Rice and simple

Rice and simple

Jennifer Lee

Photo by: SPECIAL

A late-night run to a Taiwanese grocery store in 2005 inspired Jennifer Lee (MAcc ’86) to create Rice & Simple meals. She wanted something light and spotted a microwaveable Japanese rice dish among the frozen foods.

“The first bite hit me,” Lee says. “It was so surprising. It tasted like fresh cooked rice.” She quit her job at IBM in Taiwan and moved back to the U.S. to start her new business, Gabby’s Choice.

The meals are made from Jasmine or brown rice, with soy, shiitake mushroom and teriyaki sauces. At $2.49 each, the meals are targeted to college students.

“I wish I had something like this when I was in college,” Lee says. “They’re easy to make, and they’re healthier than Ramen noodles.”

So far, consumer response has been favorable. Lee recalls a note she got from a woman with an inoperable stomach tumor who said that though her diet was limited, she could eat the Rice & Simple meals and enjoyed them.

“That really touched me,” Lee says.

Rice & Simple meals are available at Kroger stores and online, and Gabby’s Choice hopes to have them in other stores soon.