Chefs for Seniors, a food business created to serve the nutritional needs of older clients, quickly transforms into a meals-plus-friendship service, says chef Bill Springer, who launched the franchise in Naples earlier this year. The Culinary Institute of America grad, who has cooked for royalty and U.S. presidents, previously worked as the chef at First Baptist Church and North Naples United Methodist Church. He credits having been raised by his grandmother and his Christian faith as reasons for his current career choice. “With the exception of kids, seniors are the most malnourished group in the U.S.,” he says, and he wanted to help.
The process is simple: Clients book the service for twice a week, weekly, or biweekly, then choose dishes from a menu. The chef (who is licensed, insured, and has passed thorough background checks) shops for nutritious ingredients and then cooks meals in-home for the customer to heat and eat later. It’s flexible and there’s no long-term commitment. “After two or three visits, it ends up being a beautiful relationship,” says Springer.
While the service was developed with an elderly clientele in mind, Springer notes that it’s not limited to seniors, adding that he serves several busy professionals who don’t have time to cook but want to eat healthfully—and tastefully. His most popular dishes are baked cod New England style, turkey meatloaf, and shrimp Napoli, all of which he adjusts to fit his clients’ doctors’ recommendations and individual preferences.