Do you know any woman who is content with her weight? One that would try on jeans, look in the mirror and not think that she would look much better if she loses one or two kilos? Being one of these women, I always try to control my appetite, eat less and choose healthy food. It is easier to manage having smaller size healthy meals at home since I am the one buying and preparing the food. But, when I was working at the office, it was tough to find healthy alternatives for lunch and even dinner as it takes an extra effort to plan and cook after work. I am sure city women with hectic work schedule would agree that sometimes it is even hard to spend half an hour for a proper meal between two meetings. No need to say most of the time we find ourselves starving or eating at McDonalds just to be stuffed. What if there is a service that provides a well-balanced meal 5 times a day including snacks? Plus, what if these meals come to your door on the time you indicated? Wouldn’t this be a fantastic solution for your nutrition needs? Imagine there is someone cooking delicious calorie-balanced meals with great variety.
No need to imagine anymore – Didem Altınbaşak Tulgan made it real for her own needs. Tulgan was introduced to this meal service in the USA when pregnant with her baby daughter. She encountered certain problems with the baby’s nutrition during pregnancy. This meal service helped her tremendously especially in the last 2 months of her pregnancy. After she relocated back to Turkey, she looked for a similar service where she could lose her post pregnancy fat by eating right and balanced meals with measured portions. No luck finding such service, she decided to start her own business. She started working on the business plan of Rafinera, a custom tailored meal delivery company, when her baby daughter was only 4 months old. This business idea is inspiring for many: there is a great need for busy people who want a personalized service for their dietary needs.
All you need to do is to decide your goal. Do you aim to lose weight? Remain fit? Detox? Would you like to have all the vitamins and minerals during your pregnancy? Currently, Rafinera is offering 6 different meal plans in order to address different customers’ needs. De-light is for the ones who want to lose weight in a healthy way and reach long lasting results. Customers who don’t have much time to eat a proper meal during the day but would like to remain fit go with Fit & Well. For concerned moms-to-be Mom-to-be, for vegetarians Vegetarian, for the ones who would like to create their own specialties Personal Chef and for the exhausted and stressed customers there is Detox to cleanse one’s body inside out.
Rafinera’s customers are crème de la crème women who work hard, pay attention to their health and physical appearance. They are selective in their eating habits, food quality and variety. It is very demanding and unique service that is mainly tailored according to customers’ needs and wants. Of course, with such specialized service comes a complex organization behind the scenes. A team of experts, nutritionists, psychologists, kitchen and delivery personnel work together to come up with the right meal for each customer. The meals are designed according to the customer’s personal info including age, weight, height, illnesses and allergies and are balanced with the right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Of course, the preferences of the individual also matter: What kind of food does one enjoy the most? Can she heat the meal or does she always eat cold? Shaped by the answers to such questions, 3 main meals and 2 snacks form the daily meal plan. All meals are specially wrapped to avoid leaking and are delivered to the addresses starting from 7 am.
The best part of this business model is that it expands by word of mouth. Some of the Turkish celebrities like Seda Sayan, Nükhet Duru and Gül Oğuz are customers of Rafinera. They promote the service voluntarily by stating how satisfied they are with the food quality, variety and timeliness of the deliveries. Seda Sayan recommends Rafinera in her TV show. This service seems to spread further among busy women in Turkey.
Interested in getting more information? Trying out sample meals? You can check out the web page: http://www.rafinera.com/main.htm or call Rafinera service line at 212-323-3010.
Even if you’re not interested in trying Rafinera meal plans, you might want to look at the business as an innovative venture of a woman who works for women. Always proud of creative businesswomen, I hope that more and more women entrepreneurs will deliver successful services in the near future.
Ela Erozan Gürsel writes a weekly column named “Değişim Yelpazesi ” on global business trends for Dünya Gazetesi on behalf of Datassist for almost two years. Her feature topics include: green energy; climate change; impacts of financial crisis on companies, sectors and regions; innovative technologies in sciences, human resources and management; social networks transforming business and politics; changing dynamics of marketing and branding.
She also writes articles for international magazines published in Singapore.
Prior to her writing career, she worked at Datassist as a Project Manager in a project that combines human resources and mobile communications with the aim to connect blue-collar workers and employers through mobile phones. Before engaging in this exciting project, she was in pharmaceutical sales working for a multinational company. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC, majoring in International Studies with a concentration on International Business and Europe. She worked in Washington D.C. as an Account Manager at a boutique telemarketing firm that specializes in fund raising and publication renewals. She speaks Turkish, English, French, and Spanish. She currently resides in Singapore with her husband.