Shop Talk Blog

Charlotte healthy personal chef is NAWBO’s ‘Rising Star’

Lisa Woodie
Lisa Woodie Photo by Donna Jernigan

If you’re busy, tired and sick of all the takeout, drive-thru’s or processed stuff you find in grocery stores, personal chef Lisa Woodie has a plate of roasted vegetable lasagna, crab cakes with Rémoulade sauce or creamy Dijon mashed potatoes just for you.

And here’s a bonus: You don’t even have to clean up once you’re done.

Since 2011, Woodie, 50, has run Homemade Fresh Chef Service, a Charlotte-based meal planning and preparation service for families, couples and businesses. Each meal is personalized according to the client’s tastes, needs, preferences, budgets and dietary requirements.

“I cook for singles, couples, families of all sizes (in) different professions, different ages,” Woodie said. “The common thread between all of them – they’re very busy people...and they want to eat healthier.”

Woodie is among five Charlotte-area business owners honored at the National Association of Women Business Owners Charlotte chapter’s annual Business Women of the Year awards gala last week. She won the Rising Star Award, Woodie won the Rising Star Award, presented to a NAWBO member who has demonstrated “entrepreneurial creativity and determination in successfully managing a business” that is less than 5 years old, a news release states.

According to NAWBO, there are up to 42,000 women-owned businesses in the Charlotte area.

Homemade Fresh was profitable “pretty much from the beginning” unlike her experience in the restaurant business, where profit margins are pretty low, Woodie said.

“I...get to make a variety of food for a variety of people but I also have extremely low overhead,” she said. “I’m doing all this in people’s homes.”

She works out a schedule with each client, goes to their home, prepares their meals and then cleans up the kitchen using non-toxic products. She services clients in the greater Charlotte region and plans to add additional chefs and employees as the business continues to grow.

Her foray into healthy cooking started after she sold her first restaurant and catering business. Around the same time, she lost her mother and sister to health-related issues. She eliminated processed foods from her diet and noticed “the difference in how I felt, my level of energy, level of focus.”

Since then Woodie, who broke into the food industry after a 20-year career in marketing, has been serving up healthy meals with a single goal in mind: “To help people transform the way they eat.”

Other NAWBO award winners included:

▪ Women Business Owner of the Year: Ellen Linares, HF Financial

▪ Business Leader Award: Jennifer Guthrie, owner and CEO of In-Flight Crew Connections

▪ Non-Profit Leader Award: Kerry Barr O’Connor, executive director of Dress for Success Charlotte

▪ Public Policy Leader Award: Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager