A Gourmet History and Future of Atlanta Food Services
The Goldston name has been a major recognizable force in Atlanta business markets and the food services industry for decades. Nathaniel R. Goldston, III first opened his company Gourmet Services Inc, in 1974, and he moved the business to Atlanta by 1976. By focusing his business model on providing food services to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Gourmet Services produced over two million dollars in revenue by the end of its first year in business. Gourmet Services continued to expand and has developed other contracts catering offices on college campuses around the country.
Upon Mr. Goldston’s passing in 2017, his wife, Valerie Goldston who began with the company in 1997, assumed the reigns as Chair and CEO of Gourmet Services. Through her leadership, Mrs. Goldston focused on expanding her husband’s vision for the company as well as looking for new opportunities to grow. In 2019, acquired the branding and franchising rights to the Mrs. Winners franchise under A La Carte Menu Services, one of Gourmet Services affiliate companies which Mrs. Goldston also manages. Through this acquisition, Mrs. Goldston has continued efforts to diversify her business portfolio and pursue contracts with government, corporate entities and various airports.
Mrs. Goldston noted that although the Gourmet companies have expanded past her husband’s original business pursuits, she has made an effort to uphold his dedication towards educating and contributing to local communities. An advocate for education and business development, the acquisition of the Mrs. Winners franchise allows her to help build entrepreneurship opportunities and help stimulate local economies. Within the last year, the Gourmet team oversaw the opening of four more Mrs. Winners locations across Georgia and Alabama with the most recent located on Roswell Road.
Although Mrs. Goldston has known about the Georgia MBDA Centers since the 1990s after referring individuals to the group when she served as president of the Atlanta Business League, she only recently began to capitalize on the services provided by the Centers. After connecting with Anita Davis, a business advisor for the Georgia MBDA Centers, Mrs. Goldston employed the services of the Georgia MBDA Centers in the acquisition of the Mrs. Winners franchise.
“The MBDA center is a silent gem. There are resources that they have access to that a lot of small businesses do not know about; services such as proposal writing, navigating the government sector, access to capital, and introducing individuals to potential business opportunities and many others. One of the things that has been very helpful was becoming actively engaged with the Centers and their clients. We’ve not only met people in the Centers who can provide access to resources, but we have also met other clients who might take an interest in our services.” Valerie Goldston
Most recently, Mrs. Goldston stated that she has worked closely with Anita Davis to secure funding via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Since a large portion of Gourmet Service’s revenue stream comes from HBCU and catering, campus closures due to COVID-19 acted as an unforeseen hurdle that Mrs. Goldston needed to navigate. With the PPP funding, Mrs. Goldston noted that she will be able to provide more job opportunities for employees and grow her brand outside of college campus. Freeing up capital will allow for the opportunity to open more physical locations and services.
Mrs. Goldston noted that Gourmet Services Inc. and Ala Carte Menu Services is always eager to talk to those interested in entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. Please visit Gourmet Services website and Mrs. Winners website for more information.