Sophie Bolich

Miltown Eats Moving to Walker’s Point

The local meal kit delivery service has been operating out of a temporary space in Waukesha, but will soon return to Milwaukee.

By - Apr 7th, 2023 04:50 pm
Site of future Miltown Eats, 1554 W. Bruce St. Photo taken April 5, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of future Miltown Eats, 1554 W. Bruce St. Photo taken April 5, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Miltown Eats has quietly operated for four years, delivering local and sustainable meal kits to families throughout Milwaukee. Now, under new ownership and approaching an upcoming move, the company is poised for major change.

Since its 2019 inception, Miltown Eats has attempted to break the mold of mainstream meal kits — which are often costly, rarely seasonal, and heavily rely on single-use plastic. Founded by Wisconsinites Jonathan Marrone and Yulia Koltun, the company did just that — providing all the components for homecooked meals, pre-portioned and delivered in reusable totes.

The Milwaukee business was modeled after Marrone’s initial concept, Isthmus Eats, which continues to operate in Madison today.

Miltown Eats originally operated out of a commercial kitchen space in Riverwest. But when the landlord abruptly sold the building, Miltown and a host of other food-related businesses were left scrambling for kitchen space.

At that point, Marrone and Koltun, who were stretched thin with other endeavors, made the difficult decision to sell the company to long-time manager, Heidi Hagen.

While a little daunting, the decision to take over the company was an obvious choice, according to Hagen. “I just really love the business,” she said. “It’s everything I stand for.”

In the coming months, Hagen plans to move the business from its temporary home in Waukesha, back to Milwaukee. More specifically, a former firehouse building at 1554 W. Bruce St., in Walker’s Point.

The 5,720-square-foot building, originally built in 1889, does contain a kitchen, but it needs some work, Hagen said.

“It was pretty run down,” said Hagen, who explained that the previous owner mostly used the building for storage purposes. “So it’s been a lot of work.”

The existing kitchen has some ventilation in place, she added, but it’s badly neglected. Hagen is now in the process of renovating the space, adding new equipment and restoring the structure where possible. While she hopes to eventually have a functioning commercial kitchen, she said it’s not pressing, due to the nature of the business.

“We don’t necessarily need a kitchen because we just do the kit,” she said. “We send out everything to be cooked.”

Hagen expects to complete the move within a month or two. Once she’s up and running at the new location, she plans to expand the menu to feature up to 10 kits with a greater emphasis on vegetarian and vegan options. Miltown currently offers four kits — two vegetarian and two meat.

The company would also expand its heat and eat kits, created in partnership with Austin Vetter of Freshchef Meal Prep. No assembly is required for the pre-made meals, which are ready to eat after a few minutes in the microwave or oven.

Hagen said she hopes to ramp up local sourcing, drawing from a robust vendor scene in the Milwaukee area — including Peanut Butter and Jelly Deli in West Allis.

“We’re so lucky to have so many different vendors for all kinds of things,” she said. “As I’m starting to create recipes, I’m looking around and I didn’t even know there was someone making peanut butter. And it’s honestly the best peanut butter I’ve ever tasted in my life.”

The company will also continue with its low-waste mission. Currently, Miltown delivers its kits in tote bags lined with ice packs. Each week, Hagen retrieves the 300 or so totes and ice packs to clean and reuse.

“That’s another thing I really want to emphasize, is just trying to eliminate as much waste and packaging as possible,” she said.

Miltown’s meal kits are available in two-serving or four-serving kits. The company also offers ingredients and other local goods in its online marketplace, which can be added into a weekly order.

For more information, or to make an order, visit Miltown Eats online.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us