Healthy Meal Prep Store to Hold Grand Opening in Babylon

BABYLON, NY — Babylon residents now have more opportunities to eat healthier.

Redefine Meals, a Long Island healthy meal prep company, will hold its grand opening at its Babylon location Tuesday at 2 p.m.

The store, located at 255 Deer Pk Avenue, offers portioned prepared foods to suit different lifestyles, including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, low-carb, keto, dairy-free, and “everything in between.”

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Jessica Fallica, vice president of Redefine Meals, told Patch that all meals are “to go” and while customers can buy them in bulk, there is no minimum purchase. Meals can also be ordered online and delivered to your home.

“We add new menu items every week to keep things fun and fresh for our customers,” Fallica said. “All of our ingredients are sourced, fresh, not frozen. It’s like making a home cooked meal.”

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Co-founder Matthew Riss, 26, told Patch that he and childhood friend Mark Ciaburi started the business as college students in 2016. Both student-athletes recognized an imbalance between their intense training and the nutrients their bodies needed.

“Mark and I were on the same football team together,” Riss said. “We learned from our experience as athletes how these athletes were not being fed properly.”

Riss, who studied marketing at Stony Brook University, said he and Ciaburi, who studied dietetics at Buffalo State, made the perfect team for the business.

“I was the one who handled the brand, the sales and the marketing,” he said. “Mark was the recipe developer and did all the research.”

The duo started by cooking meals for the Stony Brook University Athletics at the Stony Brook University Incubator in Calverton.

After their partnership quickly showed success with athletic teams, the friends found that their business was needed on a larger scale.

“We learned that the problem was much bigger than just the athletes, it’s that everyone is not eating properly,” he said. “So we became a company that appeals to everyone.”

In August 2020, Redefine Meals opened its first physical store in Lake Grove. The company currently operates with 74 employees and has locations in Syosset, Bellmore, Commack, Port Jefferson Station and Holbrook.

The Babylon site, which had a soft launch in July, is its seventh store.

“It’s funny, because we started with next to nothing,” Riss said. “We were very young and naive, which helped us become the company we are today.”

Riss said Redefine Meals hopes to work with Babylon’s athletic teams as well, to help provide proper nutrition to athletes.

“An important thing that we try to do in the communities that we work with is raise funds,” he said. “(For example) we donate $1 from any sales from day one to youth sports at Babylon.”

The entrepreneurs hope to eventually expand Redefine Meals to Queens and areas of New York City. The company will also open a location in Patchogue this fall, Riss said.

“We’re trying to become a staple in every community we join,” he said.

Until then, Redefine Meals said they are happy to join the Babylon community. Riss also said that he is excited to bring in Frank Sharp, a long-time employee and Babylon resident, as co-owner of the new location.

“We’ve seen tremendous support from local businesses and people who live in the town and visit frequently,” Fallica said. “We are very excited to support the community outside of the store.”

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