Most people know what it's like to try and have a healthy meal on a busy day. Cambridge resident Caitlin Dowling is no exception.
As a mother of two young children, she said it can be easy to prioritize your kids over yourself and make a meal.
"I think nowadays that people are so busy that they don't take into consideration making healthy meals," she said. "I think the pandemic has increased the need for easy meals."
Today, Dowling is the owner and operator of Urban Jars Cambridge, a meal delivery service offering healthy and convenient, nutritious meals that can fit into a glass jar.
"I'm all about making other people's lives easier and helping out as much as I can," said Dowling, who launched the business in July 2021.
Originally started in Stratford, Urban Jars Cambridge is one of 10 locations across Canada that provide options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, like protein bites.
"For us, we can have a skillet and it will feed all four of us," Dowling said, adding that sometimes her husband will take leftovers to work.
Another aspect of the business is its jar recycling program. When a meal is done, customers can leave the jar outside their home on a day when their new meal is being delivered. That jar is then picked up and recycled. If a customer isn't home on delivery day, they can always drop the jar off at 76 Moffat Dr.
"There's definitely plenty of meal options out there, and I think that's one of the things that allows us to stand out," said Dowling about the program. "Especially in Waterloo Region, because I know how strong the region is about progressing forward in the environmental aspect."
Before launching her business, Dowling worked in the accounting department of a construction company in Burlington. She said a good friend of hers operates Urban Jars Muskoka, and she decided to launch one in Cambridge.
"I spent seven years there, it felt very strange to leave," said Dowling.
Today, Urban Jars Cambridge serves an average of 30 customers a week. Dowling explains she releases the menu over the weekend, gets her orders in on Monday and preps Tuesday. She said her busiest days are Wednesday and Thursday, as she prepares all the meals and delivers them on Friday.
"There's definitely been some late nights at this," said Dowling, adding all meals can be customized for allergies and dietary preferences.
With a variety of customers from seniors, to businesses and other mothers using her service, Dowling feels good knowing that her business is making it effortless for people to eat healthy meals.
"I definitely love it. Food has always brought me joy, and being able to make different things for other people makes me so happy," she said. "I like to be a hostess, and so when I see people enjoying my food and it's satisfying them, or is making their lives easier, that makes me happy."
Less than a month away from her one-year anniversary of opening Urban Jars Cambridge, Dowling hopes to expand her business to offer different pick up locations in the city and be part of a school lunch program.
To learn more about Urban Jars Cambridge, go to cambridge.urbanjars.com.