On their paths to careers in medicine and law, Dr. Chloe Chien (pictured right) and Anna Rakoczy made what to outsiders might look like an abrupt left turn. They started their own company, Homemade, that promotes healthy eating and weight loss. Their initial offering takes place weekly (over four different nights) at the Arrillaga Recreation Center in Menlo Park.
“I had a lot of explaining to do to my family and mentors,” admits Chloe, “but I really believe in this.
“I was lucky to have met Anna [at Stanford]. Without her, I wouldn’t be doing this. We are at similar life stages and share a lot of core values. Specifically we are very passionate about lifestyle changes that people can make.
“Many people try dieting. But diets are not made to sustain a healthy weight. We both feel Homemade is a life calling for us.”
Homemade participants meet for two hours once a week over 10 to 12 weeks. At the end of each session, they have 18 meals they can use over the next six days — breakfast, snacks and dinner.
“Gathering as a community saves cooking and shopping time,” says Chloe.
In operation about six months, the co-owners are using the Menlo Park-based program as a prototype. They’ve established staffing requirements, using eight part-time instructors.
“We’ve also proven that our model does meet people’s needs and results in successful weight loss,” says Chloe. “What people need is healthy cooking skills.”
“We’ll focus on financing options next. Our end vision is for Homemade to be someday as ubiquitous as McDonald’s.
“We’re pleased that participants have come to depend on us for community and convenience. It’s like fitness, it becomes a sustaining part of your life.”
People interested in Homemade’s classes can get more information on the company’s website.
Photos by Irene Searles