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Our Story

A Piece of a Greater Vision

Gourmet Services, Inc. (GSI) is a premier African-American woman owned foodservice management company in the United States that provides contract and consumer based feeding, as well as retail management services.


The NMSDC and WEBNC certified MWBE Gourmet Services, Inc. is led by one of America’s most visionary women and business leaders, Valerie Goldston. In forging a dynamic new future for the company, Mrs. Goldston stands on GSI’s nearly fifty year track record of business success and improvement of all of the communities in which it operates.


Launched in 1974, GSI was the brainchild of Omaha, Nebraska native, the late Nathaniel R. Goldston, III. Mr. Goldston acquired a penchant for the food service business while observing his parents managing the family’s catering business. Mr. Goldston’s father also worked in food service at a local hotel. Following college and a tenure with a major foodservice company, his incredible grasp of the intricate details of customer service and satisfaction, as well as his desire to incorporate his own unique brand of these tenets into the business, led him to found his own company-Gourmet Services, Inc.


The company’s name speaks to his business vision; the provision of an exceptional dining experience with incomparable customer service and satisfaction, coupled with an emphasis on qualitative food management practices, all delivered by a concerned and competent staff. With consistent adherence to this business vision, a philosophy that seeks to cultivate and sustain mutually beneficial client relationships, Gourmet Services successfully attracts a team of seasoned professionals who possess the same attributes as its founder-the embodiment of a passion and drive to achieve excellence.


Gourmet serves corporations, historically black colleges and universities, and retail consumer markets while providing fresh foods with real time progressive cooking methods. With over forty seven years of experience in cafeteria and dining hall management, a demonstrated capability to develop and implement a diversified and innovative approach to dining services, GSI provides a variety of customized foodservice programs tailored to the needs of our clients.


Seeking to form a true business partnership, building on their long history of experience in and service to the historically black colleges and universities sector of the contract feeding market, in 2000, the husband and wife team of Nathaniel R. III and

Valerie M. Goldston, re-formulated their business expansion plan and launched A la Carte Menu Services, Inc. (A la Carte).


Using their unique experiences with diverse aspects of food service, A la Carte was founded to provide a new type of exceptional dining experience, i.e. white table cloth

service in a casual feeding environment, to corporations and others demanding the best in employee food service.


Following Mr. Goldston’s passing in 2017, Mrs. Goldston assumed the helm of the company and again redefined the A la Carte and Gourmet brands (the Gourmet Companies) as she sought to enter the fast casual dining services.


Late in 2018, the company would enter into negotiations for the purchase of the Mrs. Winner’s brand. Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits™ is an iconic fast food restaurant chain specializing in made-from-scratch biscuits and fried chicken, with legacy markets throughout the Southeastern United States. Mrs. Winner’s was founded by Jack C. Massey, a one-time owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken. In 1979 Massey bought the Granny's of Atlanta chain of 21 restaurants and renamed it Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits. By 1984, the chain boasted a total of 184 stores. The restaurant chain would go through several owners before being acquired by A la Carte Menu Services.


With the Mrs. Winner’s brand under A la Carte management, franchise support, franchise development and re-entering legacy markets are the priority. Commitment from current franchise owners demonstrates the enduring strength of the brand, especially in its core urban markets. As A la Carte expands the Mrs. Winner’s brand, it builds upon its current success and its expertise and experience to rekindle the passion and strong following of loyal customers who are starving for the taste of delicious chicken, biscuits, and cinnamon swirls that can only be delivered by Mrs. Winner’s Chicken & Biscuits.


Today, as minority woman owned and controlled businesses, the Gourmet Companies maintains focus on the combined vision of its founders while recognizing that the company is only as good as the last meal it serves. The Gourmet Companies remain committed to their pledge to provide the finest in food service management for those who demand the best in quality and service, and to please the select clientele who know the difference.


By implementing a strategy of organic growth and synergistic acquisitions, Mrs. Goldston has positioned the company for exponential growth over the coming years and decades.

Owner & CEO

Valerie Goldston

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Valerie M. Goldston is Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, CEO and majority shareholder of the Gourmet Services, Inc. and its affiliate companies, providers of food service management services in contract feeding, cafeteria management, catering, mobile feeding, brand management, and concessions.  In her role as CEO, Mrs. Goldston is responsible for corporate governance, organizational, financial and corporate business and development strategies for A la Carte Menu Services, Inc., Gourmet Services, Inc., and Gourmet Services of Louisiana, Inc. She is currently a member of Women in Foodservice, Corporate Development Committee, National Restaurant Association, and the Society for Foodservice Management, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Cirque du Sophia, and the Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO).  An avid golfer, Mrs. Goldston has won over fifteen tournaments nationwide and enjoys reading and travel. 

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