SARTELL -- Coborn's is now getting into the meal kit industry. The retailer is the only grocer in the state to offer complete meal kits that can be picked up in the store without a subscription.

Several brands such as HelloFresh, Home Chef, Blue Apron, and much more offer a boxed up meal that can be ordered and delivered to your home but you can't physically go and pick up the kit at a local store.

WJON Reporters Chrissy Gaetke and Richard Leguil decided to test out the Coborn's "To the Table" meal kit versus making the same meal from scratch. Gaetke decided to make the pad thai meal kit while Leguil took on the challenge of making the meal by hand.

Making the meal kit and cooking the pad thai from scratch each had its advantages and disadvantages. For the $13 meal kit, Gaetke says it was quick, it only took 16 minutes to make and it was cheaper than buying each ingredient separately.

On the downside, the meal kit only serves two, so if you're looking to feed a whole family you'd likely have to buy at least two kits.

As for making the pad thai from scratch, it took Leguil 47 minutes and cost him about $22. He also had a longer shopping time at Coborn's, it took him 16 minutes to find all of his ingredients to make the dish.

As for the pros of making it homemade, Leguil could serve four people his meal versus, two people. His dish was also full of flavor.

Coborn's offers six different "To the Table" meal kits.

  • Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Chicken Pad Thai
  • Chicken Pesto Spaghettini
  • Fettuccine Alfredo with Kale
  • Pork Yakisoba Stir Fry

Each meal kit is expected to be made in 15 minutes or less.

Coborn's says the meal kits are a great way to introduce young chefs to the cooking process and allow aging seniors more independence in the kitchen. The kits can also be used for a quick meal, appetizer or small gift.

The "To the Table" meal kits are available at Coborn's, Cash Wise and Marketplace Foods stores. The meal kits are also available for delivery through "Coborn's Delivers" in the St. Cloud metro area.