By Jayonna Scurry, Studio M staff
Trying to live a healthy lifestyle with a busy schedule and the temptation of unhealthy snacks can be difficult but a pair of millennial entrepreneurs from Murfreesboro have an idea to help.
Julia Bostard and Ian Mitzelfeld started their healthy meal preparation company called Murfreesboro Munch, earlier this year. Seeing the need of having nutritious foods before and after workouts helped motivate them to start a company.
“Millennials are launching businesses earlier than their predecessors (at an average age of 27 compared to 35 for boomers) and at nearly twice the rate,” Forbes magazine has reported.
Bostard is 23 and Mitzelfeld is 21, which makes them considerably younger than the average young business owner.
Ian is starting this business after attending MTSU for only one year majoring in business.
“He learned a lot about business in the year that he attended, but when that year was over, it was around the time we were planning to start working on Munch and he decided to not go back and put his full time and effort into our business,” said Bostard.
Bostard attended cosmetology school and worked at a salon before realizing that wasn’t her calling.
She and Mitzelfeld are both passionate about health and fitness. They had already been planning and prepping their own meals, but recognized how time consuming it was with their schedules.
“We both at one point struggled with each working two jobs, taking care of a little one, and living a normal life, while trying to fit in working out and most importantly our meal prep, which would take us hours out of the week that could be dedicated to something more important to us,” said Ian.
While searching for a company to meal prep for them, they decided to just start their own business instead.
Both Bostard and Mitzelfeld started Murfreesboro Munch with some business experience. Mitzelfeld owned a lawn care service for three years before opening the meal prep company. His mother started her own boutique about a year ago. Bostard’s father owned a business for 15 years.
“He has given us so much guidance and insight on everything we need to know about having our own business and how to deal with certain situations we will and have been given,” said Bostard of her father’s guidance.
When Murfreesboro Munch was first opening Bostard and Mitzelfeld both worked two jobs. Julia worked at Toot’s restaurant and Gold’s Gym. Ian worked a construction job and also served at Toot’s.
“We eventually gained enough income to each drop one of our jobs, so he dropped Toot’s, and I dropped Gold’s. Then about two months ago, we gained enough income to quit our other jobs as well. Now we both do Munch full time,” said Bostard.
The venture was risky and neither was certain their business model would be successful. To create a buzz they used social media to reach out to potential customers.
“Before we even opened people were messaging us about their excitement, and telling other people about our soon to come company,” said Bostard about getting their name out.
They said the biggest hardship they face now is “not having enough capital to expand as big as we want.”
They believe having a meal prep service is helpful to the community because a lot of people struggle with their diet when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Many don’t have time to prepare nutritious foods or just don’t know how.
“Fast food places are so much more convenient then running home on lunch break to make yourself a full, healthy meal, but when you have your weeks’ worth of food already prepared for you, there’s no reason for you to run to your nearest McDonald’s, when you can just pop your Munch meal in the microwave, and have your perfect, healthy lunch ready,” Bostard said.
Bostard and Mitzelfeld encouraged millennials to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit.
“We believe if you have a true passion for something, and can’t seem to find it working other places or working for other people, create it yourself. Of course there will be risks, but there is with anything,” said Mitzelfeld.
Bostard adds, “With confidence, guidance, support, and passion, you can achieve so much.”
Jayonna Scurry is a journalism student at Middle Tennessee State University. Her hometown is Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Studio M, a project of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU, allows student journalists to be published statewide and nationwide. It’s made possible through grants and donations from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Tennessean and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
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