Based in Reno, culinary entrepreneur ‘Keeps it Paleo’
Chef and CrossFit enthusiast Nick Massie works with his team of culinary ninjas, as he calls them, to produce Paleo microwavable Ice Age Meals, which are delivered to homes across the country.
“There is no product on the market that is nutritiously as sound as ours,” Massie said.
All of the meals are made in small batches at their Reno facility located at 4782 Caughlin Pkwy, Suite 503 to ensure the best taste. But as the company has grown, so has the need for more freezer space.
Massie found a nearly 4,000-square-foot building with a 2,000-square-foot freezer space that would enable him to continue to grow his business. The building is on 1-acre of land at 13945 Mount Bismark St. in Reno and was formerly used by Kraft Foods to store DiGiorno pizzas. He called Tom Miller, owner and broker of Miller Industrial Properties, to look into acquiring the property.
However, a lack of financing hindered Massie’s ability to purchase the building in a traditional manner. This lead to a creative business deal.
Miller arranged for Massie and the sellers to meet in person so Massie could pitch his business in a “Shark Tank” style meeting. Massie brought each of the sellers a 12-pack of Ice Age Meals for to them to see and try.
Massie was more than ready for this challenge. He had been preparing to pitch his business on the real ABC TV show “Shark Tank.” The episode featuring Massie aired on Friday, Sept. 30. According to a blog posted on the company’s website before the episode aired, they expect the number of orders and interest in the Paleo meals to greatly increase as a result of the TV exposure.
After tasting the Ice Age Meals, the sellers liked the product and decided to go ahead and help Massie with financing to buy the building.
“(Miller) said that it was the most interesting deal he has ever done,” Massie said.
Massie purchased the building for $750,000. The new freezer space is nearly 13 times bigger than the freezer space at their Cuaghlin location. With the new space, they can now make 5,000 meals per day. Massie put in a wall to divide the freezer space to be more energy efficient and also gives them room to grow into the space in the future. He plans to add a new kitchen and a gym to the new space.
Ice Age Meals offers frozen Paleo foods such as butternut squash lasagna, grass fed tri-tip with yams, Mexican meatballs with calabacitas and more. They currently have 13 different menu items and plan to continue to add additional meals.
Massie has more than 20 years of culinary experience. He attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and studied culinary arts and electronic business management. He worked for a number of restaurants and also previously worked as a private chef for cyclist Lance Armstrong.
In 2008, while working for Armstrong, he was introduced to CrossFit. Since then, he has opened several CrossFit gyms and launched a website called Paleo Nick where his signature tagline is “Keep it Paleo.” The website features step-by-step videos with recipes for Paleo dishes. He also provides food at The CrossFit Games with his Paleo Nick food booth.
The business currently has 15 employees and an additional 15 contracted employees. His current location at Caughlin Parkway also includes a small grocery store where the public can purchase Ice Age Meals directly.
“We have had no artificial growth,” Massie said. “It is all organic growth.”
According to Massie, he eventually would like to purchase a 39-acre property in Verdi in order to grow the business to a large-scale operation. His 30-year goal is to be able to make 1 million Ice Age Meals per day.
For more information on Ice Age Meals, visit http://www.iceagemeals.net.
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IGT’s decision to list its 1.2 million sq. ft. campus for lease this month and the recent $3.8 million sale of Harley Davidson’s 3-story financial services building in Carson City are the latest examples of companies no longer needing larger-scale office properties to maintain productivity levels and meet customer needs.