When the right ingredients come together, the magic happens —sometimes literally. Whether an incredible meal, a thriving local business, or both. EnterMy Healthy Penguin, a local business based out of Rancho Cucamonga that delivers fresh, healthy, ready-to-eat meals that are not only good for you but taste incredible. Best of all, they’re guilt-free, according to the company's founder Christine Lopez.
Meal prep can bring up imagery of unimaginative food that leaves one yearning for a homemade dish, but not here. Instead, My Healthy Penguin provides a vast array of meals that are delicious and good for you. The business was started by local Christine Lopez, who grew up in Rancho Cucamonga in a family prone for business; her father was a mechanic who owned his own shop and her mother, a local restaurateur who owned multiple businesses during her time as an entrepreneur. With three of her aunts and uncle owning restaurants in neighboring communities, you could say great food built around shared values of sustainability, community and connection were hard-wired into her DNA.
However, in 2015, Christine was diagnosed as pre-diabetic with high cholesterol and told she needed to reverse this trend, or require medication. While this news was alarming, Christine took matters into her own hands. She had the experience, the wherewithal, and the ability to solve her personal health issues. By reimagining classic familial dishes with the clean eating movement, she discovered healthy food can and should taste good. She describes this process in her own words:
“I knew at that point, I needed to make a change in my life, as well as for my two children––one that would allow me to eat regular food with healthier recipes, in moderation, and, most importantly, not feel deprived of the foods I love.”
Christine went back to the basics, focusing on simplicity, sustainability, and freshness. She started with herself, testing, and tweaking along the way. Combined with an exercise routine, she lost over 30 pounds. Naturally, this led to family and friends asking for help. They too, wanted to experience the best of both worlds of looking and feeling their best. As word of her cooking and meal plans spread, so did her momentum towards turning it into a local, sustainable business. Combined with the images of delicious food on their Instagram profile, word spread around town.
Knowing she needed help and expertise on the business and logistics while she focused on recipes and meals, she partnered with a local entrepreneur, Chris Holyfield - in 2016, the dream was officially born. The mission was, and continues to be simple: provide a healthy, sustainable solution to meal prepping and weight loss in the Inland Empire while saving families tons of time that could be used elsewhere. Christine expands on this time-saving benefit, saying:
“Rather than spending hours of your week planning, shopping, and preparing meals, you’ll enjoy healthy meals that are ready to eat in just a few minutes.”
So now you're thinking, “where do penguins come into the picture?” My Healthy Penguins was the name she used for her children, hoping to create and promote a healthy lifestyle in their home. Currently, My Healthy Penguin operates out of Rancho Cucamonga and cooks from a commercial kitchen in Redlands. She and Chris have engaged, and now have a staff of seventeen part-time employees who help with everything from meal prep to cooking, plating, and delivering meals all over the Inland Empire, including parts of Orange County and the eastern edge of Los Angeles County.
Busy parents, those with full-time jobs, or even students can take the guesswork and guilt out of eating, prepping, and cooking. Their menus include several popular options, including the new signature Nourish Bowls, the done-for-you Meal Preps, and even a new kids menu that they recently launched during the Pandemic. Christine knows firsthand the demands of running a family and a business, especially during unforeseen challenges such as COVID-19.
(Chris Holyfield, left, and Christine Lopez, right, at the My Healthy Penguin 2019 Christmas Party with their staff)
Fully committed to contributing to their community, My Healthy Penguin offers law enforcement, military, and firefighters 20% off their orders! Looking for a good deal? They offer 15% off every single Monday for all their customers that are looking for a deal on 10 or more meals! Christine and Chris have recently also become Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce members, in hopes of better serving the business community.
For those curious about where to start, Christine reminds us that everything is fresh, sustainable, and supports local business. She encourages those new to Meal Prep to understand it is not about bland, boring food, but rather, a healthy and delicious option that takes the work out of cooking and cleaning and is 100% guilt-free.
So what makes My Healthy Penguin different? For starters, they change their menu weekly, allowing customers never to get bored with the same food and experience the rewards of long-term healthy eating. There is something for everyone. A glance at a past week’s favorite menu includes ‘Korean Beef’, ‘Hawaiian Meatballs’, ‘Bacon Ranch Chicken’ and their ‘Artichoke Spinach Pasta.’
What started as a need for herself became what Christine and Chris have built to be a purpose-driven, hyperlocal business committed to their clients' well-being. With the recent COVID-19 crisis, Christine believes there is no better time to meal prep and let someone else do the heavy lifting:
“What, when, and how you eat has a major impact on your body and mind, especially in times of high-stress or worry. Why not let us take it off your plate and deliver it straight to your door!”
Christine’s childhood heritage around food and entrepreneurship acts as a pillar to connection and community, which is more relevant now than ever. Learn more aboutMy Healthy Penguin and how you can experience their delicious food delivery service in the Inland Empire.
-My Healthy Penguin
Chris Holyfield | email@example.com
Christine Lopez | firstname.lastname@example.org