Kirk Girdley, Owner and Founder of After Body Meals, is a true entrepreneur. His journey into small business ownership started when he was waiting tables at a local seafood restaurant. "At the time, I was doing personal meal prep on the side. I'd post some pictures on social media and people started asking about buying my meals," he said. "At the time, waiting tables wasn't really paying the bills and the interest in meal prep that I was getting through social media was enough to push me into starting a full-time meal prep and delivery business."
The first go-around wasn't called After Body Meals and it wasn't just Kirk. He found a partner and together they did really well. Unfortunately, after about two and a half years in business, things didn't work out and the two partners went their separate ways. Kirk learned a lot from this experience and used this knowledge to officially launch After Body Meals in August, 2015.
Kirk started After Body Meals out of his apartment. He was cooking meals on a grill purchased from Walmart and delivering them himself. It wasn't long before he faced a new challenge. He needed more room. "We moved our cooking operations into the kitchen of a restaurant that was only open at night. We would cook and prepare our meals during the day and then clean up the kitchen to have it ready for when the restaurant would open at 5:00," he said. As the business grew so too did the need for even more room and a dedicated location. After Body Meals now operates out of their own location that includes a store front and some outdoor seating.
When you ask Kirk about his business, he's quick to point out several things that differentiate After Body Meals from the competition. "We're the only ones in the area that exclusively use antibiotic and hormone free poultry and turkey. We also use wild-caught seafood. We offer a fully customize-able menu. This allows you to pick your meals for the week. Our flexibility allows us to cater to our customers' specific needs and concerns, whether those include allergies, gluten intolerance and even vegan and vegetarian preferences." Their physical location is also a unique aspect. Having a store front allows customers to pick up meals or simply stop by for lunch, something the competition doesn't offer.
Kirk is extremely focused on building his business throughout Central Florida, but he's also looking towards the possibility of franchising his idea throughout the United States. Kirk believes the franchise model is appealing because each owner will be dedicated to his or her location. He's considering the possibility of starting with the St. Augustine market and expanding from there. Kirk is 100% behind his product and his excitement is truly genuine. "I love surrounding myself with people that are hard-working and I love to help them achieve their goals of eating healthy and losing weight," he said.
Kirk has some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "Go all in. Focus exclusively on your business. You don't always need business partners. Too many people trying to run a business takes time away from decision making and decisions need to be made quickly." He's also an avid reader. He recommends 10X by Grant Cardone, the E-Myth by Michael Gerber and The MFCEO Project Podcast with Andy Frisella.
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