3 Charlotte food ventures look to land on more plates

• Tasteless oatmeal with no zest didn’t sit well with Charlotte’s Dave Waldman, a competitive bodybuilder and businessman.

He used oatmeal to pack on carbs, but wanted an all-natural fruit-based sweetener to liven it up a bit. When he could find none, he chose to make his own.

It took $250,000 and two years of finding ingredient suppliers and co-packers for Waldman, 46, to develop Kickers, powdered fruit flavor boosters that can go on oatmeal, pancakes and yogurt.

Kickers contain 15 to 20 calories and 2 to 3 grams of sugar per serving. Flavored pouches, sold on, cost $9.99; individual stick packs, $1.49; and variety packs between $11.50 and $39.96. They come in an assortment of flavors, including apple cinnamon, chocolate peanut butter banana and maple banana cream.

Waldman, an executive at a firm specializing in tax refunds triggered by corporate mergers and acquisitions, said he plans to pitch his products to grocer chains this year. A portion of his sales goes to the Wingman Foundation, a nonprofit supporting veterans that he and his twin brother started two years ago.

• Charlotte chef Julia Simon’s desire to share her love for healthy cooking is making its way to homes across North Carolina and beyond.

In 2012, Simon, 34, and former business partner Laura Neff founded Nourish, a line of home-delivery vegan meals that are free of gluten, dairy, meat and sugar.

Last month, Nourish began shipping weekly box meals containing breakfast, lunch, a snack, dinner and dessert for five days, to other states and North Carolina cities. Delivered by FedEx, the meals cost $230 each week. Local delivery orders start at $50. See more at

“We’ve created truly beautiful food that carries ... plant-based benefits with it, and we want to get it to anyone and everyone that wants to shift toward a lighter, more nutritious diet,” Simon said.

• Another Charlotte meal delivery company is making moves this year.


has hired

Kris Reid,

former executive chef at the


retirement community, to serve as its director of operations, a news release states.

Reid co-founded the Piedmont Culinary Guild in 2012, and currently serves as its executive director. She has served on the boards of the Mecklenburg County Fruit and Vegetable Coalition and Slow Food Charlotte, and chaired Charlotte Clean and Green’s food and beverage committee.

modPALEO advocates a Paleolithic diet, designed to emulate the plant, animal and fruit-based nutritional habits of humans in the prehistoric Paleolithic era.