Tabatha Henderson and her husband John have shared a love of food for years.
In her circle of family and friends, Tabatha would often be asked to make meals, whether that be for the holidays or just a family that needed a bit of help in the kitchen.
“I was doing it, I guess you could say, as a hobby,” she said.
When Covid-19 hit last year, she said the request for meals increased from family members and friends who were struggling to balance the new work from home life or from older couples who were too high risk to go out to the store to buy food.
Seeing the demand as well as how much she enjoyed doing it, Tabatha said it was actually her daughter who encouraged her to turn her hobby into a business.
“It was almost like fate,” she said.
“My children had been saying for years, ‘Just throw a (Facebook) page out there. Just do it and see.’ And we went back and forth. I would start a page then delete it, start a page then delete and then one night (my daughter) was getting ready to walk out the door and just pulled out her phone and was just like ‘There, you are now Tab’s Table’ and I said ‘OK.’”
Since starting in January, the Tabs Table Facebook page has gained nearly 750 followers.
Tabatha said they’ve also grown to the point that her husband John, who worked as a chef as Tamarack for more than 20 years, quit his job a few weeks ago to help with their new business.
“We work so well together,” she said. “I mean it’s work, but it doesn’t feel like a job.”
Tabs Table is essentially a meal prep service designed to simply ease dreaded tasks like prepping, cooking and cleanup.
For those new to Tabs Table, a sample menu is available on its Facebook page with several options for every meal of the day from mini waffles and a fruit parfait for breakfast to an Italian wrap for lunch or a chicken fajita pan for dinner.
Whether people are looking to feed a family of four for a week or just looking for a single meal for one day of the week, meals can be ordered by calling or texting their number 304-860-0569.
Meals are placed a week in advance and can range in price from $8-14 for a single meal to $45 for a dinner for four.
Meals can then be delivered, for a small delivery fee, or picked up at Athena Farm & Vineyard, which is being used as the base of operations for the business, as the couple also serves as caterers for weddings held there.
Tabatha said they prepare food out of the kitchen for Tabs Table Sunday through Wednesday and spend the remainder of the week prepping food for weddings.
“We love it, and just look at this scenery,” Henderson said of the Athena Farm surroundings. “Is it not perfect? We look out the kitchen window when we do dishes and it’s just so peaceful.”
The couple applies this same kind of free attitude toward their menu.
Although Tabatha said people are invited to order from the posted menu, she said she and John also welcome requests of all kinds.
“Just the other day a lady requested a (McDonalds) Big Mac salad, which is just a Big Mac without the bun,” John said, as Tabatha added a Facebook photo of the salad which generated further order requests for it.
The couple said the inspiration for the majority of their meals comes from their customers.
She said they have customers who are diabetic or want low-carb or keto options or have certain allergies and they work with them all to plan out the best menu for them.
“A lot of our customers create their own menus,” John said.
“We are not dietitians,” Tabatha added, “but we do what we can. If they don’t want regular noodles, then we give them vegetable noodles. We just try to make them happy and make it easier for them when they get home or are on-the-go.”
Helping customers is what Tabatha said the business is all about, as she mentioned a recent customer from Florida purchased food for a week after hearing about Tabs Table.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “It feels really nice to know that people do enjoy our cooking and that we are somewhat making their daily or weekly life easier with some meals.”
In addition to selling full meals, Tabatha said they are also selling a few of their fan-favorite items at local restaurants.
One of their most in-demand items, their chicken salad, as well as barbecue and coleslaw are available at Hebrews Coffee Company on Robert C. Byrd Drive.
Tabatha said she is humbled by the amount of support she has been shown as well as all the positive feedback from happy customers.
“There is not a lot of selection in this area and people get tired of fast food and they want something new, or they want something different and we try to give them that,” she said.
For more information about Tabs Table go to www.facebook.com/groups/ 132649155267745.