Name: Fran Lent.
'Foolish' Idea: Prepackaged meals which are healthy and to entice children to eat them, fun shaped and fun named.
Start-up Capital: $130,000 life savings.
How Idea was Launched: Fran started her own frozen food company 'Fran's Healthy Helpings' in 1997. She placed her products in about 300 independent stores.
Sales: Now, supermarket chains, such as Safeway and Albertson's sell the healthy TV dinners.
Earnings: Within 2 years, $3million-a-year, expecting revenues of $40million within the next 5 years.
Fran Lent's children, Bradley and Hannah, are her best critics. Fran, who used to work as a marketer for Del Monte Foods in San Francisco, didn't have time to prepare meals. However, her children wouldn't eat many of the prepackaged meals she dished up. And as a caring mother, she was unhappy about offering them meals loaded with sodium and fat.
So, using the family's $130,000 life savings, Fran began dreaming up her own prepackaged meals. She surrounded herself with other mums to create fun foods for kids. They made sure no artificial additives or preservatives were used, and baked ingredients instead of frying them. They gave all the foods kid-friendly names cutting and shaping the food for fun. Packs of Lucky Ducky Chicken are baked nuggets shaped like ducks, while Wacky Whale Pizzas are whale-shaped pies, containing low-fat cheese.
In 1997 Fran launched her company, Fran's healthy Helpings, placing the products in around 300 independent stores. Then supermarket chains started selling them. Fran's Healthy Helpings frozen food company, make healthy TV dinners that parents are happy to dish up and kids enjoy eating. Fran Lent tests her products on her own kids, and other kids too. Cooking up fun meals, has created $3million-a-year with expected revenues of $40million within five years.