Recipe For Sizzling Growth

The Miami Herald reports that Zalmi Duchman never went to college, financed his business on his credit card, and can’t even taste the food his company delivers, because he keeps kosher.

But with an unstoppable drive to succeed, the 30-year-old founder and chief executive of the Fresh Diet has spearheaded the North Miami-based company’s growth over the past five years, to $7.5 million in revenue in 2009.

The idea: to bring healthy, portion-controlled diet meals to people’s doorsteps daily. To finance it, he put $500 on his Visa card: $100 for the incorporation fee and $400 for two ads in local papers.

On Jan. 1, 2006, Duchman made his first delivery. His wife and mother cooked the meals. He drove most of the night to deliver them, then worked at his job during the day.

During the first month, he signed up 13 customers – at $34.99 a day for 31 days, raking in more than $14,000 in revenue.

The Fresh Diet’s web-based system allows customers to sign up and order their food, while enabling executives to oversee everything from ordering to delivery to billing. It is also the blueprint for the company’s 50-plus independent drivers to map out their delivery routes.

The Fresh Diet now delivers to 1,900 people each day: three gourmet meals and two snacks a day.

And this year, the company, which employs more than 130 people – including 30 in Miami – is on course to generate $15 million in revenue.

Photos by Fresh Diet Inc..

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