Fred and Ricky’s will close locations and wholesale service
Fred and Ricky’s Plant Delicious Foods will soon close both locations along with its wholesale service after three years of operation. Co-owner Kathleen “Fred” Waidmann said the demands of the business began to affect her and her husband Rich Waidmann’s health and quality of life.
“It’s a great deal of work and effort to start a business, and it has come to a point in our lives where we had to make a decision in terms of the quality of our lives if we could keep on doing this … typical work-life balance, ” Kathleen Waidmann said. “Secondly, the only way we were going to be able to continue with the quality of product we produce would be to increase our prices and overhaul the way we went to market, and we weren’t prepared to do that yet.”
The couple opened Fred and Ricky’s in April 2016 to offer healthy plant-based meals, some including locally soured organic ingredients in dishes like pastas, soups, breads, salads and desserts. The business grew quickly with two storefronts and more than a dozen retail locations like Schnucks selling its products. Customers could buy dishes fresh or frozen at each location or have them shipped to their homes.
“Lots of people asked us, why did you start a plant-based business in the middle of the United States and not on either coast? Well, the answer, of course, is that we live here, and we wanted to educate the St. Louis community and be a part of this movement,” Waidmann said.
Waidmann said Fred and Ricky’s had a lot of support from the community. “We have so many loyal customers that have been so generous over the years with their feedback, their support of us, giving us new ideas and coming in and building a community,” Waidmann said. “It’s been a great experience.”
The Creve Coeur location at 11252 Olive Blvd., will be stocked with fresh and frozen foods for as long as supplies last through Saturday, June 22. The Maryland Heights commissary kitchen at 64 Weldon Parkway will sell frozen foods Monday, June 24 to Thursday, June 27, while supplies last.
Waidmann said Fred and Ricky’s may come back as a different style of service to the community, but the couple plans to take a break before making any decisions.
“We’ve had incredible support, and there has just been an outpouring of different thoughts and ideas from other businesses, as well as our customers, in terms of how they would like to see us continue, perhaps, in a different format, so there’s a chance we’ll be back,” Waidmann said. “But, as of right now, we just need to take a break and regroup.”
Darian Stevenson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.
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