The holiday season has been a very busy one for an Erie based small business that is centered all around food.

The woman behind the operation used to run the café inside the Erie County Courthouse while operating her catering business.

Food for any meal of the day. From breakfast, to lunch, and dinner entrees. Lisa Heidleberg is at the Heart of Dinner is served by Lisa. 

"The whole concept of my business started as a personal chef," said Lisa. "I was actually cooking in folks homes." 

And then in 2015, a family that's she cooked for vested in the business, allowing her to open the storefront on West 8th Street. 

Which is where meals are prepared for catered events both private and corporate. Pickup or drop off is available it's just some of what the small business offers.

It was July 2022 when this café opened inside of here. Only opened from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. but offering breakfast and lunch options for people right here in this neighborhood or across the community. 

"The food is fantastic and the prices are right too," said Rachel Jessup, Works in Downtown Erie. "Especially working in downtown and finding a lunch that's affordable on a regular basis is impressive but finding food that is this good is also a win."

There's daily lunch specials posted inside. Plus, ready to go dinners averaging 12 to 15 dollars.

Called the "Big Bad" meals, affectionately named by Lisa's 6 year old grandson, King.

"It's a heavy protein, a fish option and a veggie options and we feature a soup as well," said Brittany Morton, Asst. Manger. "Every week it changes." 

King's mom, Brittany is her mom's go-to. She says the freezable microwavable meals are posted each Sunday on the company's Facebook page.

And while Lisa said her award winning mac and cheese is a favorite, she takes pride in all her dishes.

"A happy cook makes good happy food," said Lisa. 

In this new year, Lisa said she is also working on packaging a few of the signature spices and one of the sauces that she helped create.

And by the way, those big bad meals are also offered at the two Erie Whole Foods Co-op locations.