INDIANAPOLIS– Just a few short years ago, Stephanie Daily was still working full-time in digital marketing. But on the side, she was always her friends and-family’s go-to person when it came to requesting her famous lasagna at get-togethers.
For her, food is its own love language. On her website, she even compares lasagna to a hug that you can give someone, even if you aren’t in their presence. And that was exactly how Send a Friend Lasagna became a full-time operation back in November 2019.
Now, Daily is churning out thousands of pounds of the pasta in her new home kitchen at The Kitchen Corner in Beech Grove.
We met up with the lasagna queen herself to hear the heartwarming story of how her business came to life on this trip In Your Neighborhood.
The beauty of Stephanie Daily’s now bustling business is that it emerged from a heartfelt moment after one of her friend’s wives passed away.
“I was like, ‘I didn’t know what to do, so I brought you a lasagna,” she recalled.
Later, when she was explaining what she’d done, a family member pointed out the phrase “Send a Friend Lasagna” was pretty catchy.
“I was like, ‘That sounds kind of like a business name,” Daily said.
So, she made it official and Send a Friend Lasagna was born.
The homemade, ready to bake lasagna to-your door business started strong.
Then COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020 sent business through the roof.
“I remember saying I want to be 500 lasagnas when COVID was going on. And I did that by June,” said Daily. “I put 42,000 miles on my car the first year. It was crazy!”
Now, she makes about 120-140 pans of lasagna per month. Customers can choose from cheese and sauce lasagna, traditional meat and cheese, vegetable lasagna, gluten-free, and a cream-based gorgonzola lasagna with chicken, ham and sautéed mushrooms.
Plus, there’s the current seasonal offering.
“It’s the butternut squash with the chicken sausage and sautéed onions and it is so good,” Daily noted.
The lasagnas come in 9×13 inch pans right to your doorstep through touch-free delivery. Just pop it in the oven for 40 minutes and dinner is ready.
For more options, you can get a flight.
“You can pick three different kinds of lasagna that you might want to try,” she explained. “It just comes to you in those [smaller pans] and you can eat one and throw another in the freezer, whatever you want to do.”
Aside from individual orders, Daily also feeds big groups like school sports teams.
She also gives back to local domestic violence shelter, Coburn Place.
“When they have a new survivor that moves into their living facilities and I take them a lasagna and get it in the refrigerator,” Daily said. “So… when they move in their first night, they don’t have to worry about food or anything like that.”
Four Things You Need to Know About Send a Friend Lasagna:
- Send a Friend Lasagna got its start in November 2019 after Stephanie Daily decided to turn her beloved lasagna recipe—and the concept of giving a “hug” through food—into a business offering homemade ready-to-bake lasagna right to peoples’ doorsteps. The business started strong, but when COVID-19 shutdowns and quarantines took effect in March of 2020, the business skyrocketed in popularity.
- The touch-free delivery business offers a variety of lasagna options: meat and cheese, cheese and meat, vegetable lasagna, gorgonzola lasagna, gluten-free, and a seasonal butternut squash and chicken sausage lasagna. You can order one of their full-size 9×13 inch pans or a flight consisting of 3 smaller pans of lasagnas of your choice. You can even send a friend a lasagna gift card.
- The business also partners with other local businesses to make holiday deliveries even sweeter. “I do a Mother’s Day deal with flowers and lasagna,” said Daily. “I do Valentine’s Day with Circle City Sweets and we do a heart shaped macaron with a lasagna so it’s a lot of fun.”
- Daily says she’s already getting holiday orders and the calendar is starting to fill up. There’s still plenty of spots available right now, but she suggests thinking about setting up your orders soon if you want to send a friend—or yourself—some lasagna this holiday season.
Want to support some other women-owned local businesses? Check out: