Owner store

Open for business: Meal prep store opens new space amid pandemic

WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) – A Washington company is overcoming challenges to make mealtimes easier in central Illinois.

“I love being in the kitchen cooking. It’s my favorite part of the house,” said Laurie Hacker, Store Manager of Prep, Freeze, Cook.

The meal prep business strives to take the stress out of figuring out what to eat by preparing it for customers. Pre-cooked and frozen meals only need to be thawed and cooked and can be picked up or delivered.

“So many people don’t like to cook, so they eat out a lot. But they want home-cooked food, but they’re just like, ‘Nah-uh. I hate cooking. I’m not good at it, or anything,” Hacker said. “So we provide them with this home-cooked meal without them having to go through all that hardship to make it.”

“I love the fact that we are able to help people, whether it’s a single individual, an elderly couple or a whole family, who are content to have a good home-cooked meal.”

Laurie Hacker

Although Prep, Freeze, Cook is not new to Washington, he is new to the specific Washington Road location. In February, the company moved across town. The change came after a devastating pandemic: COVID-19 played a part in the closure of the store’s other three stores in Bloomington, Beijing and Peoria.

“We ended up having to close stores because we just weren’t busy enough in stores to keep them open,” Hacker said.

But she calls the new location beneficial with a more streamlined process. It also serves as a way for her to connect with customers.

“When you cook and cook, it’s all about the love that goes into it and that’s part of what makes it all so good.”

Prep, Freeze, Cook is located at 1320 Washington Rd. in Washington.