An Indianapolis-based frozen entree company is planning an expansion to the south side of the city while modifying its business name to better describe its services.
HercuLean Prepared Meals, which launched as HercuLean Meal Prep in 2016, intends to move into a 900-square-foot storefront at 8215 U.S. 31 South during the first quarter of 2024.
The shop in the South Perry neighborhood will become the fourth location for the company, which presently operates in Castleton, the Garage Food Hall at Bottleworks and in Fort Wayne.
Ben Canary, who founded HercuLean with his brother, Nathan Canary, said the company’s new name should diminish confusion among potential customers.
“A lot of people don’t know the difference between a meal kit and meal prep,” Ben Canary said.
For the record, meal kit services send ingredients to customers who combine the ingredients before cooking. “Meal prep” refers to companies that sell prepared meals.
In the case of HecuLean, frozen meals can be microwaved in about four minutes and be ready to eat.
Canary, who serves as HercuLean’s culinary director, said popular selections in the HercuLean roster of meals include Turkey Bolognese, a Smash Burger Bowl and Maple Bacon Ghost Mac—which features a ghost pepper variety of pepper jack cheese.
Before being sent to Herculean shops or delivered directly to customers throughout the United States, the entrees are hand-assembled in a 6,000-square-foot facility in Indianapolis, Canary said.
“When we started out, it was very basic,” Canary said of HercuLean’s menu. “Everything was steamed, and there was a little bit of cilantro on top. What we’ve tried to do is push the boundaries of what a frozen meal can look like.”
There’s presently no variation in prices among different HercuLean entrees, but customers pay less per item as an order size increases. At the company’s website, a bundle of 14 meals is priced at $9.49 per meal. No subscription is required.
Canary said the company has about 35 employees, and three employees likely will be hired for the South Perry shop being designed by Indianapolis-based Flatland Kitchen branding studio.