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Learn how to cook the Homemade way in Menlo Park – and free yourself from dieting

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on January 21, 2014

Dr. Chloe Chien of Homemade in Menlo Park

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.

homemade students_fixed

“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

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren Brunovs January 21, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Great job Anna (and Chloe)! Definitely a fab concept, turning people away from the ‘quick fix’ diet concept with no long lasting change in behaviour towards an opportunity to change their patterns for life; being upskilled in cooking healthy food for themselves.

I have been talking about this concept with a not-for-profit client who operates in the aged care industry here in Perth. Similar but for older people and not weight loss specific, allowing them to cook together, getting the social interaction, learning new skills as well as walking away with the week’s meals all ready to go. Especially helpful for aging men who may suddenly find themselves without their regular home chef but still with a desire to eat quality healthy home cooking. :)

Excited to hear how this plays out for you Anna!
xx Lauren B

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Anna Rakoczy January 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Hi Lauren

Yes I couldn’t agree more! Our plan is to eventually offer specialized programs for different groups: Homemade for Diabetics, Homemade for Heart Disease Patients, Homemade for Elderly, Homemade for Kids… even Homemade for Singles~! If you ever wanted to set up your own program in Perth let me know and I am happy to share our learning (all the mistakes we made!) to help you set something up. Thanks so much for your positive words and support! Anna

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