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Community Highlights: Meet Sylvia Graf-Jones of Simply Prima

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sylvia Graf-Jones.

Sylvia, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Simply Prima was started in 2014 after my own long journey of having gluten allergies (Celiacs) and other food intolerances. The offerings for “safe” baked goods and snack items were scarce and often heavily processed. I started baking my curry snack mix and other goods in a commercial kitchen and selling them at markets and other venues. By word of mouth, I was able to start cooking for people as a personal chef in their homes, helping those customers, who had to follow strict dietary guidelines, eat better. It was very rewarding helping nourish some pretty sick clients back to health. This really lit a fire in me to make healthier, allergen-friendly, convenient meals accessible to my community.

I trained in food safety, studied about nutrition and healthier options, and got licensed through the Department of Health. Now my team and I prepare fresh, ready-made meals to many customers in Anne Arundel County and beyond. We have a weekly, rotating menu of diverse meals that are customizable to suit a variety of dietary needs (Whole30, Keri, Paleo, etc.). Our clients range from busy moms who order family meals to professionals who want to bring a nutritionally sound meal to work, and dear to my heart – the elderly or sick, who need the nourishment and convenience of a well-balanced dinner delivered to their door. . Simply Prima caters events, and I still serve customers who want a personal chef to plan and cook their custom-developed meals. I can say that I am truly living my dream!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been windy. If so not easy to get established in a community that you didn’t grow up in and don’t have many resources in. I am originally from Germany, and we are a former military family. Also finding a reliable commercial kitchen space to rent is a very difficult task. You have to work around someone else’s schedule. Being that my meals need to be safe for those with allergies, I bring in all of my own cooking equipment and supplies. That is a lot of effort every time I cook. The supplies I use are very niche and expensive, making shopping for them a challenge.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Simply Prima?
Simply Prima is known for healthier, convenient meals that have tons of flavor and are safe to eat for most people with food allergies and intolerances. Our clients are usually blown away that food that is good for you can taste so delicious. We deliver meals right to your door every week. We are community-oriented which means that I know pretty much every one of my clients, and I am proud to say that we are there when life gets messy for people. From a concerned neighbor who wants to order a meal for a sick or grieving member of their community to a daughter living far away who wants her elderly parents to have some healthy ready-made meals in their fridge, to a mom who is too overwhelmed with a newborn and other kids to cook dinner, we serve them all. Seeing my team in the kitchen helping me prepare our recipes, imagining my clients opening their doors to receive their week’s worth of meals brings me great joy. Telling people “yes you can order that” when they tell me about their food restrictions is what makes me truly happy.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory is swimming in the lakes and rivers of my native Bavaria in Germany.

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1 Comment

  1. Tony Jones

    May 1, 2022 at 1:04 am

    A Wonderful Cook and very passionate about helping others eat well.

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