Business venture

Minnetonka therapist turns clean eating lifestyle into growing business venture

When Laura Meemken and her husband, Michael, learned that their children had food allergies, talking about different meals became a challenge.

“There were no easy meal solutions for us in stores at all, so we were cooking everything from scratch,” Laura Meemken said.

This required Laura, then a full-time marriage and family therapist, to cook various foods, including bread and crackers, from scratch.

Over the years, however, what had become a daily routine for the Meemkens turned into delicacies they shared with friends and family. From there, the idea of ​​making it a business germinated.

“It became clear to me that it was something I could share with other people,” she said.

In February, Meemken turned its meals into a business, creating All Clean Food for those looking for hypoallergenic dishes. She co-founded the company with her brother, John Moksnes, who helps with strategy and operations. Michael Meemken also participates in the management of the company.

Operated from the home of the Meemkens in Minnetonka, All Clean Food prepares ready-to-cook pasta dishes. The company will add vegan mac and cheese and kids snacks later this year. In just over a year, the company has reached nearly $1 million in revenue, she said.

The pasta, which is gluten-free, can be found at local food co-ops like Lakewinds and Harvest Moon, but this fall it will be available at Lunds & Byerlys, as well as Hy-Vee and Meijer stores across the Midwest, a said Meemken. The items are also available inside the St. Paul Keg and Case Food Hall Brand Builders Market, and Meemken is in talks to continue sales at Kowalski Markets.

Meemken partners with a Michigan company to manufacture and package its products in an allergy-free facility. She continues to personally deliver cases of her produce to local food co-ops.

For 10 years, Meemken worked as a therapist. With her new venture, she still has the opportunity to offer wellness support to others, she said.

“We have to eat well to feel good,” she said. “If I can put something in a store that’s a really good option for people, it’s a way to address mental health needs from a different angle.”

The Meemkens primarily launched All Clean Food, although they received funding from angel investors early on. Laura plans to raise capital through a seed round later this year to hire a few employees and support marketing campaigns, she said.

New opportunities could provide additional funding for business growth.

All Clean Food is a semi-finalist in the 2021 Minnesota Cup, a national competition for entrepreneurs hosted by the University of Minnesota. MN Cup finalists split over $400,000 in cash prizes.

Meemken said she was also recently shortlisted for the Big Find, an international product search platform and pitch competition hosted by QVC and HSN.

Those selected for the Big Find will be able to pitch their products via video conference to a judging panel of QVC and HSN Merchandising Managers, Program Hosts and Brand Founders for the chance to continue discussions with the QVC Merchandising teams and HSN.