Health care workers put in a lot of time on the job, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and during non-COVID times, working sometimes double and triple shifts. That leaves a lot of time at work — and sometimes during those busy times, not a lot of time for breaks.
That’s exactly why KaTina Zenner, a nurse, thought a business geared towards those unsung heroes would be beneficial.
“I’ve been a nurse for many, many years. And as a nurse, we all love snacks after working those long hours and never any time for breaks hardly ever,” Zenner said.
After Zenner broke her foot, and was off work, she thought about those non-existent breaks.
“While I was off work, I’m like, ‘hmm, what can I do?’ And then I thought, ‘well, we’ve got this pandemic going on. And people are overworked and understaffed and they need more help now than ever.’ So, I actually sent a bunch of samples out to some of the hospitals throughout the United States, and I thought it’d be a perfect time to start [this business].”
And FrontLine Snacks was born. In existence less than two months, Zenner’s FrontLine Snacks — a Sun Prairie company — offers several different varieties of boxes containing snacks and healthy foods geared towards those important workers. Why should non-healthcare workers check it out?
“Well, it’s not just for health professionals,” Zenner said. “There are many people that are out on the front lines and, you know, even teachers are out there, going an extra mile to help the kids out in the community to make sure that they’re getting the education that they need.
“And there are a lot of people — they had to stay home during this time too, and working from home and trying to get the school stuff done with their kids and having time to, you know, get their lunches or breakfast, whatever,” Zenner said. “This might be an easier option too, because there are some breakfast things in there too. We just had the idea of individual lunch boxes too. We put those up and we’re still working on some of those.”
FrontLine’s most popular box costs $32.99.
“It’s our Breakfast Box [Option 1],” Zenner said, referring to the most popular package FrontLine sells. “It has Carnation drink mixes, oatmeal packs, Nutri-Grain bars, Pop Tarts, KIND bars. It has trail mix, a different variety of cereals. It has Quaker Baked Squares, Kellogg’s Pastry Crisps, Belvita bars — it has 40 items,” Zenner said.
There are a lot of other options ranging in price from $9.99 for the Campbell’s Soup Lunch Box to Healthy Box Option #1 at $39.99. The company brochure also lists other options not current available on the company’s website for various holidays ranging from Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“There’s so many ideas out there that we have, and we welcome any ideas,” Zenner said. “And that — yes, student boxes. Actually, we had a college student in mind because they’re always cramming for their classes and exams, so yes, absolutely.”
Although only currently online, FrontLine eventually hopes to open a Sun Prairie storefront, according to Zenner.
“We would, at some point like to open a storefront . . . in the community in Sun Prairie, after all of this is more settled,” Zenner said, referring to COVID-19. “We wanted to try it online first and see how the COVID thing goes first before we decided to open up an actual storefront and having a place for high school kids too, during lunchtime, to be able to come down and get healthy snacks or lunches. That’s our goal.”
After COVID-19 ends, FrontLine will offer delivery within a 20-mile radius and a punchcard where customers get a free local delivery after the fifth one and 20 percent off their order.
FrontLine Snacks packages orders 7 days a week, with shipping occurring Monday-Saturday and taking an average 3-5 days within the U.S. Expedited shipping takes one to three days within the U.S., although there could be some delays due to COVID-19 and the holidays.
“We do it all ourselves, yeah,” Zenner said about assembling the boxes. “A lot of work. It’s fun though. You know, it’s just like a family thing and something I’ve always wanted to do, and put a lot of time and effort into it. It’s coming together. I enjoy it.”