How SCORE Helped: 

Puréed foods are ideal for many older adults who have difficulty in chewing and swallowing.  Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, means it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach.  Dysphagia may also be accompanied by pain.  The symptoms associated with dysphagia, such as choking, gagging and heartburn are extremely discouraging.  Colleen McCloskey, before founding Elite Puréed Meals, was a caregiver to older adults.  One of McCloskey’s patients, an elderly man, refused to eat, even though the food was puréed.  However, the puréed food was not visually appealing.  So, Colleen decided to re-shape the puréed food into its original form.  The result was dramatic!  The elderly man began to eat his meals and started to regain the weight that he had lost.  This was a breakthrough, because his doctors were about to install a feeding tube.

 

It was not surprising that McCloskey thought of the idea of making puréed meals more visually appealing.  After all, McCloskey had more than thirty years of experience in the food business.  She has been a sous chef and has cooked meals for a family restaurant as well as for sale at area farmers markets.  In 2015, McCloskey had the idea of creating a business to market puréed meals.  She came to SCORE to get mentoring on how to start a new business.  With SCORE counselor John Lippman’s help, McCloskey started Elite Puréed Meals.  SCORE helped her to write a business plan and to present her business idea at the West Chester University’s Business Ideas Pitch Competition…..which she won!  McCloskey went on to also win the Keiretsu Forum competition, which gave her valuable in kind legal and IT services.

 

Elite Puréed Meals now has an active web site http://pureemeals.com/, and McCloskey has registered Elite Puréed Meals and logo with the US Trademarks office.  The first trial shipments of puréed meals have been donations to children.  McCloskey continues to meet with SCORE to establish commercial sales and plan her business for growth.

 

SCORE is a non-profit national organization of business volunteers dedicated to providing free counseling and educational service to small businesses. SCORE volunteers are business experts who apply their life experience and business knowledge to mentor entrepreneurs planning to start a small business, or small business owners who seek assistance in solving business issues.  To schedule a personal session with a counselor or learn about small business education programs, call Chester and Delaware County SCORE at 610-344-6910 or click here to visit us online https://chescodelcoscore.org/

 

January 28, 2017