Food for thought Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Emerging

Even as a child, Zalmi Duchman had the entrepreneur’s drive — and it involved food even back then.

When he was 6 years old, Duchman sold candy bars to kids in his elementary school to earn extra money. Today, he provides a healthier diet as founder and CEO of The Fresh Diet.

In between food ventures, Duchman worked for a local condominium developer but realized the Florida real estate market was beginning to decline. At the same time, he received a call from a former roommate proposing that they start a kosher Zone Diet delivery service. After doing some research, Duchman discovered that he would rather pursue a daily fresh diet delivery service instead.

On Jan. 1, 2006, after work, Duchman — with the help of his wife — prepared meals and snacks for three clients and delivered the meals. He finished deliveries at about 7 a.m., made it to his day job and continued the routine for nearly two months until Duchman had enrolled 20 people in his daily delivery program. And at that point, he quit his condominium job to focus on The Fresh Diet.

Today, the company services clients in South Florida, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and Duchman projects expansion into San Francisco, Boston, Las Vegas, Dallas and Toronto within the year. He also has plans to enter the shipping business and the private labeling business, in which the company would collaborate with personal trainers and members of the health care industry to control the diets of clients and patients.

Duchman also takes part in green initiatives by eliminating the use of plastic silverware and using biodegradable containers instead. He will also stop outsourcing the driver/delivery portion of the organization and will instead maintain his own fleet of hybrid cars to transport the food directly to the client.

How to reach: The Fresh Diet, (866) 373-7450 or www.thefreshdiet.com