August 19, 2014 // Franchising.com // Martinez, Ga. - When the 560 students enrolled at Augusta Preparatory Day School return to school in August, they will be introduced to a brand new healthy lunch program. The Martinez school is the first in the country to directly partner with Wholesome Tummies, the first and only kids’ food franchise in the U.S.
As the first school licensee of Wholesome Tummies, Augusta Prep will be offering fresh, made from scratch, Wholesome Tummies meals via the school’s dining program this fall.
"The number of students purchasing meals at our cafeteria has been on the decline in recent years," said Augusta Prep Head of School Becky Gilmore. "When we asked our parents and students why they were increasingly bringing their own food to school, they said they wanted to know exactly what was in the food and the nutritional information. Our country is moving in a healthier direction and we wanted to align our food offerings at school with our families’ values at home. What we teach at our school about healthy eating is just as important as our academics, athletics, and art."
Wholesome Tummies is a flexible program that makes it simple and affordable to provide students with fresh, healthy and kid-friendly lunches while satisfying parents’ concerns about their children’s nutrition.
Each month, Wholesome Tummies nutritionists and chefs develop unique (and kid-tested!) menus. Recipes are designed with the ideal portions and maximized nutritional content for growing children, and they include crowd pleasers like pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders and baked French toast. Two new menu items are introduced each month to keep things interesting.
For Augusta Prep Middle School (grades 5-8) and Upper School (grades 9-12) students, the process of buying lunch will involve students paying for meals through their food plan debit card. Meal options each day will include a salad bar, soup bar, hot and cold entrée choices, and a variety of side items that all follow Wholesome Tummies’ standards of only offering foods containing no artificial trans-fats, no high fructose corn syrup, no added nitrates, no artificial MSG, no artificial colors, and no artificial flavors.
The Lower School students (preschool through 4th grade) will follow the traditional Wholesome Tummies program where parents and students can choose to opt in to the service and place orders online. The Wholesome Tummies’ branded meals will be prepared fresh each day in the Upper School kitchen and delivered to the school’s cafetorium during the lunch hour. Parents can choose to purchase the meals daily or only a couple of times a month. There is no minimum monthly purchase requirement. Lower School students will also be offered a healthy grab-and-go snack line later this fall.
Debbie Blacher founded Wholesome Tummies in 2007. As a busy mom, she found that she had a need for quick and easy school lunches, but felt responsible for providing her kids with nutritious, wholesome foods. At the time, an option that combined the two simply did not exist. After testing the concept for three years in Orlando, Fla., Wholesome Tummies began franchising in 2010. Wholesome Tummies has expanded to nearly 20 locations throughout the country, with plans to double every year. Long-term goals call for 250 locations within the next five years.
While the initial franchise expansion has focused on individually owned and operated franchises, Blacher anticipates school licensees to quickly become a significant portion of the business.
"Self-operating schools are roughly 40% of all on-site schools while the other 60% choose to outsource to a third party," said Blacher. "This is a huge growth opportunity for us as we seek to provide healthy school solutions to all schools. The Wholesome Tummies solution is the perfect solution for schools that choose to self-operate. We give them the tools, recipes, technology, and marketing they need to roll out a made from scratch school dining program in a first-class way so administrators and teachers can focus on running the school and developing curriculum instead of recipe and menu development."
To tweet this release: @AugustaPrep becomes first school licensee of @WholesomeTum; will begin offering meals in August #schoolunch.
SOURCE Wholesome Tummies
Sanderson & Associates