When Carly McHenry worked at a full-time job, she found herself frustrated by the lack of affordable and healthy lunch options near her office. She tried prepping a week's worth of lunches on Sunday, but found that the food-especially her salads-wouldn't stay fresh the whole week. After experimenting with various storage containers, "Car" started layering her ingredients carefully in glass Mason jars. The single-serving salads stayed fresh for up to a week, and soon McHenry found herself making them for co-workers, friends and neighbors. As demand grew, she realized she could turn her idea into a salad delivery business, and Car's Jars was born.
"I grew up cooking with a very health-conscious family, and we always had salad at the dinner table," McHenry said. The San Diego native studied Exercise Physiology at Chico State before working as a Behavioral Interventionist in San Diego. "After three years of a very rewarding, yet challenging job, it was time for a change," she said. She started Cars Jars part-time in late 2013. The business grew quickly and became her full-time job in 2014. Just over two years after starting, McHenry has delivered over 20,000 salads.
Car's Jars is a hit with its busy, health-conscious customers. McHenry knows how challenging it can be to eat healthy while working full-time, caring for children and juggling other responsibilities. She's making it as easy as possible for anyone to eat simple, healthy and delicious meals. Customers can order their weekly Car's Jars online by midnight on Friday, and McHenry will deliver their fresh salads on Monday (there's a four-jar minimum for deliveries). Currently, the delivery service area is within a 17-mile radius of the Car's Jars' kitchen at 9888 Waples St., but McHenry plans to expand into other neighborhoods and offer pick-up locations and more frequent deliveries as the business grows.
The varieties of Car's Jars range from "Car's Southwest Cobb" to the Greek-inspired "CAR-thenon." "I love fresh, flavorful salads with lots of different ingredients," she said. "I always put a little twist on original recipes such as Greek or BBQ chicken salad and add ingredients to make the jar hearty and healthier." McHenry gets her produce locally from Specialty Produce and makes fresh vinaigrettes by hand with no added preservatives or sugars. Her personal favorite is the "CAR-bo San Lucas," a healthier twist on a taco salad with chipotle lime honey vinaigrette, taco-seasoned ground turkey, kidney beans, pico de gallo and spinach, topped with pepitas, jalapeños, cotija cheese and lemon.
"Car's Jars embodies the main great elements that life in San Diego has to offer: high quality, healthy, local and tasty," McHenry said. "My company was born from a simple idea, and to see it grow is priceless."
For more information on Car's Jars, visit carsjars.com.