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Posted on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arborite launches prepared foods CSA with weekly meal deliveries

By Lizzy Alfs


An heirloom tomato tart, prepared by Sara Konigsberg of Ann Arbor's Fireweed Kitchen.

Courtesy photo

Lifelong Ann Arborite Sara Konigsberg took a leap of faith when she left her job with the University of Michigan health system to launch her new venture, Fireweed Kitchen.

Six months after the move, Konigsberg said her prepared foods CSA (community-supported agriculture) is stable and ready to grow.

“I feel like I’ve opened up a creative aspect of my life that was hiding,” she said. “It has been a great move.”


Fireweed Kitchen owner Sara Konigsberg, pictured in the Union Hall Kitchen with strawberries she picked at Rowe's Produce Farm in Belleville.

Courtesy photo

Each week, Fireweed Kitchen uses local, in-season produce to create a menu of main courses, soups, salads and baked goods. Members can sign up for eight-week terms, and a meal is delivered to their doorstep every Wednesday.

“On Saturdays, I head down to the farmers market and try to find whatever looks the best to me that day,” Konigsberg explained. “I cook on Monday and Tuesday, and deliver the meals on Wednesday.”

Konigsberg cooks in the Union Hall Kitchen in downtown Ann Arbor, shared with the vendors at Mark’s Carts. She said each Fireweed Kitchen meal — which costs $35 — is enough to serve two people with some leftovers.

“My design, my hope, is that it’s a replacement for going and picking up Chinese food, or going to Plum Market and getting food out of the deli cases,” she said.

“I really think people just appreciate not having to think about what’s going to be for dinner on Wednesday. It just shows up at your door and it’s ready to go,” she continued.

Most of the food from Fireweed Kitchen is vegetarian, but some dishes will have meat or fish. Members can customize their meals to be strictly vegetarian.

Konigsberg said she doesn’t necessarily cook “low-calorie” or “non-fat,” but she tries to make her meals as organic as possible with a heavy dose of fresh, local produce.


Blueberry Buckle from Fireweed Kitchen, prepared using locally sourced blueberries.

Courtesy photo

A recent meal included a roasted asparagus sandwich using local asparagus, Zingerman’s sourdough bread, spicy mayonnaise, raisins, feta cheese and scallions.

The menu from the week of July 10 included: spinach, mushroom and feta strudel; golden cheddar soup with summer squash; quinoa tabouleh; ginger scones with homemade strawberry jam; and dill beans.

The menus also list where the ingredients are sourced.

“This all really goes back to my grandmother; she lived until she was a month shy of her 96th birthday, and her philosophy was that you ate things when they were in season. That is potentially how our bodies are structured to eat,” Konigsberg said. “Certainly, I also think people really feel strongly that they need to support their neighbors and local people.”

Fireweed Kitchen is delivering to 15 families, and Konigsberg said the goal is to grow her customer base. Once she gets established, she would consider delivering on a second day of the week.

“It’s a little tricky because of my limited space in (the Union Hall) kitchen,” Konigsberg said. “I don’t want to grow too rapidly and squeeze myself out.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

We LOVE Fireweed Kitchen! The meals are far tastier and more creative than take-out from places like Plum Market and Whole Foods. Sara's use of seasonal, local vegetables in abundance is a real treat and quite unlike most of the takeout/delivery options out there. Although the meals are advertised to serve 2 with some leftovers, my family of 4 (including a teenage boy) are often filled up by our share. My meat-and-potatoes spouse was skeptical, but Wednesdays has become his favorite meal of the week.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1 p.m.


Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

We read you loud and clear!


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 4:01 a.m.

sounds awesome! pursuing your dream and giving to the comunity in a variety of ways. Welcome in our neighborhood!


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

Good for you, may you have all the luck in the world! that tart looks delicious. good enough to lick my monitor. Not that I'm going to. really.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:01 p.m.

There's another similar business in Ypsilanti's Depot Town. Harvest Kitchen. Check it out.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

That's also how Juicy Kitchen got its start:


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Best of luck to her. And while the price is a little, well, pricey, I suspect the Union Hall charges Ms. Konigsberg plenty. She needs a kitchen already certified-inspected by the health authorities, of course, but plenty of those can be found in community centers that could use some money themselves.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

I really like that it's delivered, and that you don't have to pick it up at a predetermined location. That's what has kept me from joining a regular CSA up to now.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Seems like a great idea, but $35 for two will probably eliminate a lot of people. Still, folks in AA seem willing to pay Whole Food and Zingerman prices, so she might do well!

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

You also have to think about the quality of ingredients - sourcing locally can sometimes cost more, so I think that's reflected in the prices.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

Whole Foods and Zingerman's do a huge amount of business and so there are many folks for whom high quality at this price will be good news.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Ms Alfs, fwiw, prepared food CSAs seem to be a fast-growing local trend. It would be interesting to read an article about them generally. There are some interesting personal stories there too I think, and some good community involvement. I think there's a potential market for a prepared food CSA that offers simpler meals than the existing ones (which hit a high mark for quality) but is also a bit cheaper. I think there's a pretty big group of folks who could afford, and would love, to get something delivered that's a bit more interesting and local than Meals on Wheels, but cant' quite manage the costs of the existing prepared-food CSAs.

C'est la vie

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:11 a.m.

It's not linked to a CSA (that I know of), but meal delivery can also be had from a local business called What's Cooking.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Thanks for this suggestion, and I think you're right!

Jessica Webster

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

I have a friend who gets the Wednesday meals delivered. She brought one over and shared it with us recently - it was delicious!!


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

Congratulations on starting a great business. Wishing you all the success and growth you can stand.