When Abraham Peña’s mother, Lourdes, died of a heart attack in 2015, he and his two younger brothers, Rodolfo, 24, and Gustavo, 27, knew that their lives will never be the same.
Their parents split up eight years ago, and they all chose to stay with their mom during the painful separation. Even though she was raising them alone, Lourdes remained an amazing parent to her three children.
However, there was one area of her life that she unwittingly overlooked: her health. The single mom suffered from diabetes, and her kidneys were also failing.
“She was having health problems and going to dialysis, having kidney failures and it got to the point where she had to be on a diet plan,” Abraham, 35, told Click2Houston.com.
He was always between jobs at the time, so his mom assigned him to cook healthy meals for her. However, Abraham didn’t know how, so he became his mother’s cooking apprentice.
“She was asking me to cook stuff for her and I didn’t know how, so she said I’m going to show you how,” he added.
Lourdes taught him what she knew about cooking while he worked jobs at a few burger joints. Abraham leveled up and began studying food business, marketing and promotion as well as what goes into the food.
He started checking labels, learning about macro-nutrients, and figuring out the best ingredients to include in her meals.
Doctors told Lourdes she needed to decrease her sodium intake, so Abraham first tried preparing simple meals for her, such as turkey wrap with greens and brown rice. As he got better, he decided to launch his own meal-prepping business called “Abe’s Fitty Foods.”
Weighing over 300 pounds, Abraham was struggling with his own health too at the time. Wanting to walk the talk, he began paying attention to his own well-being and started working out.
However, that first attempt at launching their food business didn’t work. He tried again a year later and was met with failure once more.
Their family struggled the most between the years 2015 and 2016. Abraham said their father sold their home and went to Mexico with the money, then their mother passed away in 2015.
With no home and no other family to rely on, the brothers struggled with their mother’s loss.
“For a year, we battled depression, we didn’t know where we were going to live,” Abraham said. He also lost track of his health goals during this time and gained 50 pounds.
Although the loneliness was too much to bear, the three siblings remembered what their mom always told them: to take care of themselves.
“That really opened my eyes, that I needed to get it together,” said Abraham.
As the oldest, he took the lead in caring for his brothers financially, physically, and emotionally.
While looking for ways to make ends meet, the brothers slept on friends’ couches and in their car. Luckily, a kind stranger learned of their story and helped them get back on their feet by giving them $4,000 to buy a house.
From there, they slowly recovered from the depression caused by their mother’s death. Abraham, Gustavo, and Rodolfo then decided that it was time they fulfill their beloved mom’s wishes for their family.
The trio motivated each other to live healthier lifestyles through exercising and eating healthy food. Then, they started working together on relaunching Abe’s Fitty Foods for the third time in early 2017, and they succeeded this time. The business went from getting 10 to 15 orders a week in 2016 to receiving over 500 a week!
Abraham and Rodolfo are in charge of the cooking, while Gustavo delivers the meals to locations all across the city.
The brothers also committed to achieving their health goals one step at a time. Since the summer of 2015, each of them has lost at least 100 pounds!
“My mom was in her early 50s when she passed away, and I thought I didn’t want to be in my mom’s predicament,” Gustavo said. “If I have kids, I want to see them grow. I want to know my grandchildren. I want to live life to the fullest.”
Their journey has been a difficult one, and we’re so glad to see these brothers finally thriving!
Watch the video below to learn more about the Peña brothers’ inspiring success story.