All photos are courtesy of Alvin J. Brown of Eye Snap Studios
Q&A | Chopping it up with the owners of Goodfit Kitchen
Flint, Michigan natives Carl Johnson Jr. and his wife Alexis are making people's lives easier and healthier with Goodfit Kitchen, a meal prep delivery service that promotes health and wellness. The company's name was inspired by the couple's motto of only wanting to align with things that are a good fit.
The two took a leap of faith to launch Goodfit Kitchen at the top of 2020, but was faced with immediate setbacks when the pandemic began. After several months of keeping the faith and working on their business model, things started to turn around for their food service in July of 2020.
Since then, Goodfit's name has been ringing bells, especially in the fitness community, and even landed them an exclusive collaboration with the fitness studio and brand, I Am My Billboard. Aside from delivering healthy meals to their clients, Goodfit also makes it a point to share nutritional information and resources on their social media platforms.
Despite their busy schedule, the husband and wife team found time to speak with us about their inspiration for creating Goodfit Kitchen, how they come up with different weekly menus, the recipe for a nice work-life balance and much more. Keep reading to get “the goods” on Carl and Alexis Johnson of Goodfit Kitchen.
The GOODS: What inspired you to bring Goodfit Kitchen to life?
Carl Johnson Jr: “Goodfit Kitchen started in February through us landing a contract with a cardiovascular center. We started seeing the results that we were getting from those participants who were eating the food we were preparing, and these were all heart disease or diabetes patients. They were in a program to reverse [their disease] or to come off of all or most of their medications, and it had a very high success rate. So, when we began to see results from that, we wanted to get healthy ourselves. We started eating differently, and I lost 16 pounds, and I didn’t even work out. It’s really all in nutrition, it’s really what you eat. I didn’t want to do a meal prep, but Alexis suggested that we at least try it.
After a couple of friends also suggested we try it, we took a leap of faith and did a tasting at a gym in March. We had gotten a bunch of signups and people were ready to go. They loved the food and cleaned us out at the tasting. This was literally the weekend before everything shut down. The clinic was shut down, so that gig was gone, and we never got the meal prep service going. We also dumped a bunch of money into buying a delivery vehicle, equipment, all that stuff. We really had to dig deep and say, “Okay, let's do this. Let's stick with it.” In July, we were called back to the cardiovascular center, then we started the meal prep service.”
TG: You post a new menu each week which I think is pretty unique. How do you go about deciding what goes on the menu?
Carl: “I watch a lot of food videos to get inspiration. We also ask our clients what they would want and what they’re interested in. We had a lady who brought us a frozen meal that she used to buy a lot, but it was full of sodium, right? She brought me the packaging, and she's like, “Can you make this healthy?” So, we get that a lot, and that's how we come up with new items, too.”
Alexis: “Sometimes, it's just one of those things where you’re just sitting and thinking about what kind of food would work well together. What pairs well, what would look interesting on the menu.”
TG: What's your favorite item on the menu at the moment?
Carl: "Mine is something we call “the heroes.” So, ever since I was younger, I've always loved potatoes. I was the guy that, if we were in a restaurant, I would order mashed potatoes and french fries, so I love potatoes. It's a potato-based dish with sauteed peppers and your choice of grilled chicken, shrimp or steak. Then, it's drizzled with a cheese sauce. We were very excited when we figured out how to make a healthier version of that dish. It tastes phenomenal.”
Alexis: “I have to say my power bites. They're peanut butter, banana, chocolate chip, and a little oatmeal. They're really good, and one of our biggest sellers as far as our snacks go. People are addicted to those. I really do take pride in them because I’m making something that people really like. You can think something tastes so good, but your customers really determine what’s good.”
TG: Tell us about your collaboration with I Am My Billboard.
Carl: “Our collaboration with them is pretty much where their clients use a special promo code on our website. It allows them to tap into whatever perks, benefits or discounts that we have collaborated on with the gym and agreed to pass on to their clients. The collaboration with them, or any gym, is where their clients are our clients.
Gym owners work really hard to keep their clients fit, but oftentimes, we get hungry, see a McDonald’s and just pull in because it’s quick, convenient and what we want now. So, you go back to the gym but can’t drop the 10 pounds you want to lose. It’s the nutrition part, it’s what we’re putting in our bodies as well. It’s a win for gym owners because now they can have their clients sign up and know exactly what they're eating. All of our meals include macros and the ingredients so you know exactly what you're putting in your body. You know your proteins, fats, carbs, and calories.”
TG: This question is for Alexis. As a mom and entrepreneur, how do you balance your work-life schedule?
Alexis: “I mainly delegate my time wisely. I tell myself that I'm gonna work until a certain time, then after that, it's all about my kids. That's it. That's all you can do. I mean, it’s a little hard because they are used to me being at home, but they understand. It gets hard when the kids want to spend time and I’m busy. That’s when I’ll tell them to give me an hour and then we can hang out. I had to start having a start time and end time. That’s the bottom line. It's hard, but I enjoy it.”
TG: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own health conscious food business?
Carl: “My advice would be to decide which field in the food industry you want to focus on, and start a business. You really want to be passionate about what it is you're offering, and what it is that you're doing, and not just doing it for the money. Money is necessary, but it shouldn't be the end all be all. If you're doing something that you're really passionate about, people [will] know that. And if the word gets out that your product is good and it's consistent, then you're going to develop a following. Just know in the beginning that you are going to have some obstacles, some pitfalls, but you never fail unless you quit. Me myself, let's see, I have started two restaurants, a catering business, a window washing business. Let's see what else have I done, Alexis?”
Carl: “She's laughing at the window washing business! (laughs). I've done MLM, mass mail, direct mail marketing. I've done it all. I am an entrepreneur, I want to work for myself, and it’s something that we believe is a good fit.”
Alexis: “I would say surround yourself around people that are doing what you want to do. A lot of times, you get people who want to give you advice, but the advice is not necessarily going to help you. It may not be bad advice but not all advice is good advice. For us, we were doing something that we had never done before, so we were looking at people that were in the health industry. We were seeing what they were doing, trying to get advice to see if we were on the right track. One of the biggest lessons we learned is that it’s okay to take information, but you don't necessarily have to utilize it because it might not work out for you. Eat the meat, spit out the bones.”
TG: Any shoutouts?
Carl: “Shout out to Oaklin! Very humble guy, my son loves and wears his brand. Ed and Tony Wilson, thank them for being like-minded entrepreneurs. You need other people that have similar goals, work ethic and morals that you have. I really didn't want to get into naming names, because I tend to forget some people, but I thank everyone that has really supported us and has really pushed the business. Our brother and sister, Alex and Natalie Kadie, of Eight Ten Nail Bar.
Just everybody that has had any part in helping Goodfit. If you have shared any of our content, if you have liked anything, if you've tried our food, even if you have not tried the food, but you have spread the word, we thank you, we love you so much, and we're extremely humbled. We just can't wait to see where Goodfit goes next.”
To stay up to date with Goodfit Kitchen, follow them on:
Also, visit their website: goodfitkitchen.com
While you're here, feel free to leave a comment and subscribe to The GOODS to receive exclusive content about culture-makers across the world!