Serving up healthy soups and meals to-go at Warrenton Wellness Kitchen
Warrenton Wellness Kitchen is the culmination of a dream for Venus Barratt. She has been a personal chef for six years, and is now the owner of this Old Town Warrenton business. Although she still offers personalized culinary services and custom menus for her clients, she now provides the public access to her amazing culinary talents.
Through the help of some friends, a local designer and business coach, Barratt launched her business with a detailed plan and a space designed to meet her and her patron’s needs. Warrenton Wellness Kitchen opened in December 2016, although there were a few challenges along the way – her biggest one was opening on time. Construction delays occurred and Barratt’s business opened a few months later than she anticipated.
Other than this one challenge, Barratt faced few obstacles, as her business coach prepared her well for her new venture: “He told me I would wear many hats, and that is what I do.” Barratt shared, “But, I’m doing something I love to do and know that what I serve is good for my customers.” Every morning, Barratt prepares her stock, and every afternoon (after 3 p.m.) she diligently works on her planning and marketing strategies and wears all those “hats” rather well.
Barratt desired to run a place where people could be exposed to excellent food and service, like they were decades ago. “I remember as a child I would go around the corner and buy a loaf of bread. It was so fresh and always readily available. I never got over how that made me feel. Personal interactions are also important. The connections you make are priceless. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if that old-time charm could come back – where people come in and visit? People today don’t get this service; not at the grocery store or other commercialized businesses,” she said. This type of atmosphere is what Barratt has created at Warrenton Wellness Kitchen.
“The kind of food I’m offering is what people are gravitating towards – it’s delicious and healthy for you,” Barratt said. “My clients want something that’s good for them and not full of processed ingredients. And some of my clients are on a special diet, which I am able to accommodate. My options include gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and low sodium options.” Meals are prepared with fresh ingredients, and the soup offerings vary depending on the season. “I wanted to offer unprocessed food; meals that are truly homemade and I mean from scratch,” explained Barratt.
Originally Warrenton Wellness Kitchen was inspired by one of her specialties. Barratt always had bone broth on hand in her own freezer; prepared with whole, fresh, organic ingredients. “The bone broth is what truly got me started.” Barratt explained one of her friends was a cancer patient and it is the only thing her friend was able to eat. “I would take her my bone broth,” remembered Barratt. “From there, other people I knew reached out to me to request the broth and in my mind a vision formed of being able to provide this niche service.”
Every day freshly made bone broth, soup or stew is available for walk-ins, while other selections are frozen for customers who wish to purchase and heat later at home. The bone broth is available hot and on-the-go as a recovery meal after workouts, or if customers are feeling unwell. “It is good for the body. Plus I use bones from local organic farms with pasture raised livestock, these ingredients makes this product stand apart from others,” shared Barratt.
The asparagus, fennel and leek soup is so popular it is hard for her to keep in stock. And Barratt is quite partial to her Latin American chicken soup, as well as her chicken vegetable soup with ginger turkey meatballs: “I grew up in New York, so I was exposed to world cuisine and I would have to say my absolute favorite meal to feed my own family is a Spanish style chicken stew served with rice.” In addition to the soup, The Wellness Kitchen offers complete entrees, like a French roast chicken simmered with root vegetables.
When asked about her future, Barratt said, “I would like to provide a broader range of delicious food, especially for individuals looking to improve their health.” She also shared her next goal – to develop branded soups and broths on a national level. “I want to grow; but not get too big, too quickly,” Barratt said. “My vision is to prepare food that people can count on, that is good for them, so they can live their lives in a healthy manner.” She is even working with other local establishments to carry her bone broth within the near future.
Barratt, a mother of three, was determined to find balance: with her both her career and family. She created a perfect solution by opening this business and hasn’t looked back since. “I couldn’t have done it without my children’s support,” noted Barratt. “All of my kids help where and when they can. They have been supportive and are proud of what I have accomplished. They are at an age where they understand and respect what I do because I am able to do so with a good balance. I encourage my clients to do the same – create that balance between work and their personal life.”
Warrenton Wellness Kitchen is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.. Patrons include walk-ins and those who have engaged Barratt’s personal chef service, which even includes delivery. Customers may order online, or stop in for their purchases. Besides the meal-to-go and personal chef options, cooking classes for adults and summer camps for teens are available. For a detailed listing of current classes, stop by to visit Chef Barratt or visit her website warrentonwellnesskitchen.com. Like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/warrentonwellnesskitchen/
Winter 2017-2018 Cooking Classes – Space is limited, registration required and may be completed on the website.
Chinese New Year Noodles – Offered in January
Mardi Gras Favorites with Louisiana-native Haifleigh Pritchard – Offered in February
Cleanse and Reboot with Soup – Offered in March
French Bistro Dinner with Wine Pairing – Offered in April
Summer Teen Camps
Soups, stews, bone broth
Other products such as therapeutic teas
Popular items include: Thai chicken coconut chowder (dairy and gluten free); curried lentil, apple and squash stew (vegetarian); and the ginger chicken stew with butternut squash.
Personal Chef Services
From entrees to side dishes, Chef Barratt will created tailored meal options for you and your family and even provide services for those on specialized diets.
Cooking classes and Camps
A variety of monthly adult cooking classes and teen summer camps are available. For more information visit the website or stop in Warrenton Wellness Kitchen for an information sheet.
Warrenton Wellness Kitchen
9 North 5th St., Warrenton