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Owensboro Take & Bake Food Just Got Better! October 30, 2016 17:21

Have you ever been in the center of a huge crowd and thought it would take forever just to get to one of the many attractions that you were there to see? That’s what it felt like when Kim and I attended a Food Show recently, far from home. There were tons of people, swarming around, shoulder to shoulder, sampling every imaginable food you can Kim and David at the food show. What a crowd!think of.  I shuffled behind Kim with my hand on her shoulder as she worked her way through the maze of people. I’m pretty sure some lady tried to get my wallet since there’s no other explanation for anyone willingly wanting to grab at the backside of a creepy old computer guy with five identical pens in his front pocket. She wasn’t grabbing for a pen, that’s for sure. If you’ve been to Sam’s, it’s like that but on steroids. There are thousands of samples. I’m nibbling on things Kim can’t even offer, like brisket and some kind of fancy shrimp thing on a stick. But we were there for a rare opportunity for Kim to mingle with several culinary experts in their respective field and seek first hand advice on piecing together new entrée’s for her fall menu. And believe me, that’s exactly what happened.

Kim has come up with this Chicken & Dumpling Soup that’s absolutely amazing. Honestly, I wasn’t a soup guy at all, but this is better than anything you or I have ever tried. It’s difficult to put into words, but there are chunks of tender white and dark chicken in a seasoned broth with soft, delectable dumplings that just bring it all together. Every last person in our taste testing group says it’s a homerun.

Let me explain that my mom was a country meat and potatoes kind of cook. Growing up in rural Western Daviess County, I was convinced I was abused since we were surrounded with fresh vegetables she and dad grew in our garden, instead of this new pizza that everyone else got delivered to their door. And even worse, she “canned” these vegetables so that the torture continued throughout the winter. Of course I realize now what a complete blessing it was to grow up with healthy, fresh homemade food. And more importantly, our Heavenly Father placed me in the care of the best parents on the planet.

I guess that’s why I appreciate the Chicken Pot Pie Kim created after consulting with some experts in dough. She makes it with fresh vegetables, a creamy sauce and two layers of flakey crust. Oh yeah, you just read that right. One flakey layer on the bottom and one flakey layer covering the top. Though we’ve received rave reviews, Kim felt especially touched when one of our older customers told her “that’s better than what my grandmother made”.

And there are many other entrée’s to choose from. Here’s how simple it works. Every weekday Kim is in her kitchen on the East side of town (which has received all A+ certifications this past year) creating fresh, homemade food. Since we live on the West side of the county, every afternoon she stops by 400 Salem Drive and unloads all of her goodies into refrigeration. People like you are constantly stopping by and just picking out whatever they want. You can look at the menu online at www.kimscasseroles.com, and if you’re comfortable with it, you may place your order online. Or, after looking at the menu just call Kim at (270) 485-8474 and say “I want that for dinner tonight”. Kim will be adding some Thanksgiving side items, so check the menu on the website frequently. Like us on Facebook and get instant notifications.

So why do you pick it up and bake at home for 30 minutes? Because we know when that homemade meal emerges from your oven it’s going to be at its absolute peak of deliciousness. Unlike the pizza that would have taken 90 minutes to show up at my parents’ house.

Do yourself a favor and order in advance for Thanksgiving. When you complete your order online there’s an opportunity for you to specify the date you would like to pick it up; or just call Kim.


Owensboro's Newest Take & Bake Thriving September 05, 2016 17:16

On November 11th, 2015 my beautiful wife opened her business, Kim’s Casseroles located next to Computer Dave PC Repair, where I work.  Every day she creates homemade food using only the freshest ingredients, without additives or preservatives, and makes them available for you to purchase at her 400 Salem Drive location. We feel very blessed, as it’s gone over very well. She has sold over one thousand since then.

During the day she is at her kitchen on the East side of town. Since we live out in the West side of the county, each day she drops by 400 Salem Drive on her way home and unloads the freshly made food into refrigeration for you to have that day or the next. A small portion is set aside to be frozen immediately. That way when you thaw it out, it will be as fresh as possible. You can have it either way, fresh or frozen.

One week she was running a little behind and was working on a Saturday to catch up. I volunteered to help out after I closed shop, not truly understanding what I was getting myself into. Kim has this amazing fresh bread with garlic butter cheese spread. Part of my assignment was to make the spread. On my drive to the kitchen

I’m thinking of how she’s probably got all of these tools and simple methods, like just dumping a lot of butter into a mixer. Wrong. She uses 100% real butter. Each stick is individually unwrapped. There are two different Italian cheeses and garlic, each portion of which must be weighed. Then it’s blended together in a bowl with a spatula. Like, by hand. It’s like paddling a boat across a lake with a Popsicle stick. I made 28 containers. 

You buy two loaves of bread that are already sliced down the middle, open them up and liberally lather each piece with the spread. When we are at home I’ve watched Kim place the bread in the oven for a few minutes until the edges get tan and the spread gets bubbly. I can eat three pieces myself, it’s that good.

Kim and I feel so fortunate that everyday people call us asking how the process of ordering a freshly made casserole works. You’d be surprised at how many of our customer’s just stop by our 400 Salem Drive location and pick up whatever they want to take home for lunch, dinner or breakfast the next morning. Unless we’ve sold out of a particular variety, just about everything on the menu is available all the time. Some people prefer to call. When you do, we’ll just put your name on it and you can stop by and pick it up.

Visit us and see the menu in person. Or better yet go online at www.kimscasseroles.com and see the full menu. If you’re comfortable with it, you may place an order and pay for it online. Your name will be placed on your homemade meal immediately. That way if, by chance, you picked the last one, you’ll be assured it will be waiting for you. You can even specify to have your casserole picked up on a future day of your choice.

Production comes to a stop, momentarily. April 01, 2016 19:58

Everyone it seemed was catching it.  Our friend, Dr. Al Ward affectionately refers to it as “The Kentucky Crud”.  Think of it as flu like symptoms without having the flu.  I caught it first, but it hit Kim especially bad.  For the first time since Kim launched her business, she was forced to stay out of the kitchen and stay at home.  That lasted several days.  About the time that she was returning to health, her mother Rhonda had a MRI that revealed a tumor in her brain.  Surgery was scheduled the following day and only by the grace of God, the tumor was safely removed.  Kim stayed by her mother’s side, and took turns with siblings caring for her after discharge.

It didn’t take long for Kim’s inventory to deplete.  Nevertheless, all of Kim’s customers were extremely patient and understanding.  Many people posted on Facebook that they were praying for Rhonda, and supported Kim’s decision to temporarily stop making homemade casseroles.  I think that says a lot about our community.  There was not one single complaint.  Even when people that stopped by expecting to pick up dinner for that evening, nothing but encouragement and support for Kim and her mom.

On Monday, March 28th, 2016, Kim returned to the kitchen in full force.  I cannot recall the exact number, but Kim and Mary turned out about 50 casseroles of various varieties.  It took many late nights, but before long the inventories were replenished and people started picking up freshly made casseroles again.  I called her that first day back and asked her how it felt to be back in the kitchen.  Kim said “it feels like home”.


There's something supporting the whole business, that nobody sees. January 20, 2016 18:30

There was a older lady that showed up one day at the Salem Drive location, where you would pick up a freshly made casserole that Kim has created.  I introduced myself as Kim's husband, David, and began to show her the menu.  She mentioned reading the recently published article in the local newspaper and asked how it was possible for Kim to create so many fresh casseroles in one day.  And of course, I told her something that I am about to share with you.  It's an unintentional secret.  And it's time for the truth. As a business owner myself for several years, I've come to recognize that businesses have several determining factors that keep them operational.  Think of these factors as pillars in a building that keep them structurally sound.  If you were to remove one of those pillars without immediately replacing them, things become unstable.  In Kim's business there's a pillar that no body sees, that holds an immense amount of weight that we couldn't do without.  It's my Mom, Mary Fogle.  She arrives unselfishly almost everyday to help Kim in herKim and Mary Fog;e kitchen create tons of fresh casseroles.  She's arrived as early as 5:30 A.M. to help us with catering events.  She drops what she is doing during the day and rushes casseroles to Salem Drive for customers who are counting on them being there at a certain time.  In the rain, in the cold, in the snow, doesn't matter.  My Mom told Kim early on in our relationship that she thought of her as her own daughter.  From day one, Mom has been there providing unconditional support and encouragement.  I guess everyone feels this way about their mothers, but to Kim and myself, my Mom is one of the most decent, caring and nurturing people on the planet.  Our love for her cannot be communicated with words alone.  It just occurred to me that day when the customer asked me how this level of production was possible for Kim, that I needed to somehow reveal the truth.  The truth being that there's no way possible that we could take on this endeavor without her.  She is so much more than just a pillar of Kim's business.  She's a pillar in our lives.  We love you so much Mom.  Little known fact: One of the recipes that Kim creates continuously for her customers, The Cheesylicious Chicken Casserole was one that Mom made throughout my childhood for myself and my two sisters.

Culinary Specialist Brett Ryan and Kim talk shop. January 12, 2016 19:27

Here's Kim sitting down with Culinary Specialist Brett Ryan in Louisville Early in the morning on Thursday, January 7th, Kim sat down with Culinary Specialist Brett Ryan in Louisville to discuss new recipes, ingredients and techniques.  It was an extremely beneficial experience to say the least.  Brett has years of experience in the business, and just brought some mind blowing ideas to the table.  It's a good thing we showed up with empty stomachs, because Brett, along with his team of chefs brought entree after entree for us to sample.  He was very patient listening to our questions, and had lots of ideas how each one could be tailored to Kim's "take and bake" business model.  I'm not much on Mexican food at all, because my mom pretty much raised my sisters and I up on a country "meat and potatoes" type diet.  But this one Mexican Lasagna was delicious, and has a cheese topping that was absolutely amazing.  But at the end of the day, I think our trip to Louisville is best summed up like this.  Kim's going to do what she does best.  She collected a generous portion of new intriguing ideas, and will incorporate it into her style of cooking.  Which has thus far proven to be very fruitful.  When I look in the future, I see at least three new items being added to the menu.  And if I think Kim is going to to what I think she's going to do, they're going to be astonishingly yummy dishes!      

Messenger & Inquirer published a story about Kim's Casseroles. January 04, 2016 20:13

What an absolute blessing.  Keith Lawrence of the Messenger & Inquirer published an amazing article about Kim's new business in Sundays paper.  He wrote about how Kim had a career as a server in the restaurant business for years before going to school and receiving a degree in nursing.  "But after several years in nursing, she's back to her first love - food", Lawrence wrote.  He also wrote about a review that a customer had given about the Delectable Chicken Florentine Casserole where they said "The chicken was melt-in-your-mouth tender.  We had the rest of the casserole on Sunday.  Even reheating it, it was still moist and the chicken was still tender.  We are very anxious to try all of her casseroles."  The article went on to talk about the different kinds of casseroles we carry, and how some of them came about.  And not much to my surprise,  the follow day we had one of our largest order days since we launched November 11th.  A lot of people came into our Salem Drive location exclaiming how they've been waiting for something like this to come to Owensboro.  Many of them gave examples of how on occasion they might not have time to prepare a meal for their families, but didn't want to resort to fast food.  Others had unique situations.  One individual in particular talked about how she cares for her elderly mother, and how convenient it would be for her to just pop one in the oven and 30 minutes later have a delicious home cooked meal, without going to all of trouble of prepping the meal.  As far as we're concerned, the article came at just the right time, after Kim had some experience under her belt and we had some wrinkles in the business ironed out.  What a blessing.

Kim's "rule" about ingredients. And a top secret recipe is in the making! January 02, 2016 17:56

Kim working on a new recipe in her kitchen.Here's Kim back in the kitchen creating some fresh Yummy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casseroles.  She very adamant on using only the absolute freshest ingredients, like taking the broccoli right off the stalk. It would be less expensive and a whole lot easier to use frozen broccoli.  After all, it takes a lot of effort and time chopping up all that fresh broccoli.  But it doesn't taste as good, you can tell a slight difference.  And Kim wants that "WOW" factor with all of her food.  Now what we can't show you in the picture is Kim working on a new recipe.  It's all top secret until it's perfected, before she'll be comfortable making samples to hand out.  That's how we got started.  Kim would work on a recipe in our kitchen at home.  Sometimes it would take several tries before she created something that pleased her.  Then she would make several samples that I would hand out to my customers.  We'd follow up with a phone call a couple of days later and see what people thought.  I'll give you a hint about this new recipe though, it's something sweet.

Kim's back in her kitchen after Christmas break, ready to make fresh casseroles. December 28, 2015 17:05

After taking a well-deserved vacation during Christmas, Kimberly returns back to the kitchen to resume her Kim's back in her kitchen creating fresh casseroles.work creating fresh casseroles.  One thing is certain, next year we will have to plan on making many more large casseroles for the holidays, as we sold out a couple of days before Christmas Eve.  One customer in particular visited our pickup location at 400 Salem Drive and bought all of the Large Holiday Chicken & Dressing Casseroles we had.  I suspect that they planned on giving them as gifts.  We also sold more Gift Cards than we had expected.  One doctor purchased a gift card for everyone in their office, which was a very generous gift.  Considering we’ve been open for business a little over a month, we feel like everything went very well.  While we were gone, we were fortunate to visit a caterer out of state who also creates fresh casseroles.  They were very helpful about showing us around and sharing ideas with us.  We were pleased to see that there were a lot of similarities between how they were set up and Kim's business model.  It’s nice to go away awhile for vacation, but within a short time we really start to miss our modest farm house in Western Daviess County.  Kim and I agree that we’ll live here for the rest of our lives.


What's an assembly line of casseroles look like? December 15, 2015 17:54


The assembly line of casseroles shows a work in progress, a labor of love.It's a labor of love, no doubt.  Here's what it looks like when Kim has production at full throttle.  We're looking at the Godfather Baked Ziti in progress.  In the foreground we see the sauce with sweet Italian sausage blended in over-top the ziti noodles that just came out of the pot.  It's hard to see, but there are two kinds of Italian cheese that's been grated by hand between the sauce and ziti. All of these portions are carefully measured and weighed by hand to ensure each and every casserole has the exact same delicious taste.  The next step here is for Kim to mix everything together inside the square pan and top it with cheese.  On this particular day, Kim made 29 casseroles, but not without the help of Mary Fogle.  The two are pictured here.  Without Mary's help, it would be very difficult for Kim to produce at this rate.   

Some of these casseroles will be immediately frozen in an industrial sized walk in freezer there at the kitchen.  The reason for this is because some of our customers want to purchase them frozen, and when they thaw, we want them to be absolutely as fresh as possible.  Others will be transported to Salem Drive, available for people to order online, or just walk in off the street and purchase.  We try to keep a good selection of casseroles available there.


Major catastrophe averted after sudden power outage! December 13, 2015 14:45

Things could have gotten real ugly on Saturday.  Kim had sold out of all her casseroles that afternoon, except for a generous amount of frozen ones.  Someone had just purchased a large frozen Cheesylicious Chicken, Godfather Baked Ziti, Yummy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice and Holiday Chicken Dressing Casserole for the week of Christmas.  We were just about ready to close shop when the lights started to flicker wildly, and we lost power.  I poked my head outside and a bystander in the street says “You might as well close down for the day, there’s a transformer that just blew up.”  I’m thinking to myself if it’s just a transformer, Kenergy would have that repaired in an hour.  Casseroles in a freezer will be fine unless someone opens the door and fails to close it.  No one will be there, so we’ll be okay.

We close up the shop and are heading for the East side of town when we see firetrucks and firefighters hosing down the electrical substation that’s engulfed with flames on Veach Road.

Kim and I decided that instead of risking a long term power outage that might spoil her food, we would load up everything and transport it to the walk in refrigeration at the kitchen. We were told later that day the outage lasted about an hour, which really surprised me.  I guess it wasn’t as serious as it looked.  We transported everything back the following day.  Got me to thinking, maybe I need to install something that will notify me if there’s a power outage.  Otherwise, since we live way out in the county, we might be oblivious to Kim’s Casseroles being without power.

Kim carrying frozen casseroles to her vehicle to be whisked off the the kitchen.

Kim Fogle whisking away her casseroles to the kitchen.


Kim in the kitchen making another delicious casserole. December 11, 2015 07:22

Here’s Kim in the kitchen breaking apart some pasta to be boiled.  It’s one of the ingredients for what has turned out to be the most popular casserole, the Cheesylicious Chicken Casserole.  When Kim first started out, she would make two or three a day.  Now with a little experience under her belt, it’s nothing for her to create ten to twelve, if not more when she has the help of Mary. Things have gone well so far, and we both feel very blessed.  There have been a few wrinkles to iron out.  Initially some of our customers were having a difficult time with the website, so we’ve made some changes that we believe will make the ordering process much easier.  When you visit the website the first thing you’ll see is the menu.   

Kim Fogle


Adding additional equipment due to a change in concept. December 07, 2015 19:06

Right before we launched Kim's new business, we went out and purchased a couple of refrigerators for the freshly created food.  The original concept was Kim would make the food during the day that people had ordered the previous dayOne of the new refrigerators to store Kim's Casseroles , and then on her way home, she would stop by 400 Salem Drive and unload everything into the refrigerators. People could then stop by the Salem Drive location and pick up their order.  What we quickly found was a large percentage of our customers wanted to just stop by and ask "so what do you have today"?  So Kim started to make an assortment of what was on then menu and have it available for people to buy as they wanted it.  Then we discovered that many people that stopped by randomly, might not have intent of baking their casseroles for a few days.  Of course, since Kim uses absolutely the freshest ingredients, we recommend that the casserole be baked the day you pick it up or the next.  So the frozen option presented itself.  But we just purchased two refrigerators.  There's not much freezer space.  We decided to surrender our stand up freezer from home. Besides, we were not utilizing all of the space.  I went out and rented a refrigerator dolly for a weekend, and of course, the forecast was for rain.  The whole weekend. And rain it did.Ole' Blue hauling the freezer from our home.  Nevertheless, we removed the door off of the freezer, removed the door off of the house, and wrapped it up with a tarp.  Onto the trailer it went, in a cold November shower.  You'll see the freezer door face up on the trailer.  That's Ole' Blue, our work truck pulling the trailer.  An antique.  A 1988 GMC with over 160,000 miles.  It made it to Salem unscathed and we started to offer casseroles already frozen, and it's caught on surprisingly well.  For example, today someone purchased a Cheesylicious Chicken Casserole to bake tonight and a Yummy Broccoli & Rice frozen for next week.  It just goes to show that we (as people) think we're in control and have it all figured out, when the truth is our Heavenly Father is in control, and sometimes has different plans.  It ought to be interesting to see what other changes in our original concept are going to occur.  In the end, it will all work out.    

Kim's first casserole purchased within an hour after launch. December 06, 2015 17:09

Here’s Kim standing in front of her new sign. She’s holding the first casserole, The Godfather Baked Ziti,  ordered about an hour after launching the new business on November 11th.  We want to start out slow and easy to make certain we’re able to produce the absolute best food possible.  So far, the reviews have been astounding.  We feel so blessed that everyone that tries our food loves it!  We still feel like we need to make some tweaks and adjustments to our business model before we start to “throttle up” the promoting of Kim's Casseroles.

At first we were a little afraid that the business would metaphorically “explode” the first few days.  Kind of like when there’s a new restaurant in town, and when it opens everyone wants to try it out.  But thankfully, that wasn’t the case.  What we’re hoping for is a nice, slow steady growth.

Here's the menu.  The Cheesylicious Chicken, The Godfather Baked Ziti, The Delectable Chicken Florentine, The Chicken, Broccoli & Rice, The Midwestern Breakfast, and The Holiday Chicken and Dressing

 

Kim Fogle


Another very satisfied crowd, lots of positive feedback. December 05, 2015 11:14

Here are some casserole muffins that just made their appearance from the oven with the assistance on Kim Fogle (right) and Mary Fogle (left). Six are a just the muffin variant of Kim's Breakfast Casserole and the remaining six are a spinach and egg casserole. The pan to the right is a delectable cinnamon roll casserole (yum!) all lovingly prepared for a crowd of about 20. Great reviews were received from all.

Funny thing about the kitchen, there’s all of this super modern equipment.  For example, there’s a tall convectional oven that has several shelves inside it.  But Kim prefers to use the old fashion gas stove you see in this picture.  I suppose ultimately it’s up to the cook, and the food turns out amazing!

 

Kim's first week in new kitchen. Countdown to launch. December 04, 2015 13:15

This is Kim's first week in her new kitchen.  She has acclimated to her new surrounds, gathered necessary needed supplies and perfected even more recipes.  We handed out another batch of samples and received more positive feedback.  The new business cards came in, and we're very pleased with the design (thanks Craig O'Bryan).  We're hoping to do a "soft launch" on Veteran's Day, allowing a limited number of people access to the site for ordering.

In the meantime, the pick-up point for Kim’s Casseroles at 400 Salem Drive is beginning to take shape.  Walls have been painted, new trim installed and new carpet.  We’ve ordered some signs, one to be attached to the building and another that will be close to the street.  Kim wanted it room where the customers enter to have a 40’s kitchen feel, so we’re planning that out.  So far there’s a kitchen table and a 1930’s Hoosier cabinet that my Dad refurbished is on the way.

Kim & David Fogle

 


Family is our foundation. December 02, 2015 19:18

Marion Cecil (Left) and Lewis Mattingly (Right)

The foundation that Kim has built her business upon consist greatly of rural and spiritual principles one typically wouldn’t find in the fast food world we live in today, like honoring your Mother & Father. Or more specifically in this case, our elders. Kimberly and I visit with my Grandad, Marion Cecil, every week at the Carmel Home in Owensboro.  We feel that it’s good to get him out of the building, so every chance we get we wheel him around the park adjacent to the Carmel Home.  Frequently, his best friend Lewis Mattingly will joins us.  Kimberly will give Lewis a peck on the cheek and he always says “thank you”.  What a privilege it’s been to spend this time with him, hear all of the stories and gain some wisdom along the way.  Marion is 92 years young.

My Grandmother, Maxine Cecil, passed down the Cheesylicious Chicken Casserole recipe. She likely got it from the Daviess County Homemakers Association years ago.  Grandmother has since then joined our Heavenly Father, but we still enjoy her recipe and feel that it’s a privilege to share it with you.  I grew up with it.  Mom would fix one in advance and freeze it.  When she knew we were going to have a busy night, she would take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator in the morning before we left for school.  She would bake it that evening, and my sisters and I would enjoy whatever was left over for the next couple of days.


Community Coffee, our debut. November 29, 2015 17:04

We were not even ready to launch Kim’s new business when we were asked to cater an event.  When we were in the beginning stages of conceptualizing Kim’s Casseroles, we really hadn’t thought we would include catering at all, however this was for our good friend Aubrey Nehring and a great cause, Community Coffee.  This is where non-profit organizations meet for breakfast and exchange ideas and resources.  What a privilege to be given the opportunity!

Overall, things went very well.  We received some valuable feedback, and we both felt that it was a great learning experience.  Prior to this event, Kimberly had already invested a great amount of time creating samples that we passed out to many of my clients, friends and family to receive feedback and develop the absolute best tasting food possible.  We felt confident about it going in.  Nevertheless, there was a little nervousness on Kimberly’s part when people started to arrive.  One of the casseroles we served was the The Breakfast Casserole.

Of course we couldn’t have done it without the help of my Mom, Mary Fogle, who met us there at 5 A.M. and stayed with us until everything was cleaned up and done.

Ultimately Kimberly and I felt that it was such a blessing and look forward to doing it again.

Mary, David and Kimberly Fogle