Annie’s Home Delivery brings healthy, homestyle food to North Salem families
Christiane Stamp spends her Sundays shopping for enough groceries to feed anywhere from 20 to 30 families. On Mondays, she preps and cooks lunches, dinners and side dishes for those families. By Tuesday, she’s driving all over Northern Westchester delivering the healthy, homestyle food she’s come to be known for.
Stamp runs Annie’s Home Delivery, a small business she started during the pandemic to provide healthier takeout options for busy local families. It was an idea she had dreamed about off and on over the years, first while working as a customer experience manager for JetBlue Airways and then while consulting for small and mid-size businesses. But fear and doubt held her back. It was probably a crazy idea, she told herself. What if people weren’t interested in the concept?
A children’s book helped Stamp set aside her negative thoughts and move forward with plans to launch her dream business.
A client Stamp was working with on a consulting project gave her Kobi Yamada’s book, “What Do You Do With An Idea?” The book tells the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child's confidence grows, so does the idea itself.
“I read it to my 7-year old son, Patrick, and it kind of pushed me over the edge to be like, I need to do this,” Stamp recalled. “Even if people think I’m crazy or think that I have no right to do this, I’m doing it. I’ll try it and see what happens.”
Stamp has since turned her idea into a profitable business that is consistently booked up week in and week out. Annie’s Home Delivery posts weekly, seasonal menus featuring healthy lunch and dinner options. A loyal customer base of 20 - 30 families order online for the week ahead and choose a delivery window that suits their schedule. A la carte add-ons like salads, sides, muffins and desserts round out the selections.
Stamp handles every aspect of the business, from meal planning and shopping to ingredient prep and cooking, delivery, marketing, payment processing and social media.
“It’s probably more hours than I’ve ever worked in my life,” Stamp said. “But I don’t mind it since it’s my business.”
Stamp focuses on meal options that are healthier than what is typically found on a takeout menu. “Food delivery from a restaurant is different from food cooked at home,” she said. “There are fryers, preservatives…I don’t do that. I bake instead of fry; I try to find healthier ways to make dishes that you get at restaurants.”
Among Annie’s most popular menu items are Swedish meatballs with healthier mashed potatoes (a cauliflower-potato blend), tequila lime chicken and her signature salads. Gluten-free and vegan options regularly feature on the Annie’s menu.
Prices are $15 for entrees for one, $30 for two or $55 for four.
One year into running Annie’s Home Delivery, Stamp says she’s been pleasantly surprised by how well her business has been received by the community. “I knew how much money I needed to make to survive. I had been contributing to the household in my previous job, so I had goals of contributing close to what I was making before. Every week, I’ve hit the goal,” she said, adding, “I guess people really are looking for that healthier option that is like a home cooked meal that you don’t have to cook.”
Stamp is honest about the amount of work it takes to operate a successful small business. “It’s definitely more work than I’ve ever done. But when it’s for yourself, it feels so good at the end of the day. The harder I work, the better things turn out. I’m just going to keep working and working.”