From ice cream, fish sticks, TV dinners and more, our freezers are jam-packed with options. Chances are you'll also find a few Stouffer's lasagnas and French bread pizzas. Started in the 1920s as a downtown Cleveland milk counter and then a restaurant, Stouffer's has grown into one of the country's largest frozen food brands by offering takeaway meals to its customers in the 1950s. "Women were starting to work out of the home more frequently," says Tom Moe, director of marketing at Stouffer's. "There was a greater demand for these frozen food meals." That sentiment hasn't changed today, with more local companies providing easy options for our enjoyment. Here are four local picks you'll find in our carts this month.
Owners Josef Bomback and Debby Krejsa started the artisan ice cream shop — full of fun flavors such as Tahitian Honey Vanilla Bean and Righteous Rootbeer — in Oberlin in 2011. Look for five of its most popular options such as caramel salt and toasted coconut at Whole Foods Market, Heinen's, Acme Fresh Market, Buehler's and Dave's Market. Try this: Smooth and creamy, Salt and 'Scotch, blends sea salt and a rich butterscotch sauce for a tasty twist on the salted caramel trend.
Ohio City Pasta
What started with owner Gary Thomas as a one-man operation in 1990 has grown to a company that rolls all kinds of shapes, sizes and flavors of spaghetti, fettuccine and raviolis. While local stores such as Heinen's, Giant Eagle and Rego Bros. carry its fresh pasta, you can also score frozen seasonal offerings such as spinach and cheese ravioli. Try this: A quick dinner option, the cremini and fontina ravioli are stuffed with an earthy and nutty filling.
Orlando Baking Co.
In 1904, Vincenzo and Giuseppe Orlando left their father's baking company in Italy to open their own in Cleveland. They began delivering pasta and bread by horse and buggy before buying their first of a long line of trucks in 1912. You can grab their five frozen options, including garlic Texas toast or ciabatta dough, at Dave's Market, Discount Drug Mart, Heinen's, Marc's and Zagara's. Try this: The savory pepperoni rolls — made with gooey mozzarella cheese and Italian herbs — are a recent addition to Orlando's lineup and a cinch to prepare in a hurry.
After Vernon and Gordon Stouffer expanded their parents' milk counter into a series of restaurants, guests began asking for go-to versions of meals such as their mother's deep-dish apple pie. With more than 100 frozen options, you can grab its classic Salisbury steak and others at almost any grocery store, including Heinen's, Acme Fresh Market, Buehler's, Dave's Market and Giant Eagle. Try this: The macaroni and cheese, a forkful of comfort with its creamy Cheddar cheese sauce, is one of the company's most popular selections.