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Let's Bring It Back To The Beginning

Let's Bring It Back To The Beginning

In early 2015, Nick Massie (you may know him as Paleo Nick) had the exciting idea of combining his two favorite passions: food and fitness. The result was a meal prep company that helps to promote a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing nutritional value and taste. Nick truly believes that our moods, attitudes, productivity and energy levels are tightly tied to the foods we consume so he created Ice Age Meals to help people EAT BETTER and LIVE LONGER. 

It may not have been a totally new idea to the market, but the amount of impact that was to come from this idea was the driving force to make it all happen.

Seven years later, Nick has grown and scaled his small operation into a tight-knit community that helps feed tens of thousands of customers each year! Let's bring it back to the very beginning when Nick first embarked on this journey.

What was the initial vision for Ice Age Meals and how has that evolved over time?

"The first slogan I had for Ice Age Meals was "Change your life, one meal at a time." It really started with me having this desire to help people change their life for the better by improving what they eat. We began putting a warning label on some boxes that say "WARNING: Every Ice Age Meal that you eat will add ONE DAY TO YOUR LIFE!" It's kind of a fun thing to put on there but I also really believe that. You can extend your life by eating healthy food instead of junk food. You are what you eat!

When you weigh things out, it's not only about "I'm eating a healthy meal right now," it's also, "I'm NOT going to eat an unhealthy meal right now." It's really about swapping out the unhealthy junk food with a healthier option. Even if it's one meal a week, two meals a week - that math adds up over time. 

The vision now is still the same as we have "Eat Better. Live Longer." Not only do you feel better when you eat better, but it helps support your mental health as well."

What was/is your process for creating the recipes?

"All those recipes came from me teaching people how to cook meals that I had created in my home in small batches and teaching them on paleonick.com

It started with what I call the Paleo Bank Account. You would have your own bank account of meals in your freezer that you can always rely on. We took those small batch meals that I had created and we scaled them up through Ice Age Meals. We still do small batch cooking compared to other major food manufacturers. 

Our meat is cooked in 40 - 60 lb batches with lots of love. We work as a crew to ensure each batch tastes great and we're always looking to improve our recipes. We just started adding Bay Leaves to the Tinga for instance. To make that change, we tapped into the Latino Ladies in the kitchen for their input. The result was incredible.

We're trying to lower the sodium. Salt is a thing that enhances the flavor of food up until a certain point then the food just becomes salty. So we're trying to find the exact point of how many grams of pure kosher salt can we add to this meal to enhance the flavor but not go over into the salty category. We're trying to reduce the sodium as much as possible."

What was your biggest challenge when first starting?

"It was finances. We did not have any big investors at the start. We've done what's called debt-financing - we've borrowed money and payed it back. We've already borrowed over $2M and have already payed it back in the process of starting this business. 

But that's just one layer of the business that you have to deal with on a daily basis. You can't solely focus on financing because there are thousands of other roadblock and speed bumps that come up daily that you have to deal with. 

The best thing you can do is stay reading, writing, and arithmetic each day. Reading to learn, writing to share what you've learned, and arithmetic is math - a lot of the times it's accounting. Whether paying your bills, paying payroll, personal finances, or weighing out cost of recipes, it's important to get your reading, writing, and arithmetic every day. 

If you skip any one of them, weeds will start to grow."

What is the most exciting thing that's come from running Ice Age Meals?

"The most exciting thing has been the team. The staff and the people who we've gotten to work with over the years. That's the most exciting stuff for me. 

I'm getting ready to host a private Island Retreat which has been really exciting but that's a "thing." For me, relationships and people will always trump tangible things. It's insane, all the people and staff who work at Ice Age Meals are the best and it's been the most exciting thing. 

These guys worked out 4 days a week for several years and seeing them hit it hard during workouts at a job that already works them out, that's exciting to me."

Stay tuned for more updates about Ice Age, Nick, and fun things happening behind the scenes. Til next time! 

Happy Thursday!