Gourmet Lunch Boxes To Go

August 13 2014, 9:00 AM

Parents know: Making last-minute, late-night lunches for the kids is never ideal. When local moms Kathleen Madigan and Theresa Mintzlaff were chatting about the most agitating parts of getting their kids to school each morning, packing lunch topped the list. They knew they couldn't be alone in their frustrations (and we can assure them they’re not). Instead of finding a way to get out of the burden themselves, they decided to find a solution for other parents. 

Enter Boulder’s Bee and Tree Lunch Boxes. The concept is simple (think: NatureBox for children). Parents pay a one-time fee for a reusable lunch box ($15), check the boxes on the weekly menu—with options like hummus roll-ups, kabobs, pita pizzas—and your kid gets a healthy and always-changing mid-day feast for $5.50 per day. Both Madigan and Mintzlaff have elementary-age children with allergy issues, so not only are the meals healthy, but the ingredients also sync with sensitive diets. “We are into less processed foods,” Madigan says. “No refined sugar. The fruits and vegetables are fresh. Most things are gluten-free and vegan.”

There are two ways for you to order: Select the days your child needs lunch and the B&T team will put together something delicious, or go a la carte by choosing on a weekly menu. That’s the end of your job. Phew! Not for the duo, though: They rise around 2:30 a.m. each morning and head to a commercial kitchen inside Boulder’s Organic Dish. They pack lunches from 3-6 a.m., and then head out for deliveries to about 15 sites in the Boulder/Louisville/Lafayette/Erie area, including homes, daycares, and Montessori schools.

Now we just need someone to handle the early wake-up calls and impossible math homework.

Bonus: If you want to get started for the 2014-15 school year, Bee and Tree is waiving its $15 registration fee from August 1-September 30. 

Follow assistant editor Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.