Local Highlights of Madison WI

Find Your Healthy Place Madison Highlights — Isthmus Eats

We are excited to continue our restaurant highlight series, only today it isn’t a restaurant! Don’t worry, we are still talking food, but this time it’s a little different. Today we are sharing about Isthmus Eats, a local meal kit delivery service that prepares and delivers meals kits all over Dane County.  

We will be sharing:

  • Their history
  • How their service works
  • Our overall experience 

Without further ado, let’s review Isthmus Eats!  

The History of Isthmus Eats

Isthmus Eats is a local meal kit delivery service (think Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, etc.). It was launched last year by Jon Marrone, a Madisonian who left his job in computer programing with high hopes of helping other busy adults in Madison get back in their kitchens. He has always loved cooking and when he used one of the national meal kit brands a few years ago, he loved it. 

By the way — if you aren’t familiar with meal kits, it is a great way to avoid the stress and time involved with meal planning, shopping, and cooking. This is especially true for people who are busy and exhausted at the end of the day and would rather not eat out. Other benefits include expanding your food pallet, the opportunity to try new cooking techniques, and reducing wasted food (and money).  

But while Jon enjoyed his meal kit service, he shared the same complaint that many other meal kit subscribers had — the massive box, ice packs, and packaging that had to be dealt with for each delivery. Each delivery creates so much waste! He decided to scale that business model to a smaller, local area. It solved the excess waste problem as they could do their own deliveries and therefore, collect and re-use the delivery bags/ice packs. 

So, he got to work on developing the website, software, and an app for the business. He launched Isthmus Eats in April 2018. Today, they have over 220 subscribers, 7 employees, and deliver over 700 meals each week in Dane County. Madisonians are loving it! 

How Does It Work? 

Initially, there are a few steps to get yourself set up for the Isthmus Eats meal delivery, but once you do, it is a relatively easy process with minimal effort. Here is a rundown of the steps to help you get started. 

Step 1: Download the “Isthmus Eats” app on your smartphone.  

Step 2: Fill out your personal information and it will tell you the day of your delivery. They deliver on Mondays or Tuesdays depending on your location.  

Step 3: Select your plan. Their plans are for 2 or 4 servings and anywhere from 2-5 days per week. This is the section where you can also make a note of any food allergies.  

Step 4: Enter your credit card information and save. 

Step 5: Go to the “Menu” and based on your plan, select your meals for the week. (You can pick your meals a few weeks out as well.) If you want to skip a week, you will need to go into the app and skip the week you don’t want a delivery. You will need to cancel the plan if you decide to stop for a while. 

The meal kit will arrive at your house on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on where you live. They send you a text to let you know it has been delivered and if you aren’t home, don’t worry. It arrives in a reusable, insulated tote with a large ice pack. Mine sat on my porch for a few hours and was totally fine when I got home!

The package contains fresh ingredients. Nearly all the packaging is recyclable. It also comes with a personalized binder that has the recipes with step by step instructions and photos. They make eating healthy so easy!  

Digging Deeper 

Do they offer a variety of healthy options? (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan)
Yes! Every week they have a variety of options, including vegan and vegetarian options. If you have any food sensitivities, all you have to do is make a note when you are entering your personal information and they will make swaps. I am gluten-free and it was so easy!  

Do they use seasonal, local foods when possible?
Yes! Especially during the warmer months in Wisconsin when produce is fresh. Their goal for sourcing is first local, then organic. Jon estimates that between 50-75% of all of the items in their kits are either organic, local or both! Produce that they are able to source locally is always organic, as they have only partnered with certified organic, local farms. Other local ingredients like breads, pastas, meats, and cheeses aren’t necessarily organic, but do come from great partners in our area. To see a full list of their partners, visit their website

Is the food delicious?
Yes! We really enjoyed the meals that we tried. My husband even said that one of the meals was “restaurant quality”!  

Final Thoughts On Isthmus Eats & a GIVEAWAY!

This was my first meal kit experience and as someone who actually enjoys meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking healthy meals, I wasn’t sure how much I would like doing a meal kit. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by how easy and convenient it was. I specifically loved that the meat was local, they used fresh herbs and the recipes were healthy! It was a busy week for us and knowing that I was having two healthy meals dropped off at my door was so helpful.  

These local meal kits are perfect for anyone, really.  But especially for busy adults or adults who need guidance and direction when it comes to cooking healthy meals. They make it easy for anyone!  

When we reached out to Jon, the owner of Isthmus Eats, about doing a review and a possible giveaway, he graciously said “YES”.  Anyone that is interested in trying out a meal kit, can use the code: ‘THEHEALTHYPLACE’ to get $20 off of the first week. 

We are also giving away an $85 gift certificate!  That is good for two weeks of the Badger Lite Plan (2 meals cooking for 2) or one week (plus a little extra) of the Capital Lite Plan (2 meals cooking for 4). To enter, please leave a comment on one of our social posts (Instagram or Facebook) letting us know what you would like the most about a home delivery meal kit! A winner will be chosen at random and notified within a week of the giveaway ending.