Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition of Hillsborough County
The importance of moving at your own pace cannot be stressed enough to business owners. No one understands this more than John Richardson of Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition. Richardson developed an interest in creating and serving healthy food during the time he spent with the fire department. Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition now specializes in gourmet spreads, shakes, wraps, and meal preps.
“They’re very low calorie and high protein, all clean food, no GMOs,” he said. “We use organic vegetables in those products. It consists of celery, carrots, red onions, black olives, red peppers; those are simple ingredients in all of our products.
“We also do meal preps; you customize your own meal prep. You choose three from 15 different items and if you have your order in by 5 p.m., it’ll be ready for you by the next day at noon. We also do free delivery in the Tampa Bay area, which is good for everybody.”
Richardson has been working with the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County for the past five years. He’s learned a spectrum of practices, from conducting an elevator pitch to finding a central location for his store with connections he made through the Florida SBDC Network.
“I used the information I learned from the SBDC to launch my business without wasting any time trying to fish around and find out exactly what direction to take,” he said. “It allowed me to speak to Janette Blanco and she directed me to what classes I needed to take as far as QuickBooks, marketing, restaurant management, and preparing my logo.” Blanco is a business consultant for the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County.
“My business has grown using the SBDC by meeting other people, other small business people during classes and meeting business people who can help me expand my business,” Richardson said of its impact. “That’s how I found my location; from another business owner. I started from selling my own spreads in little coolers going around to different gyms to having my own box store where I have a central location where people can come and pick up my Jon’s Gourmet Products.”
Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition now has 11 products and is planning to expand into its very own commercial kitchen in the future. The company’s strategy is to market its products within Florida and ultimately, nationwide.
“You have to be consistent and persistent. I work hard now, but I’m very passionate about what I do. I like to give people healthy stuff to eat. We make it easy for people to have healthy nutrition for themselves,” Richardson added.
The company is a huge advocate for bettering the community and even has a few success stories of its own.
“A lot of my clients have gone through weight loss transformations due to the Herbalife shakes I use,” he said. “Also my meals that have helped them maintain a low calorie and high protein diet. Like I said, no GMOs, no anything that will have adverse reactions. I do ketogenic friendly meal preps. I do vegan. You customize your meals for yourself. I give them the option of all different types of diets.”
Working alongside business consultants Blanco and Carol Minor, Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition is now working on its five-year plan and is looking forward to upcoming opportunities.
As far as advice for other entrepreneurs goes, Richardson said he would tell them to go “straight to the SBDC.”
“That’s where I started. It takes all the guesswork out,” he added. “All you have to do is tell them what you would like to do and what your dreams are and your desires and they plan out step-by-step what classes you need to take, who you need to get in contact with, and they walk you through it at your own pace.”
Jon’s Gourmet Nutrition also offers catering and event services where clients can rent its space on Saturdays and Sundays for office meetings, events, birthdays, or celebrations.