Jess Williamson, owner of Cream City Casseroles, started the program after several customers asked about purchasing casseroles to donate to people in need.
"Within the span of one week, two separate customers asked if they could buy meals to be donated. Neither had a specific nonprofit in mind - they just knew they wanted to provide a hot, wholesome meal to someone in need. So, I called a Milwaukee-area domestic abuse shelter and asked if they could use donated casseroles. They were absolutely delighted at the prospect," Williamson said.
From celebrating new babies to helping a family cope with an illness, injury or loss, between 30 and 50 percent of Williamson's customers buy her casseroles as gifts.
"It's one thing to donate money, but it's very different knowing you're feeding someone," Williamson said.
The recipient organization will change quarter, and customers are invited to nominate a nonprofit for casserole donation.
Customers can choose among several generous, family-sized casseroles at two sizes. The regular feeds between four and six people. The large feeds at least six to eight.
The casseroles, which include a shepherd's pie, a pizza casserole and a baked spaghetti, are all family recipes or ones that Williamson adapted.
Williamson rents kitchen space from LilyWorks at Easter Seals in Waukesha. The kitchen, which is a licensed facility used for various training classes and catering events, allows her to cook in large batches on commercial-grade equipment.
Customers order and pay online at creamcitycasseroles.com by midnight on Saturday for delivery the following Wednesday. Williamson delivers to residential places and customers' workplaces or daycares.
In addition to the casseroles, which range in price between $24 and $36, customers can order a salad, brownies or rice pudding.
The meals are delivered fully cooked, cold and in oven-safe containers with heating instructions and an ingredient list. They freeze well, too.
For more information or to place an order, visit creamcitycasseroles.com.