(This is a sponsored post.)
What are your children eating for lunch at school? Is the food being served, healthy? Is it made from organic ingredients? Or, is their school lunch laden with preservatives that have names only trained scientists can decipher? And, are they contributing to higher childhood obesity rates?
A few years ago, Debbie Blacher and Samantha Gotlib realized that they shared something very special in common; a mutual commitment to make sure that their children ate healthy. They were getting concerned about the state of our children’s food supply. At a Fourth of July neighborhood pool party, they decided to do something about it. They founded Wholesome Tummies. Their mission;
“To Make Fresh, Nutritious, and Exciting Foods Available to Every Child, Everywhere.”
Recently, I posed a few questions to Samantha….
How did you and your partner meet?
“We are actually neighbors! We first met because our kids were in the same preschool at the same time. I was house hunting and she had just bought a house and at a mom dinner she had told me how much she loved the community. We subsequently checked out the community and purchased a house. The community has over 4000 homes and when I walked outside the back porch after the sale had closed, she came out of her back porch and we were laughing that we ended up sharing the same backyard! It was fate! We’ve had many-a-meeting in our bare feet, walking from one house to the other. It sure is convenient!”
Please share why you chose this cause and why you decide to turn it into a business.
“We both were pregnant with our 3rd at the time and would spend lots of time talking about children’s health and and nutrition…We both felt strongly about how our kids should eat and were discouraged by the lack of healthy options for kids in schools today. We realized that we were not alone. We gathered our friends and neighbors over for a “strategy” session and everyone there felt as we did- they wished there was an alternative to school lunch that was both healthy and delicious. The business idea was born!”
Why did you decide to do it via the franchise model? Was the development of your franchise program pretty much what you expected; was it more difficult, or maybe even easier than you thought it would be?
“Starting a business is hard but one of the things that came easy for us was the way our community embraced us. We felt a deep connection to where we live and the schools our kids attend. We knew that we could open company owned units but that the real success of this would be with local owners who were part of their communities and had a real connection to where they live.”
“The development of the franchise program was pretty much what we expected. We knew from the start that this was a nationwide need so we did a good job of documenting processes and methods and before we knew it, we had 1/2 of an owners manual written!”
Describe a Wholesome Tummies franchise owner’s typical week.
“Our franchisees have the luxury of following a school schedule so it’s an ideal business for a parent! They typically arrive at their kitchens around 7:30am and begin prep for the day. Lunches are delivered between 11am-1pm depending on the various lunchtimes. In the afternoon they spend time doing some prep for the next day, business administrative work and of course customer service and marketing. We are closed on the weekends, school holidays (spring break, winter break, Thanksgiving, etc.) and our franchisees have the option to open during the summer and serve camps or not.”
How receptive are the school systems to your programs, and their implementation? Do other Mom’s approach you to become franchise owners when they see your programs in action?
“We primarily serve private schools and daycares so they are very receptive as there really isn’t another alternative for a truly healthy, from scratch school lunch program that has the breadth and depth of a nationwide concept. A huge part of our momentum comes from moms who believe in what we are doing and whose kids are our customers. They love to refer to us friends or family members in other areas who may be a good fit for a franchise owner. It’s really a grassroots effort and we love that.”
Does The First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative to fight childhood obesity help you sell your ideas to schools systems? Are you trying to get her attention? Can this blog’s readers do anything to help your cause?
“We are certainly grateful to Michelle Obama for highlighting this very important cause, and it has helped to heighten awareness all around which is fantastic. Schools and parents are more aware then ever about the need for change. While we would LOVE to get the attention of Michelle Obama, turns out she is not that easy to approach Blog readers can help by making others aware that NOTHING is more important to our future and our kids health then the food they eat. Exercise, while important will not solve the obesity crisis. Kids today are bombarded with sugar, chemicals, high salt and additives. We must retrain the way kids eat and the way we approach food. It starts at home- do not purchase ANY items that you do not want your child to eat. It’s as simple as that. Parents bring in the food and parents can decide what stays and what goes. We can only go so far by improving school lunch, but it’s a team effort. Bring in ONLY what you are proud to serve to your kids and stock your pantry with those items you truly want them eating and your kids will learn better habits where it matters most- at home.”
Here are Wholesome Tummies’ current franchise locations;
Las Vegas, NV Owner: Stephanie Springel
Columbus, OH Owner: Nick Miesen
North Atlanta, GA: Owner: Judy Gordon
South Jacksonville, FL Owner: Brad Farnsworth
North Palm Beach, FL Owner: Cheryl Barry
Orlando, FL: Corporate Location
Tampa, FL: Kelly McGary
If you’ve always wanted to be in a business that makes a difference, check out the Wholesome Tummies franchise opportunity.
Go to the Wholesome Tummies Franchise Website, today!