FLINT, Michigan — For foodies looking for salad that can double as a two-day meal, there is a new stall at the Flint Farmers Market that fits the bill and is easy on the waistline. Tee’s Plentiful Salads is the brainchild of southside resident Tammie Mathis. A lifelong chef and graduate of Mott’s Culinary Program in 2005, Mathis had dreamed of starting her own business for years.
“I have always liked salads because there are so many different and creative ways you can make them,” she said. Her smile contagious as she leans in like you’re about to get the latest gossip. “The varieties are my specialty, that goes from pasta, craft, to meat and taco salads. To give you and idea, we offer 65 different salads here and we make certain dressings from scratch,” she said. “I just want to make sure that people get a salad that is loaded.”
There are even dessert salads. “I think people will be surprised because we offer all kinds of stuff.”
Located just off the large atrium in the Flint Farmers’ Market, Tee’s Plentiful Salads started as Mathis’s brainchild. “I was visiting the market one day and I think I just saw a niche for myself. There was plenty of good food, but not the kinds of salads that I like to make — a salad that’s loaded, that can serve as a whole meal,” she said.
For those who may have doubts or questions the idea of a “loaded salad,” Mathis challenges people to think about greens in a bowl differently. “This is not your ordinary rabbit food,” a familiar glint and laugh rolls across her face. “We offer steak, chicken, shrimp, a whole world of vegetables. And, for those who don’t think it’s for them, my answer is anything you can put on a bun you can put in a salad.”
A Flint Northern graduate, Mathis had already worked every aspect of the culinary industry before opening Tee’s Plentiful Salads. This is a dream come true, she says. “I’m not a really wealthy person, so I thought this space would be a nice start. I couldn’t get a building or anything like that yet, but at least there is a place where people can find me,” she said.
Since opening her business in mid-June, Mathis says the feedback has been overwhelming. “We’ve just been growing in demand — which is good problem to have,” she says, laughing and whispering over her hand. The feedback? “These are two-day salads. They can’t finish them in one sitting.” And, then they want to know when she will start making the salads to-order, an expansion that Mathis said is coming, “but I’ll need to hire some more help before I’m able to start doing that.”
The signature salads are Mathis’s Steakhouse Salad, Crispy Chicken Salad, and Spiçy Chicken Salad with roasted red peppers and homemade ranch dressing. Salads cost about $8, with smaller portions of pasta or chicken salad selling for $5. Tee’s also offers catering for special events.
“In the beginning, I doubted myself so it was a struggle. But because of my faith, my family and my friends, I was able to make this happen so I really couldn’t have done this anywhere else,” she says.
The Flint Farmers’ Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For more information, check out Tee’s Plentiful Salads Facebook page