Health and we are proud to have them meet their Healthy Options criteria. Our nutritional coaching program – Balanced Habits – uses a true scientific approach and clients are given a certified nutritional coach to help them with their goals.
L: Ok, we all want to know if you get anyone famous and cool utilizing BBF! You must, since your knowledge and expertise is known and respected. So…do you!?
A: Absolutely. We do have a handful of the Buffalo Bills players and Sabres utilizing the meals. I work with them directly on their nutrition and what they need from a caloric standpoint to keep their bodies fueled. We also have an exclusive partnership with UB athletics and work alongside the strength and conditioning coaches for Football and Basketball. And the Buffalovebirds – you two are amazing and well known Buffalo people! 🙂
Balanced Body Foods has been helping me stay on track with portion control and being able to have healthy meals on-hand. While I was pregnant, it was the perfect way to get breakfast in and have something for lunch at work rather than grabbing sugary snacks as a meal. Now postpartum, it has been incredibly helpful to have my meals ready to go in the fridge. I can still get done what I need to with my babies but also make sure I am getting myself back on track with nutrition and proper portions. Life is too busy to worry about how you’re going to get a healthy meal in. Let Balanced Body Foods step in and see how easy it is to get the day done.
Alright, ready to try it out? Use BUFFALOVEBIRDS10 for 10% off your first online order!