Doug and Mandy met at a chocolate-making class. Photo by Bernie Goldstein
by Mira Reverente
One’s love affair with food supposedly starts at a young age, as was the case with Doug Paschen. Growing up in Westlake Village, Paschen has fond memories of cooking with his mom which eventually paved the way for studies at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York.
It was also at CIA where he met his wife Mandy, originally from North Carolina. Fast forward to 15 years later and a stint in a Swiss chalet, the two now own The Silver Pantry, a gourmet meal delivery service for seniors.
In their kitchen in Ventura, the couple joke around about how they met – at a chocolate-making class, according to Doug. His wife laughs and shakes her head, and proceeds to prep vegetables.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are their busiest days, spent prepping, cooking and delivering meals to seniors from Ventura all the way to Santa Paula, Camarillo and Westlake Village, and several places in between.
“We deliver lunch and dinner meals that are fresh, locally sourced, easily re-heatable and never frozen,” says Doug. Clients can choose from a range of meal options – three-day to seven-day, lunch or dinner, or both.
The current menu includes many mouth-watering offerings such as Pesto Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta, Chicken Teriyaki, Seared Salmon, Beef Brisket, BBQ Spare Ribs and Eggplant Parmesan – comfort food done in a healthy way.
“There’s lots of flexibility in our offerings, no delivery fees and we even offer a five-day trial plan,” says Mandy. “We can also tailor-fit meals to address gluten and diabetic needs, among others.”
Doug’s culinary background in assisted living drove them to go into the meal delivery service for seniors back in March of this year. “Baby boomers are now a large part of the population,” says Doug. “As they age at home, cooking well balanced meals becomes more difficult and their nutrition suffers. We knew we could be part of the solution.”
Says Mandy, “We want them to enjoy eating. We want them to enjoy interactions – when we deliver there is some face and talk time.”
It’s the relationship-centered, going-the-extra-mile gestures they do and offer that sets them apart from the competition. “Little things like opening lids and unloading – we do those,” says Mandy.
Growing the business
Expansion is definitely in the works. “We do want to cover a wider geographic area, but right now our focus is on exceptional service to our local communities,” says Doug of their current limitations.
“Running a small business with two young kids in school is no easy task,” says Mandy, who also handles a lot of the back-end part of the business like graphic design and customer service.
Meantime, it’s business as usual for the young, go-getter couple who whip up the finest meals for seniors this side of town.
For more information , visit www.thesilverpantry.com or call 805.419.0202 or 888.636.7547.