Everyone knows a low-fat diet helps people stay slim and healthy. But not everyone has time to cook nutritious, low-fat meals. This unserved niche caught the attention of Robert Rogers, who went after the market with a tempting menu of low-fat, no-fuss fare.
The 39-year-old fitness trainer was working at a San Francisco weight-loss clinic that specialized in liquid diets when he began putting some of the patients on a different diet: solid food prepared with "alternative ingredients" and without fats and oils. The meals were much more palatable than the liquid concoctions, but patients were even more impressed with their weight loss.
Soon other fitness trainers began suggesting Rogers' low-fat meals to their clients. He also discovered the food served another niche: HIV-positive people suffering from digestive problems found the meals easy on the system. Convinced of the need for his service, Rogers founded LoFats Foods of San Francisco Inc. in 1991.
At first, he simply cooked meals in his home and delivered them to clients. But word-of-mouth helped the home-meal replacement business grow so quickly that in 1993, he began selling to grocery stores and local gyms. Eventually, Rogers moved into a commercial kitchen to keep up with demand.
With this year's sales projected at more than $350,000, Rogers has a full plate-and plans to relocate to an even bigger location.
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