February 18, 2014 // Franchising.com // South Broward, FL - Wholesome Tummies, the first and only kids’ food franchise in the U.S., is expanding from its Orlando headquarters and will begin serving South Broward County schools in the fall.
Blandine Posiadala is the entrepreneur behind the South Broward operation. Armed with an MBA in international business, Posiadala moved to the U.S. six years ago from her native France and began working for a large consumer packaged goods company where she specialized in marketing for the Latin American and Caribbean markets.
After meeting and marrying her husband, David, Posiadala decided to make a career change and a year ago she began teaching French at a charter school in Miami-Dade County, where the couple lives.
"I was shocked to see how different the school lunch system is in the U.S. versus France," said Posiadala. "In France, students do not bring their own lunches. They either eat in school cafeterias or they go home for lunch. In France, school cafeterias offer very balanced healthy lunches, served at a leisurely pace. A typical lunch served in a French school cafeteria would be a salad course followed by a balanced meal with an assortment of vegetables, meats, cheeses and yogurts."
A recent survey by the School Nutrition Association showed the average time for lunch at elementary schools was 25 minutes; middle school and high schools were slightly higher at 30 minutes. That includes time spent standing in line for cafeteria style meals.
"My past year teaching has been really eye opening to me in terms of what is being served in school cafeterias, what students bring from home and how little time they have to eat compared to what I grew up with in France," Posiadala said. "I was also shocked to learn how very common it is for schools to serve food from local fast food establishments."
Now pregnant with her first child, healthy school lunches have been top of mind for Posiadala and her husband.
"Business ownership has long been a dream of mine and over the past two years I have casually researched different ventures," said Posiadala. "I discovered Wholesome Tummies when I was five months pregnant and I knew right away this was a business that was very much needed in South Florida."
With Wholesome Tummies, Posiadala will allow schools to offer parents the opportunity to have their kids served healthy, balanced meals, prepared fresh from scratch 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, house-made soups 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.
And so far, the Wholesome Tummies model has been a success: the company started in Orlando in 2007 and franchising began in 2010. Since then, Wholesome Tummies has expanded to 10 franchised locations throughout the country including four Florida locations in Orlando, North Palm Beach County, South Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. Wholesome Tummies plans to double the number of locations in 2013.
Posiadala is currently meeting with local schools and daycares and expects to have at least six schools on board at the start of the school year. She will serve those schools with a commercial kitchen most likely in Ft. Lauderdale or Hollywood.
"If the business takes off as I expect it to, we could be expanding our territory to North Broward or Miami-Dade as soon as 2014," she said.
For more information about Wholesome Tummies, visit www.wholesometummies.com.
SOURCE Wholesome Tummies
Sanderson & Associates, Ltd.