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'My journey was trial and error'
From at-home cooking to a shared kitchen: Local resident brings meal service to Covington
Jennifer Morganthall, owner of JMO To Go, poses for a portrait on Tuesday, July 30. Morganthall began her business March 2016 and will open her first store front, located at 4152 Washington St. SW., Covington, during the second week of August. - photo by Caitlin Jett

COVINGTON, Ga. - Jennifer Morganthall has pursued her passion of cooking healthy food, regardless of the obstacles she faced.

Morganthall, a resident of Newton County since 1997, knew the quality of food was important after her daughters were diagnosed with their own set of health issues. She found herself frustrated when doctors presented medication as the only solution, and through her frustration, she began researching. She learned that a diet of organic, antibiotic and hormone free food helped her youngest daughter. 

In March 2016, Morganthall opened her small healthy food business, JMO To Go, inside her home after becoming unemployed from her full-time job as a youth pastor.

jmo to go logo

A year later, Morganthall learned of a shared kitchen in Decatur. A shared kitchen allowed her access to professional culinary equipment through a paid membership. She worked at the shared kitchen for two years, and during that time, she earned her license. 

Morganthall began juggling her food passion with a full-time job in Covington, which began wearing on her.

“Working in Covington full-time until 5 o’clock then traveling to Decatur to cook until sometimes 10 or 11 o’clock at night,” Morganthall said. “The business was either going to die, or I was going to try to find somewhere here.”

It took two years of searching for Morganthall to find a location for her business. She was offered a building, right outside the square in Covington, December 2018. A month later, she began bringing her dreams to life and transforming the building into a culinary kitchen.

JMO To Go will offer hormone and antibiotic-free meals, with organic and locally sourced ingredients when possible. Meals can be ordered online at; meals can be ordered fresh and ready to eat or can be ordered frozen for future meal preparations. Prices will vary, but prices will range from $9-$10 per person, according to Morganthall.

"I hope that it (JMO To Go) will help busy families not have to go through the drive-thru and eat processed food," Morganthall said. "I think a lot of our health issues are really due to 'lab food.'"

JMO To Go meals will offer special dietary options, such as low sodium, Keto, Whole 30 and various allergies.

Morganthall has future plans to host pop-up dinner nights/themed meals, cooking classes and sublease to other small food businesses in need of space. 

“My journey was trial and error,” Morganthall said. “It was a long, long road, and I would love to be able to help other caterers be able to get licensed as well.”

JMO To Go will be located at 4152 Washington St. SW. Guests will be able to purchase meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Delivery options will be available.

JMO To Go will open its doors the second week of August.