Mimi’s Mealz delivers home-cooked food, family values to lake residents
If you ask Sue Blankenship and Mimi Thornhill, they’ll tell you the best way to know if your cooked meal is ready to go is to taste it. The goal isn’t to make a load of food and freeze it; the goal is to deliver it fresh. When the idea came to start Mimi’s Mealz, this philosophy was at the heart of the concept.
In October 2020, Sue and Mimi, alongside Zach Vize, decided to start a meal delivery service at the lake for people who wanted to take a break from the kitchen for a night and still eat a home-cooked meal. They say they felt like the opportunity was ripe to kickstart this idea, especially in an era where some are uncomfortable being in a public restaurant environment.
Months later, the idea has taken off around the lake. Though the goal from the start was to supply those needing a cooking break, Mimi’s Mealz has found its niche helping residents with medical needs, in hospice care and elderly people who need some assistance.
“We’re kind of like Doordash, in a way, but we’re not a restaurant,” Zach said.
The business has gotten so popular that the group is having a hard time keeping up. The business receives orders through messages on the Mimi’s Mealz Facebook page and the group gets to work right away. Sue and Mimi cook meals around the clock and have something different every day. Once an order comes in, the food is packaged fresh and hand-delivered by Zach.
New customers will be prompted with an order survey that must be filled out before delivery. This gives them all the necessary delivery information, as well as food preferences and any health conditions that need to be known before serving meals.
Currently, meals are chosen off a menu with specific options. Many of the recipes are Mimi’s that have been used over the years. With the goal of keeping profit margins in check, Zach says they aren’t at a point where they can’t experiment with new recipes very often, though hope to in the future.
Mimi says she learned her recipes from many people in her life over the years. Growing up in the depression era, she makes sure to use every bit of the food available. Her husband, Jack Thornhill, was in the Coast Guard early in their marriage, leading the family to move from station to station on a frequent basis. Because of this lifestyle, Mimi picked up different recipes of local cuisine from Hawaii to Alaska and more.
“When you live in Juneau, Alaska, you cooked with whatever was brought in on a plane or a boat,” Sue said.
With so many different regional cooking experiences under her belt, as well as family recipes, the meals offered by their service has a little something for most pallets.
Zach says that the business has become just as much about providing company and a friendly face to people’s doorstep as it is about delivering meals. He says that many regulars mention looking forward to the weekly interaction they’ll have when he stops by on deliveries.
Now that Mimi’s Mealz has found its footing at the lake, 2021 is about keeping up with the current demand. They say the idea of a meal truck has been discussed, as well as opening a booth at local markets or even a physical location in Osage Beach. At the end of the day, however, the number one goal is keeping things rolling as efficiently as possible. For Sue, the opportunity to cook with Mimi and run the business as a family is key.
Meal orders start at $25 and feed between 4 to 6 people. Mimi says all you have to do is scoop the meal out onto a plate and microwave to heat it up. Right now, Mimi’s Mealz only delivers to Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Linn Creek and Camdenton. You can find their Facebook page at