Boyer Derise, our Founder and Owner, sat down with Adam Daigle of The Acadiana Advocate to reflect on the past few years of Good Eats Kitchen and to give a forecast of how business’ future plans for expansion in the latest edition of “How I Got Here.”
What is Good Eats Kitchen?
GEK is definitely a nontraditional food service. We are a weird hybrid of a retail store and a restaurant, although we try to run the business much like a restaurant… We work hard to educate our customers as to who GEK really is. Our brand gets wrapped up into the meal prep world almost immediately. While at the basic level we are a prepared meal business, we think that our brand is much more than simply meal prep. Our concept is built around fresh, high quality ingredients and a chef-inspired rotating menu.
Expanding into Baton Rouge
Our expansion into Baton Rouge last November was a wild ride. We opened our first Baton Rouge location, what we consider our flagship location, the Monday after Thanksgiving. We then completed an acquisition of Fresh Kitchen and their two stores a little over a week later — all in less than two years since opening our original location in the Oil Center. That rate of growth was painful to be honest, although the acquisition was a pretty efficient way to really jump into the market and take all of the market share that we would have had to fight for if Fresh Kitchen had remained.
What’s next for you and GEK?
We do plan to expand the GEK brand into other markets such as New Orleans or Houston. Our next step is getting our new production facility built. With that will come a new food manufacturing company called Mise en Place Foods. “Mise en Place” is a French culinary term translating into “everything in its place,” which is sort of fitting for a prepared meal production company. Good Eats Kitchen would remain in the retail world and would be the first customer of MePF. This pivot to wholesale production became part of our strategic path early in the life of Good Eats Kitchen.