When Jama Fernung and Abby Ripberger, co-owners of For the Love of Food in Tipton, started their food preparation business, it was for personal reasons.
“We were both committed to living a healthier lifestyle, and we did it for our families,” Ripberger says. “Jama’s husband and my son Hank both have major heart issues. Changing our families’ diets was necessary.”
Deciding to live a healthier lifestyle, and having a mutual love for both food and food preparation, led them to prepare meals for themselves and their families. Ripberger posted some photos of their meals on Facebook, and she and Fernung were overwhelmed with requests to sell their food.
The two friends were excited by the requests, and they started For the Love of Food in January of 2020. Ripberger says they made 130 meals during their first week in business. They are still cooking up new menu items every week.
Fernung says a lot of work goes into their food preparation.
“We do our best to plan the menu in advance,” she says. “It’s based on what people have really enjoyed, but we also try to use as much local and seasonal food as possible. It is important to us to support local businesses, and we use the best quality ingredients we can find. The food is carefully prepared and packaged fresh. It is dated and labeled, and delivered to each of our drop-off locations.”
Fernung says For the Love of Food offers vegan and gluten-free options.
“We often partner with other local restaurants to provide variety,” she adds.
Ripberger notes that having many different choices has paid off.
“Over the last year we have had many popular meals, but our breakfast egg muffins took the top spot,” she says. “A really close second was our creamy mushroom chicken. Both are keto and gluten-free. We often offer the egg muffins vegan as well.”
Fernung is also the head chef and owner of DeLullo’s Trattoria in Cicero.
“DeLullo’s is where everything started,” Fernung says.
Ripberger adds that the Tipton community stepped up when her son Hank once spent at entire summer at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. She says Tipton residents helped her and her family make sure their mortgage payments were paid on time, and that they had food in their fridge. Ripberger says she wants to help people in the same way.
“[Tipton residents] were incredible,” Ripberger says. “So many amazing people showed up in so many amazing ways. We are forever grateful for their love and support. Hank’s heart disease really has changed our lives in so many unimaginable ways, but most importantly it showed us that our community is incredible, and we are exactly where we should be.”
Ripberger and Fernung also have a food truck in the works to get their healthy meals out to more people.
“Jama had already done the food truck thing before, and we had tossed the idea around and dismissed it a couple times,” Ripberger says. “I later found our trailer on Facebook through a mutual friend, and bought it hoping it could be turned into something. We have big plans for that little trailer this spring and summer, and we are really excited.”
To get your next fresh meal, call For the Love of Food at 317-385-2095, and visit fortheloveoffoodmealprep.com for more info and drop-off locations.