The simple assembly of a super salad Eat Sprout’s southwest turkey taco salad — it doesn’t get any fresher, any tastier, any healthier than this. And it’s all from right here in our own back yard. To be able to pinpoint where each ingredient in your lunch has come from is rather unique and enviable. Let’s look at the sources: Turkey: Maple Lawn Farms of Fulton (Howard County) Lettuce (bibb or arugula): Baywater Farms of Salisbury Tomatoes (cherry or heirloom): Baywater Farms, or organic when unavailable
locally Roasted corn: Emily’s Produce of Cambridge and/or Sandhill Farms of
St. Michaels, or organic when the season ends Black beans: organic, dried or canned Sprouts/microgreens: First Greens of Denton Lime crème dressing: dairy from Nice Farms Creamery of Federalsburg
You have the wherewithal. You have the knowledge. But you can’t seem to find the time to put together the healthy meals your body needs.
That’s where Emily and Ryan Groll step in.
With backgrounds in fitness and nutrition, Ryan says the couple has invariably focused on eating well.
“Our lifestyle has always been cooking and preparing healthy meals that got us through the week,” Ryan said.
When a friend was enticed by their pre-made meals, he asked the Grolls to start preparing them for him, as well.
From there, others also began requesting the service, and everything snowballed (in the best way possible).
“Before we knew it, we were cooking for six or seven families we had never even met before, but yet they like our food and trust who we are based on word of mouth … Within a couple months, we realized this was a really strong feasibility study,” he said.
After getting through some red tape, they opened a food truck in 2016 as a mobile production kitchen on their property in Trappe. There, they could prep enough food to deliver to their growing clientele. They also began opening Sproutlets — refrigerators placed in gyms, fitness centers and other wellness-focused locations around the mid-Shore where their healthy options are always stocked and available for pickup.
As word spread and their success continued, they were able to take the leap of opening a storefront.
In late 2018, the Grab-n-Go Cafe in Easton opened its doors to the public, with fresh, ready-to-go meals, breads, drinks and snacks available every day.
“The food is good for them, as well as tastes good, so they can eat it on a regular basis. And there is transparency in where the food comes from and how it is prepared.”
With the addition of the cafe, the Grolls have been able to hire more staff and also increase the number of area farmers they rely on to provide the ingredients for their meals.
“I have probably 40 vendors that we buy from, farmers and suppliers for all kinds of stuff, because not one place sells everything that we need,” Ryan said. “We have one location that we just buy organic, dried fruit; one location that we just buy organic oats and dry ingredients and spices; one of our farmers just supplies us with milk, butter and yogurt, etc.”
Because of the seasonality of fresh, local ingredients, they often get creative with their offerings.
Take corn, for example. Ryan said they buy it local, then grill it and take it right off the cob for use in their Southwest turkey taco salad.
“And then, at the end of the season, you take the corn off the cob and freeze it, then reincorporate it in dishes down the road. Our chef has even made corn lemonade — which is really good,” he said.
Many of the chef’s latest creations can be found in the cafe, with free samples often available if you want to try before you buy.
Still, the business remains primarily a food delivery service for on-the-go folks who want to eat right.
“We’re trying to incentivize our customers to understand the philosophy and service that we offer.
“We don’t want them to treat us like a convenient, carry-out restaurant. We want them to be like, ‘You know what, I’m going to buy these meals to get me through the next three days because I’m going to prepare for the unexpected, what-if scenarios. I’m going to buy a couple breakfasts, some entrees, maybe a snack or two so that I just have good food in the fridge, so that when I’m running late to work or I’m going to stay late at the office, I have something good to eat.’”
Delivery — on Tuesdays and Fridays only — is free, with a minimum of five items.
“You cut out the middle men and all the additional expenses that restaurants have ... all the product that is getting cooked and prepared on a Monday is going to be packaged and delivered to somebody who has already paid for it, so there’s zero waste. And all of our deliveries are consolidated to two days, where one driver goes east and one driver goes west.”
Ryan said everyone orders different quantities, for different reasons.
Some people use the meals only as a supplement, while others order a ton of food to have their refrigerator stocked when guests are coming to town.
“Others buy food and have it delivered to their office, so that they have breakfast and lunch there and then eat dinner at home with family,” he explained.
He said the delivery person can even put the items directly in your break-room fridge, noting, “All the food is packaged and ready to eat, with all the sauces on the side.”
Plus, when you order meals that need to be heated, “The containers are compostable but also made of plant fiber and safe to microwave in.”
Check out the choices online at eatsprout.com or swing by the cafe at 335 N. Aurora St. in Easton to see the selection.