My Healthy Penguin Founder Christine Lopez turns medical red flag into health and wellness opportunity for all.
When Christina Lopez received some discouraging health news from her doctor in 2015, she was faced with two options—either get healthy and lose weight or start taking medication. Not taking this lightly, Lopez chose the former. She immediately jumped into the world of health and fitness, fell in love with the journey and thus began My Healthy Penguin.
Located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, My Healthy Penguin serves fresh and healthy meals delivered to your door—with a focus on a weekly rotating menu and excellent customer service. Each week, a new menu is created based on personal experience, family recipes, and customer feedback, aimed at supporting individual health goals. With options like the Bonzai Turkey Burger (458 calories, 37g protein) or the Smoked Cumin Salmon (423 calories, 31g protein), Lopez’s meals are both healthy and flavorful.
While the concept of My Healthy Penguin began in 2015, Lopez was no stranger to preparing meals. Growing up with parents in the restaurant industry exposed her to the business early on. Little did she know this would be the foundation for a successful meal prep company of her own one day.
During the early stages of her business, Lopez was meal-prepping for friends and family on the side. Simultaneously, she was going through a divorce and needed to establish a stable financial plan for herself and her two children. Lopez did what she had to do and went full steam ahead.
In early spring 2016, the business took off. A local influencer had seen Lopez’s Instagram, ordered meals, and within a week, there were countless message requests in her social media inbox. “I had no idea what just happened. That’s when I knew I had something. I needed to run with this,” she says.
As the demand for her services increased, two of Lopez’s friends (one of whom she is now married to) began to help. By August, they moved into their first local kitchen facility that was rented by the hour. The demand for the business showed no signs of slowing down. “It was very stressful every single week trying to figure out if we were going to be able to accommodate our customers because our capacity was at max,” she shares. It was time to find a place of their own.
After extensive research for a location that would embody everything she envisioned, Lopez secured the perfect space in her hometown of Rancho Cucamonga in 2020. Today, My Healthy Penguin has grown into a 4,000-square-foot facility with 15 employees. Lopez describes it as a place where everyone wants to come to work. “I wanted to make sure we created a happy vibe here,” says Lopez.
Since taking off from its social media buzz, My Healthy Penguin continues to benefit from this platform. The business also flourishes by word of mouth and provides creative meal options. As an example, during the pandemic, Lopez created kids’ meal packs to alleviate the hassle of parents having to think about what they were going to feed their children.
My Healthy Penguin is currently serving most of Southern California. The plan is to expand to all of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Irvine, when more delivery trucks arrive. Lopez’s ultimate goal is to ship her meals nationally.
While Lopez admits that hiring has been one of her biggest challenges, she is also proud that she has been able to provide jobs for people. Her advice to entrepreneurs just starting out is, “Don’t be afraid—just go for it,” she says. “In the beginning, I questioned everything. Everything had to be perfect. Don’t wait for it to be perfect. Enjoy the hard times and learn from it. Celebrate the milestones. Enjoy the journey through it all!