MANCHESTER, NH – Of all the ways to put dinner on the table, none are more convenient than opting for a ready-made meal that just needs to be heated up. These types of meals are often associated with the freezer aisle of the grocery store, but there’s a new way to reap the benefits of a user-friendly meal while also supporting a small business.
Red Beard’s Kitchen is a new business specializing in New England Comfort food sold frozen to busy people across Manchester. Chef Matt Provencher began the concept upon leaving his position as Executive Chef of The Foundry last year.
“Within a day or two, my wife and I were talking about offering ready-made meals. We started working with farmers I’ve been working with for years,” said Provencher.
Provencher began selling his products about two weeks ago. Offerings include many hearty, no-frills classics such as shepherd’s pie, split pea soup, bolognese and scallop-haddock chowder, all of which are sold frozen in quart containers.
Everything is prepared inside Noodz, the temporarily closed Asian-Fusion restaurant on Elm Street.
“Nicholas [Provencher], the chef-owner, was one of my cooks for years. So when this all happened, I asked to borrow his kitchen for a little while.”
Red Beard’s Kitchen will soon align with Three River Farmers Alliance, a seacoast-based collaborative of farmers and producers who collectively distribute their products to New England restaurants, hospitals and other institutions. Last year, as a response to extensive restaurant closure, they launched Veggie-Go, a home delivery service that serves over 1,000 households.
Working with the alliance will increase the accessibility of Provencher’s meals as well as enable him to use more local products from New Hampshire farms.
“We’ve been working with Three River Farmers Alliance to distribute through them. Once that happens, we’ll also receive products from them.”
Provencher, who works a separate full-time job, wants to build Red Beard’s Kitchen slowly to ensure the quality and consistency of the products. Potential additions to the lineup include meatloaf and some additional pasta dishes.