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LeanFeast Stockton: Eat Better!

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What started as a casual drop-in to a San Jose location on their way to Santa Cruz ended with Mark Sarale and his wife, Nikole, opening the doors to their own LeanFeast location in Lincoln Center this past July. “My wife wanted to try it, so she suggested on our way to the coast, we give it a shot,” Mark explained. “We both loved the food, felt great after eating our meals and Nikole ended up driving to San Jose weekly to pick up our meals for the week. We were hooked,” he smiled. 

LeanFeast is a modern concept on meal prep. The locations are set up as convenience-based restaurants and online storefronts. They provide healthy, clean meals for on-the-go and can customize plans for individual diets such as ketogenic, paleo and Atkins. 

I had heard about Mark’s next business venture and I was intrigued. I didn’t know a lot about meal prep services, but I knew if Mark and Nikole were behind it, there would be something special about LeanFeast. I decided to stop in a couple days before my interview with Mark. The choices before me were overwhelming at first, until a friendly face behind the counter helped break things down for me. The choice was protein, vegetable and carbohydrate. I ordered a Crush Pack that came with a breakfast bowl, two meals, a protein bar and a drink. I would be set for the day with clean and healthy eating. 

The breakfast bowl came with two turkey sausage links, scrambled egg whites and breakfast hash. The breakfast hash was delicious and tasted like a “cheat” meal. It was grated potato with fresh chopped kale and a sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese; who wouldn’t want to start their day this way? For lunch I had the teriyaki chicken, cinnamon sweet potato mash and fresh-cut zucchini. Again, I almost felt guilty when eating the cinnamon sweet potato mash; it was the perfect balance of sweetness and savory comfort food. I saved the tri tip, red mash and mixed vegetables for my dinner and the meal didn’t disappoint. The tri tip was perfectly cooked, tender and flavorful. The mixed vegetables paired well with the red mashed potatoes and left me feeling as if I had just indulged in a dinner out. 

I was excited to return and learn more about the franchise and why Mark chose to open one. As a franchise owner of several Nekter locations from the Sacramento area to Modesto and a Max Muscle location in Stockton, Mark is well versed in the benefits of running a franchise. When I asked him why he chose to open one in Stockton, he smiled and said, “It fits with everything I do!” He continued to share Nikole’s suggestion of their first visit in San Jose. “I hate cooking and meal prep,” laughed Nikole. “I added up the time I would spend grocery shopping and weekly meal prep and it just made sense for me to make the drive,” she continued. Mark admitted he knew the question was not far off. “One day she looked at me and said, ‘Why don’t you open one?’” he shared with a smile. 

Mark has been in the health and fitness industry for 24 years. As a regional director for Max Muscle and a franchise owner, he understands the importance of clean, healthy eating. “I’ve never been into the fad diets, I have always focused on caloric intake, exercise and quality of food,” he continued. “LeanFeast was a great fit, a proven model and the quality of the meals produced was unlike anything we had ever found before,” Mark revealed. He continued to walk me through the benefits of Leanfeast as he showed me how the macro nutrients are printed on your receipt, the food is weighed and measured accurately as the meals are packed and nothing is processed. The food is cooked fresh daily and most of the vegetables are packed raw to allow proper cooking when you heat your meal at home or work. In addition to the protein options of chicken, beef and turkey, LeanFeast also has seafood options of shrimp, salmon and swai. When choosing your protein, there are several flavors to choose from such as barbecue, Asian, Dijon, teriyaki, fire and more! 

Protein Donuts and a variety of smoothies add to the healthy eating options available at LeanFeast. For my next visit I plan to order a Meatza! What is a meatza? It’s a pizza made with a meat crust, a delicious way to enjoy pizza without the added carbs. The options are endless with LeanFeast’s vast menu of flavors and sauces. I was hooked after my first meal like Mark and Nikole were after their first visit in San Jose. 

Mark attributes his ability to continue to grow his businesses such as Nekter and open new franchises such as LeanFeast to his family. “My children give me the confidence to continue to grow. I know they are always in my corner and have our best interest at heart,” Mark revealed. His sons, Julian and Marcus, manage and operate Nekter franchises and with LeanFeast opening a short walk down from the Nekter in Lincoln Center, Marcus juggles his roles as he balances the operations of both stores. “It’s a family affair,” laughed Mark as he, Nikole and Marcus were lined up behind the counter filling orders and measuring food. 

This serial entrepreneur brings a new, fresh approach to clean eating in the opening of LeanFeast. I welcome you to check it out!  

For more information on LeanFeast, please visit leanfeast.com or call (209) 888-5297.