A busy mom's bright idea
Jess Williamson is like many moms ... busy!
Always rushing around, Jess found herself relying on frozen pizzas and drive-thru more often than she cared to admit.
While standing in line at a take-and-bake pizza place, she got a bright idea: To deliver oven-ready casseroles and family-sized meals for people to enjoy at home, without hassle or guilt.
After years of thinking about it and sketching business plans on the backs of her grocery lists, Jess launched Cream City Casseroles in early 2015. What started out as a resource for busy families and professionals has evolved to include gift deliveries.
"On any given week, nearly half of our meals are given as gifts," says Jess. "Gift recipients include parents of newborns, the elderly and people coping with illness, injury or loss. It's so rewarding knowing we're helping people in this special way."
Cream City Casseroles is a mom-owned, Milwaukee-based business and its name is a nod to the city's rich history. In the 1830s, Milwaukee was known for producing cream-colored bricks made from clay found along the western banks of Lake Michigan. Known as "Cream City brick" locally and "Milwaukee brick" elsewhere, the pale butter-colored bricks still can be found in many of Milwaukee's churches, taverns and historic structures.
"I'm so proud to call Milwaukee home," says Jess. "People here genuinely care for each other in a way you don't find elsewhere. I just love this town."
Unique business model, bright future
When Jess launched Cream City Casseroles, she set out to strike a balance between running a successful business and being a hands-on mom. That's why Team Casserole cooks two days a week and delivers on Wednesdays.
"When I'm not in the kitchen or delivering meals, it's Mom Time," says Jess.
Cream City Casseroles dishes up between 300-600 servings of oven-ready casseroles, skillet meals and crock/instant pot meal kits each week - a remarkable feat for a part-time dinner delivery service.