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DSC00010.jpg The Connell Company
Parklife Meals features meal plans include balanced, low carb, gluten-free and vegetarian options to fit different lifestyles and preferences.

Workplace oriented prepared meal service debuts in New Jersey live-work-play campus

Parklife Meals enables The Park tenants and guests to enjoy dietician-approved, fully-prepared meals, that are available for pick-up and accessible for order via an app that provides full nutrition details.

The Connell Company has created Parklife Meals, which it terms the first workplace-oriented prepared meals service, at The Park, a 185-acre luxury live-work-play campus in Berkeley Heights, N.J., to fulfill the need for more healthy meal options that promote convenience and cater to employees’ health and fitness aspirations. Taking cues from popular prepared meal delivery services such as Sakara, Factor and Thistle, Parklife Meals enables The Park’s tenants and guests to enjoy chef-curated and dietician-approved, fully-prepared meals that are accessible for order via an app that provides full nutrition details and available for pick-up at the onsite Counter Market cafe.

Designed by celebrity chef Brian Bistrong of The Park’s Table & Banter hospitality group in collaboration with in-house registered dietitian Tara Tomaino, Parklife Meals is a ready-to-eat meals program designed to help office employees achieve their health and wellness goals

"Office workers are seeking ways to maintain the healthy habits they adopted while working from home over the past three years," said Connell Company Executive Vice President Shane Connell, the developer behind The Park. "During the pandemic, many professionals established health and fitness routines that included meal prepping, but this lifestyle became difficult to maintain after transitioning to an in-office schedule. With these challenges in mind, The Park’s culinary team was inspired to create the first dietician-approved prepared meals service available in an office setting, which enables guests to pick up top-quality meals at lunch or on their way home from work, eliminating the time and guesswork involved with meal planning and prepping."

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Connell Company Corporate Executive Chef and Culinary Program Director Brian Bistrong and n-house registered dietitian Tara Tomaino oversee all Parklife Meals recipes.

Parklife Meals features meal plans include balanced, low carb, gluten-free and vegetarian options to fit different lifestyles and preferences. The “balanced” category promotes an attainable approach to healthy eating, offering a significant portion of vegetables that comprises nearly half of the entrée, alongside three to five ounces of lean protein and a serving of hearty grains or starches. Each recipe is first crafted by The Park’s culinary team led by Bistrong and then analyzed and assessed by Tomaino.

"Parklife Meals illustrate that grab-and-go meals can be both healthy and satisfying," says Bistrong, who is The Park’s culinary director. "Under Tara's guidance, the Table & Banter team looked to the Blue Zones diet, a plan that emulates the eating habits of cultures in locations where people are generally believed to live the longest—think Costa Rica, Korea, Japan and Greece. Taking this predominantly plant-based approach into consideration, we created a variety of menu options that support a balanced lifestyle without sacrificing taste, quality or convenience."

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Parklife Meals are accessible for order via an app that provides full nutrition details.

Once packaged, the meals are marked with corresponding labels and QR codes that enable guests to easily view the meal’s ingredients and nutritional information. Menu items will rotate on a daily basis and feature creative dishes such as Grilled Chicken Casado (balanced), Kimchi Pancake with Grilled Tofu (vegetarian) and Lion's Mane Mushroom Steak (low carb). The program will launch as a grab-and-go concept in advance of a larger rollout that will feature a weekly pre-order model via The Park’s mobile app.

“Food is the cornerstone of The Park, a destination where an array of culinary offerings come together to help create a live-work-play setting that is simply unrivaled throughout the state,” says Stephen Kilroy, senior vice president of hospitality & marketing at The Connell Company. “The launch of this new meal program enables guests to bring our unparalleled food and beverage experiences home with them, while also supporting wellness-oriented lifestyles.”

In addition to Bistrong, The Park’s culinary team includes Director of Pastry & Baking Ashley Davis and Louis Bayla, executive chef of The Park’s Grain & Cane Bar & Table restaurant. Additional culinary offerings on the campus include an elevated food hall-style café providing hot and cold breakfast and lunch options, and RT Farm, a restaurant serving healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options to the members of Round Table Studios, The Park’s high-design co-working facility. Grain & Cane also operates a food truck.

The Connell Company has positioned The Park to help the campus’ businesses attract top-tier talent with high-end services and amenities. Tenants include companies such as L’Oreal, Fiserv, Bristol Myers, HP and Samsung, as well as a 176-room Embassy Suites hotel, the Grain & Cane Restaurant, a Starbucks, a Life Time Fitness, the FIELDHOUSE state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor walking and jogging trails, and Round Table Studios, a 40,000-sq.ft. co-working space that offers a curated selection of workstations, private offices and community spaces.

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