February 18, 2014 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, Minn. - Wholesome Tummies Café, the first and only kids’ food franchise in the U.S., recently made its debut in Minneapolis under the leadership of local franchise owner Excelsior resident Bill Stelle. Locally, WT Café offers a healthy school lunch program for children in preschool through 8th grades.
After 20 years in sales, business development and marketing, Stelle believes his recent career change has come at a perfect time. It’s an opportunity that will positively impact not only his life, but also the families in his community.
"As a society, we are just beginning to explore the relationship between healthy eating, energy, focus and learning – it’s exciting to be on the cutting-edge of that and to partner with forward-thinking schools and their families."
Stelle’s business launched at the start of the school year and since then he has teamed up with three diverse schools, including Lake Country School and The French Academy of Minnesota, as well as The Whole Learning School in St. Louis Park.
"We are thrilled to work with each of these schools to serve their unique needs. We understand that our service is a reflection of the school, their values and their quality and we could not have found better partners," said Stelle.
Lake Country (LCS) is a unique Montessori school with an urban campus in Minneapolis and a rural land school in Wisconsin. With no kitchen and very high standards, LCS has been without a hot lunch provider for years. WT Café was the first school lunch service to meet and exceed those standards.
"Not only have they worked with us to accommodate our unique service and sustainability needs," said principal Paulette Zoe, "but they have incorporated many of the foods from our Land School farm into our meals and brought the food cycle full circle."
At The French Academy of MN (FAM), WT Café’s service emphasizes the importance of eating together by offering catering-style service with a menu jointly devised by the school’s nutritional coordinator. WT Café and FAM are also working on adding French recipes created by parents and teachers into the menu.
Reliable service, gluten-free options and a choice of portion sizes are important to The Whole Learning School, which services children on the autism spectrum and those with other learning differences.
WT Café’s service goes beyond lunch too, offering catering, fundraising, food scholarships and other programs designed to further drive healthy alternatives at schools and to create long-lasting partnerships.
The basic process is simple: WT Café contracts with schools to deliver meals each day. Recipes have been designed by nutritionists and chefs with the ideal portions and nutritional content for growing children, and focus on foods kids like with the goal of making them healthier while keeping the taste great. Schools offer the service in various forms and parents can choose to opt in or out at any time and conveniently place orders for their kids through the WT Café (WT) Café website. Meals are prepared fresh each morning in a commercial kitchen, then delivered to schools in time for lunch. Meals can also be prepared on-site if a school has its own kitchen. Plus, unlike many other lunch programs, WT Café allows parents to place orders up to 36 hours in advance of service, and rush orders and cancellations can be done as late as 8 a.m. the morning of service.
Stelle signed a franchise agreement with WT Café in May 2013 and services all of southern Hennepin County. Having generated tremendous amounts of interest, Stelle continues to plan to serve many more local schools in fall 2014.
Founded in 2007 in Orlando, Fla., WT Café began franchising in 2010. Since then, WT Café has expanded to 16 locations throughout the country, with plans to reach 25 units by the end of this year. Long-term goals call for 250 locations within the next five years. For more information about WT Café, visit www.wholesometummies.com.
To tweet this release: @WholesomeTum #franchisee debuts in Minneapolis to bring healthy lunches to local schools www.wholesometummies.com
SOURCE WT Café
Sanderson & Associates