BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- With the economy continuing to falter and jobs still hard to come by, some folks are getting creative on how to make a buck. One company in our area is taking a load off those who don't know how to cook, and has even gotten the governor's attention.
Gov. Bev Perdue made her way to Pender County Tuesday to honor Custom Fit Meals, a small business based in Burgaw. The company received the Governor's Innovative Small Business Community Award because of its creative solution to unhealthy eating.
"There was a time in my life I was 300 pounds and miserable. I was eating a lot of bad food, and I started cooking fresh food for myself, and I would do this Sunday ritual where I would cook everything for the week, and it got tiresome. It's very hard to do, so I said I need to find someone to do it for me. Looked around and couldn't find anybody, so I said that sounds like a good business idea," Custom Fit Meals owner Mike Clay said.
Perdue says small businesses like this may be what helps end the substantial unemployment rate in North Carolina. She says it just takes one person having a big idea.
"Remember that 97 percent of businesses, of the jobs in North Carolina are held by folks who work in small businesses, and so it's not all about the big gorilla that we hunt from some other state or country," Perdue said. "It's about people in our state realizing that there are big ideas they can have."
Perdue says Clay did not ignore the fact that he had a problem and wanted a solution to how to eat healthy but not have to cook for himself. Now he has a solution and a thriving business that employs ten people and has the potential to employee about 40 more.
"It's what's made North Carolina great for more than 100 years. It's how we'll come out of this recession that we're in by focusing on big ideas in every community in the state," Gov. Perdue said.
Clay says his business is working toward a healthier community in body and mind. He says it works as a motivation for those who feel like they are stuck with bad eating habits or without a job.
"We hope, like our program, it gives them hope," Clay said. "If you're ready and willing to work hard, like we all have been here, we can grow this thing together."
Perdue says she believes custom fit meals could really catch on and may one day be a company other parts of the state try to get expand in their area.