Stephanie Daniels, Editor in Chief
In the wake of social media, every facet of entrepreneurship has taken to its platforms to drive visions of success and craft. For local St. Louis chef and entrepreneur Amelia Stubblefield, that journey is no different.
Her love for food began back when she attended Clayton High School. While there, she not only discovered but sharpened her skills as a chef. And as her skillset grew, so did her accolades and experiences, affording her opportunities such as competing in the role of Clayton’s first Culinary Captain at L’ecole Culinaire and Pro Start Competitions. After graduating high school, she went on to complete her bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in business management, placing her talent for cooking on the back burn, er. Though, after graduating and settling into her industry, her burning passion for cooking resurfaced, giving way to her new budding business, Meals With Milli.
Stubblefield started Meals With Milli back in February of this year. “People always say there’s nothing to do,” said Stubblefield. In its birth, its purpose was to get the word out on local events and things to do around St. Louis, particularly food related. But as she began to cook more for herself and hone her skills in the kitchen, she used Instagram to showcase the meals she was preparing for herself. And that’s when things began to change.
It didn’t take long for her follower’s interest to be piqued when she began to post photos of her beautifully garnished, mouth-watering symphonies of goodness on her instagram story; “I just found your page thanks to one of your followers, but I wanted to say your food looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it!” Soon after, she called to close friends to give her food a try, with overwhelming responses affirming that her food was just as good as she thought it was. Following, Meals With Milli birthed a new and unexpected path.
Presently, Stubblefield takes on small events, as well as delivery of single plates for her excited new customers. And deeply rooted in her value system, is their experience. “I try to bring home to my meals. I try to bring a certain level of comfort when it comes to my customer and what I provide,” said Stubblefield. She recognizes the lives of the customers she serves, from single moms, to young college students, to professionals on the go, and appreciates their lifestyles and the need for quality and affordable meals. She also is aware of the industry with which she is a part of, and being in the shoes of a consumer herself before starting her business, she’s gained insight on their needs. “ This was another reason why I started this, a lot of places I go to give me enough [food] for one meal, but I’m paying the amount of money that I could go out to the store myself and make this whole meal, but have leftovers,” stated Stubblefield. Recognizing how important value is to her customer, she ensures that when fulfilling her orders, that she makes enough so that her customers more than likely have enough for two meals.
Now, one may ask, what makes Meal With Milli the experience that it is? One answer to that is the fact that all of her meals are made from scratch, “When you know me, you know my brand,” even down to her sauces she uses. You’ll never pay for anything out of a can. Another answer might be the fact that she is constantly reinventing her creations, fusing flavors like soul food and asian in her popular soul-food egg roll. And customers are nothing short of fans.
“Sooooo goooood, it was nice to have some home cooked food when I get off! Was even good after I heated it back up, and I drizzled the sauce on it,”said one customer.
Her customers also enjoy the convenience of having their food delivered to them, a convenience that many of her on the go customers can appreciate.
When asked about her journey thus far as an entrepreneur and chef, Stubblefield shares stories of growth and discovery. But her path hasn’t been free of challenge, challenge we’ve all faced. “My biggest challenge is personal self doubt, “ said Stubblefield. But through discovering her undeniable talent and navigating her challenges, she’s able to offer up the advice of never giving up, and to go for it. “ Doing something, what’s the worst case scenario you can get? You either succeed or you fail. If you fail, you still have a lesson to learn from it.”
Stubblefield has nothing but high hopes and courageous dreams for the future. She continues to push the boundaries of food through her consistent pursuit of sharpening her skills as a chef and her relentless customer focus. If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that you will definitely hear of her again. You can view the menus she posts weekly on her instagram page @mealswithmilli, with menu items ranging from 10-20 dollars with the option of delivery. Whether you have a small office lunch to cater, can’t decide what you want to eat, don’t have time to cook for your family, or want to grab fresh homemade food for you and your friends, Meals With Milli is sure to tantalize your taste buds and your wallet.