Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Malama Meals Oahu and Hideaway Cafe HIRestaurant Insider
July 30, 2023
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
ANNE LEE speaks with Malama Meals Oahu and Hideaway Café HI owner LAUREN SCHULTZ
At the end of a long day, families and professionals wish a tasty, healthy meal would just magically appear. That’s exactly what Lauren Schultz envisioned when creating Malama Meals Oahu, a company that’s more than just a food delivery service.
Schultz, a former Kapolei Middle School teacher, liked the challenge of making unhealthy food healthy, tasty and better for you. When her daughter was born in 2019, she needed to find another career that would let her spend more time with her child.
Being an avid bodybuilder who’s familiar with fitness competitions, Schultz had a background in nutrition and a passion for cooking, so she decided to create Malama Meals Oahu (which is not to be confused with Malama Meals United).
This for-purchase service provides wholesome, delicious and healthy made-to-order meals and takes the hassle of meal planning, shopping, cooking and cleanup.
Growing demand for Malama Meals allowed Schultz to open Hideaway Café HI. This café offers decadent items such as lattes, breakfast items, baked goods and delicious sandwiches that are all made to order.
AL: How did you come up with the concept?
LS: Being in fitness, there was a specific diet that I followed. I learned about balanced meals, macros and micros, and calorie intake, and that knowledge created my menu.
This menu was designed to take all the guesswork out of what to cook for dinner. I realized that there was a greater need than I thought. At first, I was really targeting the gym crowd, then the pandemic happened. I was getting many requests on the mainland from people who wanted to get food to their families here in Hawaii that couldn’t get to the grocery store. I was a one-person shop, doing everything from making the meals to delivery.
Chef Jackie Lau and our friends from Sysco Hawaii have been an integral part of our growth. Chef Jackie was able to help create our “pantry” based on my menu and offered suggestions on what we could use. I would show her the recipes and she would help enhance the meals. Having access to their team has been wonderful.
AL: Can you walk me through the process of how Malama Meals Oahu works?
LS: Our menus go through a five-week rotation. Each week we offer one chicken, turkey, steak, shrimp, salmon and breakfast option for you to choose from. There is no long-term commitment; you can order once or opt for a long-term subscription.
All five menus are available to preview under “Upcoming Menus” on our website. There will be a pop-up that lets you know which week is currently open for ordering. All orders and payments are due by 7 a.m. Sunday. (Note: We may occasionally close orders early due to reaching our maximum capacity for the week. Order early to secure your meals.)
To order, visit our website to view the current menu; add items to your cart; select either free pickup from our kitchen located in Nimitz Center or a $7.99 flat rate delivery; pay with any major credit card; and, upon confirmation of payment, meals will be delivered Tuesday evenings or Wednesday mornings depending on your delivery area.
Visit our website for the full menu, pricing and how to order. There is also a list of frequently asked questions.
AL: What is the average cost for this service?
LS: This really depends on the cost of protein and how many meals you order. I would say they range from $10 to $18.99. We offer breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner options. The packages are customizable, and we now offer fresh salads.
AL: What did you make for us to try today?
LS: I wanted you to try our overnight oats as they are also available for purchase during the week at Hideaway Café HI. They vary by the week, but this one is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats ($7.99). We made the Soy Miso Salmon (contact for price), which comes with roasted broccoli and carrots and brown rice. The Beef Stew (contact for price) is traditional and a bestseller. The Asado Chicken (contact for cost) is one of our colorful dishes and features grilled citrus chicken, Spanish quinoa, fresh bell peppers and housemade cilantro lime crema sauce. Then, we have the Turkey Eggroll (contact for price) in a bowl, which is a deconstructed egg roll with a healthier option. We use lean ground turkey but it’s packed with flavor.