The Rapidian

Functional Medicine Practice Expands into Prepared Meal Service

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Root Functional Medicine producing prepared meals in Downtown Market Incubator Kitchen
Prepared dishes from Root Functional Medicine's pre-packaged meal service

Prepared dishes from Root Functional Medicine's pre-packaged meal service /Root Functional Medicine

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The Grand Rapids Downtown Market welcomed Root Functional Medicine, a functional medicine and nutrition practice, as an Incubator Kitchen tenant in April. The Incubator Kitchen will serve as the hub for the practice to produce and package meals as a part of their recently expanded prepared meal service program, Root Farmacy.

Owner Dr. Erica Armstrong began Root Functional Medicine in October 2018 in a small co-working space. The first of its kind in West Michigan, the practice works with clients to solve and prevent health problems at the root cause through advanced testing, natural therapies, and nutrition. With the focus on nutrition as the core of health, the program addresses health issues through nutrition instead of prescription medications. In September 2019, the practice moved to Wealthy Street where they provide one-on-one consultations, health testing, holistic healing plans, and their Root Farmacy meal program. 

As the practice and their clients experienced success, Armstrong was inspired to expand the practice further, even in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s the best way to serve our community right now,” Armstrong said. “There’s a desire to eat healthily, but the virus has created concerns for people around grocery shopping. So we’ve expanded our meal plan program into Root Farmacy, which provides fully cooked meals, ready to heat and serve, to our clients and the public.”  

As the demand for Root Farmacy soared, the need for commercial kitchen space became apparent. “Having taught classes in the Teaching Kitchen before, I was familiar with the Downtown Market Incubator Kitchen, and knew it would be the perfect space for us with the equipment, the storage, and most of all flexibility,” said Jenn Fillenworth, executive chef. “Right now we use the kitchen one day a week to fulfill orders, but it’s great knowing we can add more days and hours as we continue to grow.”

The Incubator Kitchen at the Downtown Market offers affordable kitchen rates and practical business tools to give budding entrepreneurs a leg up in starting food businesses. The licensed commercial kitchen spaces are open 24/7 and are fully outfitted with professional-grade equipment ready for food production, packaging, prepping, catering and more.

The Downtown Market is also home to the practice’s fresh fish and meat providers, Fish Lads and Carvers Grand Rapids’ Finest Meats, simplifying product deliveries and minimizing their carbon footprint. Being mindful of their environmental impact, the practice partners with many other West Michigan based farms and providers including Revolution Farms and Bridge Street Market. By sourcing locally, meals from Root Farmacy are packed with flavorful, nutrient-dense produce and ingredients that make great tasting dishes with added health benefits. 

“We’re committed to supporting healthy living in Grand Rapids, and Root Farmacy meals prove that, once again, healthy food can be delicious food,” said Mimi Fritz, Downtown Market president and CEO. “Root Functional Medicine offers an innovative way to enjoy convenient and healthy meals, and we’re excited to support their expansion by welcoming them to the Incubator Kitchen.” 

Root Farmacy meals are available to the public and can be purchased on their website at www.rootfunctionalmedicine.com. Root Functional Medicine offers curbside, contactless pick-up from 746 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids.

 

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