Dohmen acquires Milwaukee-based meal delivery business

Focused Fork prepares, delivers meals for special dietary needs

Cynthia LaConte, CEO, The Dohmen Company
Cynthia LaConte, CEO, The Dohmen Company

Last updated on December 12th, 2019 at 01:04 pm

Milwaukee-based Dohmen has acquired Milwaukee-based meal delivery business Focused Fork.

Dohmen, which in early 2018 divested of its life sciences services business, said its acquisition of the personalized whole-foods preparation and distribution business aligns with its mission of improving health outcomes in the community.

Following its exit from the pharmaceutical industry, Dohmen earlier this year transitioned from being a family-owned corporation to a benefit corporation owned by a private foundation. Under the new structure, profits of Dohmen are directed to the foundation for charitable purposes. Chief executive officer Cynthia LaConte said at the time that the change would allow Dohmen to invest in “long-term, best practice strategies” to address health disparities.

“Our decision to exit the pharmaceutical industry in 2018 was largely based on the fact that treating disease is not solving our country’s core health problems,” LaConte said of the Focused Fork acquisition. “Today, the U.S. spends over $3.5 trillion annually on health care – more than any other country – yet we just keep getting sicker. Heart disease has become the leading cause of death in the U.S. with 650,000 people dying from it annually. There’s a well researched connection between the rise in our nation’s consumption of fat, sugar and salt and the rising incidence of preventable disease. Our goal is to define a new way of delivering health.”

Founded in 2018 by chef Karen Gill, Focused Fork provides meal delivery services tailored to special dietary needs, including organic, low-carb, gluten-free, Keto, vegan, dairy-free, paleo and other specifications. Meals are prepared in a commercial kitchen at 311 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.

“We hear directly from our customers that our healthy food choices have improved their lives and their overall health,” Gill said. “We’re excited to play a role in Dohmen’s larger effort to address our country’s major health issues with its focus starting right here in Milwaukee.”

LaConte said Dohmen’s extensive experience in the health care industry makes it well positioned to bring the new solution to market.

“High-cost prescriptions and procedures are not the answer to treating preventable disease, and merely negotiating lower costs for them is not the answer to our country’s health care cost crisis,” she said. “A return to healthy food is the most efficient, effective and easy to use intervention for impacting the health of our communities, and the people within them.”

Today, the Dohmen umbrella includes: the Dohmen Company Foundation, health care technology platform developer Red Arrow Labs and Horizon Lab Systems, the software product operated under Red Arrow.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.