5 More Questions with Amber + Carter
5 questions (and answers) with Amber and Carter Lewis, co-owners of The Good Kitchen, a prepared meal delivery business based in Charlotte, NC
What selling points set you apart from other companies?
Amber: I would say our passion for healthy food and supporting other small businesses. Also, we LOOOOOOOVE our customers and are always so excited to hear from and talk to them. They are what makes our world go 'round!
Carter: Commitment to sourcing. Commitment to a great customer experience. Delicious Food. Those sound obvious and cliché, but ask the folks who buy our meals and that’s what they’ll tell you.
What is the most challenging part about owning your own business?
Amber: The responsibility we carry. It’s literally the last thing that I would have pegged as a challenge. Every decision we make as owners affects 12 other lives and the lives of their families.
We have a community depending on us to be successful and sustainable with both our products and our business. That’s a tall order and the responsibility can be really overwhelming at times. One of the best pieces of business advice I have ever received was from my Mom - she said, “You just have to be a duck and let it roll off your back." I still struggle with not taking things personally, but I am working on it. I am also the most hard-headed person on the face of the earth. So that helps.
Carter: Turning away for any period of time. There’s always something you can be doing. Something you need to be doing. Something you just thought of or remembered, or something you meant to do earlier today, yesterday, the week before. And there’s always an email hanging in my “drafts” folder. Well, owning a business as a couple has it’s challenges too, but Amber’s lucky enough to have someone who’s as easy to get along with as I am. Ask her.
What is the most rewarding part about owning your own business?
Amber: Being able to live out a passion and see it actually flourish. I mean, talk about overwhelming... but in a different way. There are many times when I talk about our business and I get choked up - it really does become a part of you and it has a very special meaning to me.
I built this business out of love and respect for my Mom. She’s my hero and I miss her every single day. TGK allows me to honor her memory in a way I had never dreamt. We get to provide nourishment for hundreds of people every week. How rewarding is that?
Carter: Happy customers. Happy employees. The occasional opportunity to hang out with farmers. And eating the subject matter of the photo shoots (I always tell folks I was the original taste tester for TGK).
Honestly though, it’s when someone walks up to me and tells me how great the food is or how awesome their recent customer service experience was. Who doesn’t love positive feedback, right? But, this is our baby and it’s great when people dig it as much as you do.
What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
Amber: Nothing. I mean there are a lot of things I think I would want to change… but in reality, everything that has happened has happened for a reason. I have gained or learned from every mistake. I’ve celebrated the victories. One of my most hated expressions is, “It is what it is,” but damn it’s true.
Carter: Very tough question. I guess I would have gotten an MBA or some background in business, marketing, agriculture, finance, law, the culinary world and logistics… instead of an education in Graphic Design. Though, there are certainly pieces of that background that apply to what we do today.
Imagine a perfect world in which you had a weekend off… what are you doing for fun?
Amber: That’s easy - I am at the beach with the hubs and the pups. My happy place is in the sun, sand and waves.
Carter: White sand. Blue water. Or acres of hillside and mountains with no one around. Always been attracted to the mountains, but the beach ain’t bad either. And no phone. But Amber and the dogs can come along, too.