Business

This Palmetto kitchen wants to take the pain out of meal prep — and replace it with power

Dawn Morrison opened her Power Meals by Dawn business at 323 10th Ave. W. #101 in Palmetto on July 13. She offers meals and snacks based on the popular Paleo diet.
Dawn Morrison opened her Power Meals by Dawn business at 323 10th Ave. W. #101 in Palmetto on July 13. She offers meals and snacks based on the popular Paleo diet. rcallihan@bradenton.com

There’s more to a healthy lifestyle than exercise.

Dawn Morrison, a Palmetto native, says she immediately saw results when she participated in a CrossFit gym challenge that switched her over to the popular Paleo diet last year. She lost weight, slept better and felt better.

“Anybody who knows me knows that I love to eat,” Morrison said.

Now she’s sharing the benefits with Power Meals by Dawn, a grab-and-go style kitchen that offers healthy, prepackaged meals.

Already, she said she’s seen customers lose weight and solve health problems that come from their food choices.

Morrison opened her 323 10th Ave. W. #101 location in Palmetto on July 13, but has been crafting meals for friends and family from her home kitchen for about a year. She found a spot after business became more popular.

Power Meal offerings are based on — but sometimes stray from — the Paleo diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, the Paleo diet focuses on intake of fruits, lean meats, fish, vegetables and more, while avoiding processed foods, refined sugars, dairy and grains. As the name suggests, it’s meant to replicate what a hunter-gatherer might have eaten during the Paleolithic period.

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In addition to premade meals, Power Meals by Dawn sells desserts and snacks that make the Paleo diet “enjoyable,” Morrison said. These chocolate chip cookies are gluten- and dairy-free. Ryan Callihan rcallihan@bradenton.com

“I wouldn’t call it a diet. It’s using food as fuel and making small changes to make it enjoyable so your food isn’t boring,” Morrison said.

In addition to ready-to-go meals, Morrison offers desserts such as Paleo-friendly cookies and parfaits. The menu for traditional meals changes a few times a week, so Morrison recommends checking her Facebook page for updates. Bowls range from $6 to $10.

Power Meals began as a business idea when Morrison lent a hand to gym partners who also partook in the dietary challenge. As more and more challengers agreed to pay her for premade meals, she recognized a prime business opportunity.

“I worked in the corporate world of retail for years and I always wanted to start my own business,” Morrison said. “I never imagined it would involve food.”

Thanks to a childhood that revolved around food and health, Morrison already had a head start. As a young child, she grew up watching her father prepare for and compete in bodybuilding competitions. Later, her Nana taught her the essentials of the kitchen and she’s had a passion for food ever since.

“My family celebrated around food. Eating and cooking is how we spent our time together,” Morrison explained, adding that her Nana is “very proud” of her entrepreneurial foray into cooking.

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Morrison switches up the menu at Power Meals a few times a week. Pictured here are bowls of grass-fed ground beef bowls with herb roasted vegetables. Provided photo

Customers at Power Meals are able to grab meals, drinks and snacks from coolers. They’d have to call ahead to preorder plates for guaranteed availability. Morrison also caters events with an open menu not limited to a Paleo base — from taco bars at graduations to a breakfast buffets at office parties.

Power Meals is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday. The kitchen is closed on Sunday.

For more information, visit the business’ Facebook page at facebook.com/powermealsbydawn.

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