Englewood, CO - Although Kim Laga has spent most of her career in food and hospitality sales, she’s always dreamed of owning her own business. The opportunity presented itself when Laga learned about Wholesome Tummies, a franchise that provides healthy food options to schools. She and her husband Steve will open the company’s first Colorado location this summer to prepare for the 2013-2014 school year.
“I saw endless potential for Wholesome Tummies, especially here in the Denver area where health is on many families’ minds,” Laga said. “I bought the franchise because I truly want to make a difference in my community and set a good example for my own kids.”
With Wholesome Tummies, Laga will give schools and parents the opportunity to have their kids served healthy, balanced meals, prepared fresh daily. Each month, Wholesome Tummies’ nutritionists and chefs develop unique (and kid-tested!) menus. Recipes are designed with the ideal portions and nutritional content for growing children, and include crowd pleasers like pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders and baked French toast. The team creates two new items each month to keep things interesting.
The process is simple. Wholesome Tummies will contract with schools, and just like with any outsourced school meals, parents can choose to opt in to the service and place orders for their kids through the Wholesome Tummies website. There are no long-term contracts and parents can order as many meals each month as they wish, whether it’s one meal or an entire month’s worth of meals.
Meals are prepared fresh each morning in a commercial kitchen, then delivered to schools in time for lunch. Lunches can also be prepared on-site if a school has its own kitchen, and unlike many menu options, Wholesome Tummies allows parents to order just 24 hours in advance for added flexibility.
A classically trained cook, Laga was drawn to Wholesome Tummies because it meshed well with her personal skills and career experience. In addition, Laga says she’s happy to have an opportunity to get involved in the community and teach people the importance of eating healthfully – while also instilling those healthy habits in her own kids.
“With Wholesome Tummies, it’s not just a business – I’m doing something I’m truly passionate about,” Laga said. “If even a small percentage of students can learn to see food differently because of Wholesome Tummies, then in my mind, that’s a huge success story.”
And although Laga’s business is still in the early stages, she’s confident it will be a success, and hopes to expand to Boulder County by 2014. Wholesome Tummies expects to add 3 additional units in the Denver area over the next few years.
“Operationally, Wholesome Tummies is the most comprehensive independent school lunch option available right now,” Laga said. “We offer a wide, varied selection on a daily basis and can fulfill orders quickly and easily, making life easy for parents and schools alike.”
Founded in 2007 in Orlando, Fla., Wholesome Tummies began franchising in 2010. Since then, Wholesome Tummies has expanded to 10 locations throughout the country, with plans to double that number in 2013. Long-term goals call for 250 locations within the next five years.