February 18, 2014 // Franchising.com // Shrewsbury, PA - Kelly Jarvis' life completely changed when she had her son, Travor, in 2008. After a nearly 20-year career in sales and marketing, Jarvis left the corporate world behind to stay at home with her son.
"I didn't necessarily always plan on being a stay-at-home mom, but after becoming a mother, I realized my past career wasn't a good fit for the work-life balance my family needed," Jarvis said.
Now 37, Jarvis is about to embark on her newest venture. She is launching Pennsylvania's first Wholesome Tummies, a national franchise offering schools access to the freshest, highest quality foods available through school lunch, school catering, and healthy vending programs, helping fight childhood obesity.
In 2010, Jarvis' sister-in-law opened Keystone Kids Early Learning Center in Shrewsbury. "I never planned on being a teacher, but I had the necessary schooling and credentials," Jarvis said. "When my sister-in-law asked me to help launch her center, my son and I started preschool together, him as a 2 ½-year-old and me as a teacher. Not only was I able to help out my family, but I still got to spend time with my son all day long."
Long before motherhood, Jarvis had struggled with her weight. "I was overweight pretty much my entire life until my 20s when I started taking better care of myself. After having my son, I knew I needed to continue healthy habits for his sake," she said. "I made him entirely organic baby food and found I really loved it. When I began working at the preschool where most of the kids have two working parents, I realized that while many parents care about what their kids eat, it can be overwhelming trying to do it all."
With Wholesome Tummies Jarvis will allow schools to offer 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.
And so far, the Wholesome Tummies model has been a success: the company started in 2007 and franchising began in 2010. Since then, Wholesome Tummies has expanded to 10 locations throughout the country, with plans to double that number in 2013. Regionally, Wholesome Tummies expects to launch operations in Baltimore and Philadelphia this year. Long-term goals call for 250 locations within the next five years.
Jarvis plans to spend the next six months marketing her business to local schools and daycare centers for schools to begin offering Wholesome Tummies at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
"To say I'm excited is an understatement," she said. "I am passionate about healthy eating and teaching kids good habits at an early age. These healthy habits will stay with them through adulthood and help combat the obesity epidemic in our country."
For more information about Wholesome Tummies, visit www.wholesometummies.com.
SOURCE Wholesome Tummies
Sanderson & Associates, Ltd.