Why these two army officers wanted to start a healthy meal service

You may have the exercise routine down and be in great shape but everyone knows the real secret to being a healthy person is what you eat. Cue Kettlebell Kitchen. Founded in 2013 by former Army officers Joe and Andy Lopez-Gallego, and Chef Greg Grossman it is a prepared meal service with a focus on healthy eating based on your fitness goals.  Ready-to-eat meals show up at your door or you can pick them up at your local CrossFit gym.

Since launching in New York it has expanded to over 700 gym locations across Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia and now offers delivery nationwide.

Ladders talked with the Lopez-Gallego brothers about their business and how their army experiences helped them launch a successful company:

On launching KBK

“We founded KBK with the mission to help people change their lives through food. We were inspired by our own desire to eat healthy without having to spend hours in the kitchen. We launched the company with the intent of helping athletes and regular people perform better by providing them with the right nutrition to help them reach their goals.”

We want to become the nation’s leading provider of affordable, nutritious, and delicious meals for people who are working towards a goal.

On how their experiences in Iraq and Kosovo helped them build and lead this company

“The army teaches you how to build a successful team of people who are all working towards a common goal. It also teaches you how to work together with people from a variety of different backgrounds.

“While the challenges you encounter running a company don’t exactly compare to the challenges you encounter fighting in the army, both require thinking on your feet and making informed decisions in stressful situations.”

On working with a sibling

“We work well together because our strengths lie in different areas. I’m very analytical, whereas Andy is more extroverted and social. Because of that, I’m usually in the office, handling the business on a day-to-day basis. Andy heads up sales and is often on the road. He’s instrumental in helping us grow and expand. We balance each other out.”

On the future of KBK

“Our biggest focus right now is expanding our gym and office partnerships across the country. We just opened a new facility in California, which will allow us to provide more delivery options to our West Coast customers.”

On the best and worst career advice they were given

“When I was attending business school, Bill George, a professor and the author of ‘True North,’ talked about having ‘heart.’ He said that you should put heart into your work. This implies being passionate about what you do in a company and having the bravery to maintain company morale and carry everyone through hard decisions.

“The worst career advice I was ever given was to focus on a position that pays well over a position that you’re passionate about. Following that advice has never worked out well for me.”