Celebrate Maine’s Farm Products this Farmer’s Market Week

Alicia posing with two large bowls of food.

Can healthy food be appealing, simple to order AND delicious to eat? Alicia Valcaniant thought it was a no brainer as someone who has been in various professional kitchens and is dedicated to seriously working out. The Hungry Gains is a “meal prep business that focuses on sourcing locally while delivering well-balanced nutritionally fun meals”. The Hungry Gains  took shape in 2021 during COVID when Alicia knew she wanted to work for herself. She began to plan with her Women’s Business Center advisor to register her LLC, consider marketing options and financial projections. Viewing the daily specials is a mouth-watering experience and can be viewed while ordering for dinner meal delivery and / or lunch pick up at local gyms through her website and Instagram posts.

Alicia participated in two WBC cohorts; Self-Worth, and Boundaries  that have helped her focus and build confidence as a business owner. Becoming more clear means that she realizes the important lesson of not being able to please every lifestyle and preference without hindering her business values.

Alicia shops regularly at the Portland Farmer’s Market and frequents vendors for her meal ingredients such as, Fairwinds Farm( top produce), Mainely Poultry, Balfour Farms, and Upstream ( seafood).

Along with the freshest farmer’s market products, Alicia integrates many different cuisines into her offerings with some top sellers like: Taco Bowls , Loaded Buffalo sweet potato, and Chicken Shawarma.

Her most rewarding moments are when she hears of parents who share the meals with their kiddos since it can be challenging to get kids to try new foods. She says that when she hears positive response (from adults) and kids, “that means everything”!

What keeps her awake at night? As is typical for many other women in business, always thinking of how to improve the business whether with menu tweaks or the website. She tries to remember that even on the hardest days, surrounding herself with people who believe in her and in what she’s doing with The Hungry Gains, keeps her going! Her biggest tip to other entrepreneurs is for folks to remember your “why” (you’re in business), and appreciate how far you’ve come!

What’s on the horizon for The Hungry Gains? Expanding the customer base and strengthening marketing so more people know about the great food options, and can more easily order (and pay) for the great breakfasts, lunch and dinners. Hungry yet?

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.