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The Man With a (Meal) Plan: Denis Analytis of Meal Prep Ottawa

Photography by Nicolai Gregory
By Dan Lalande

“It’s difficult to find food that’s healthy for you, tastes good, and is affordable.Not anymore, thanks to Meal Prep Ottawa founder Denis Analytis.

Almost seven years ago, the aspiring restaurateur (his much-admired dad had been in the business in Montreal) found himself watching late-night TV while recovering from an illness. Up popped ads for companies like Hello Fresh, offering economical meal kit delivery. Wanting in on this revolution in nutrition-based convenience, Analytis set out to see if he could establish a similar operation for his fellow Ottawans.

“After a little research,” he explains, “I set up a website. The buyers took off like wildfire. I started off with one customer. Within just a couple of weeks, I had six. Within a couple of months, I was up to a hundred.”

Why was Ottawa so hungry (pardon the pun) for the idea?

“There were a couple of companies in Ottawa that prepared meals,” Analytis recalls, “but our style of doing things is defiantly different.” And how! Meal Prep Ottawa offers fully cooked quality meals right to your door, a considerable step up from the greasy fare transported by UberEATS. Plus, Analytis is so selective, his menus border on the personalized. “We have a lot more options for customers, whether they’re following a specific diet or want a certain type of meal. That’s how we’ve been able to stand out from the crowd.”

That crowd is made up of a veritable cross-section of classic Ottawa personalities: the nutrition-conscious who like to bike, run or go to the gym; the desk-bound office worker looking to eat and feel better; the busy parent or guardian with limited time to take care of life’s basics.

Meal Prep Ottawa is good to the bucolic interest, too. The popular company also offers seasonal menus—not easy in a climate like Ottawa’s. Still, whatever can be grown in local soil or sourced from area producers and suppliers, Meal Prep Ottawa avails itself of it. Looking for comfort food to get you through our oppressive winters? Lighter fare for spring and summer? The smells and tastes of autumn? Meal Prep Ottawa can put together entrees and sides for each page of your calendar. Plus, with every bite, you’re supporting the local economy.

Then there’s the quality. Everything Analytis and his hard-working team prep plates fit for a well-reviewed restaurant. Thanks to Meal Prep Ottawa, a night out is now a night in. Plus, the menus rotate more often than conventional eateries. Every eight to ten weeks, in fact—that means you’ll never eat the same thing more than twice within a three-month period. That said, the company is not out to deny return customers their favourites. “There are some items we repeat because they’re popular,” Analytis clarifies.

“But on the whole, we rely on different menus and recipes to keep people from getting bored.”

As for access, just go to Meal Prep Ottawa’s website and navigate the delicious plans on offer. Place your order, select your delivery date (they deliver twice a week: Wednesdays and Sundays), and receive live tracking notices.

Alternatively, if getting out into the community is your style, you can visit the company’s new public location in fashionable Westboro. Meal Prep Ottawa opened a grab’n’go operation there in 2023. Ever since, citizens of the neighborhood and visitors from across the city have made it a habit to pop in, avail themselves of the freshly made sandwiches and wraps, and walk away with a classy, affordable lunch they can eat right away or heat up at home or the office. It beats a costly sit-down meal or an unhealthy burger-and-fries combo.

“If you don’t like to prepare lunch for yourself or others,” says Analytis, “we have amazing stuff. Plus, we keep our prices competitive. That’s a stark contrast to what’s going on in grocery stores and the rest of the food economy. It’s not about making bigger profits for us. It’s about getting people fed properly with good food at a good price.”

“There are no hidden elements,” he continues. “There’s no thirty-five-ingredient recipe or anything you can’t pronounce. This is a unique, low-maintenance dining experience. All you have to do is pick a meal, microwave it for about a minute and a half, and you’re eating it.”

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