Success Stories

Gourmet Guru, Inc.

Business Need

Jeff Lichtenstein was inspired to help provide New Yorkers with organic and natural foods after working at his father’s goat dairy farm in the Dominican Republic. In 1996, Jeff started Gourmet Guru by distributing natural and organic foods out of an old truck. Eventually, he began operating the manufacturing, importing, and distribution business out of a facility in the Bronx. Gourmet Guru became a trailblazer, embracing natural and organic foods before the terms had even been officially defined by the USDA. In addition, the company was the first distributor of Greek yogurt in the United States. In 2008, “Guru” Jeff was ready to expand again. He wanted to purchase, renovate, and equip a 27,000 square foot facility in Hunt’s Point but needed some help in order to expand.

Solution

With NYCIDA’s support in the form of real estate tax benefits, sales tax benefits, and a Mortgage Recording Tax waiver, Jeff was able to turn his vision for Gourmet Guru’s expansion into a reality. The new facility is LEED Silver certified and the company has added at least 20 new jobs to its team. In 2011, Gourmet Guru was recognized by Mayor Bloomberg with the Bronx Small Business of the Year award. The company makes every effort to support startups and to provide innovative products to its business customers, which include brands like Fairway and Whole Foods. Today, Gourmet Guru continues to make good on its mission to “help make the world a better place to eat.”