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  • Writer's pictureChris Lassiter

The Goodmans: From passion to paycheck

Photo by Chris Lassiter

Ray Goodman told his wife Charlotte to turn her passion into a paycheck — the result: Charlotte’s Kitchenette.

The husband-and-wife’s pop-up tent offers soul food in Staunton and surrounding areas on weekdays. What was once a hobby for Charlotte is now a way to generate income. 

“My husband got sick and tired of me cooking in the front yard,” said Charlotte, who then let out a boisterous laugh. “I was cooking for fun. Then it became a passion. Then my husband said, ‘It needs to become a business.’” The Goodmans serve wings, greens, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and a host of other menu items. “That’s what I Iove cooking,” Charlotte said. “I’m a soul food type of person. I love cooking things that make people good. It’s comfort good.” 

Photos by Chris Lassiter

The pop-up tent is just phase one of Charlotte’s Kitchenette - the husband-and-wife cooking team is hoping to find a small-sized brick-and-mortar storefront to turn into a restaurant. The Goodmans are no strangers to entrepreneurial endeavors. Before they opened Charlotte’s Kitchenette, they started Charlotte Rays Commercial and Residential Cleaning, LLC. “We chose a cleaning service because we both have skills in cleaning,” Ray said. “Additionally, it was an inexpensive start-up. It was a start-up of less than $1,000.00.” 

The Goodmans are a testimonial of self-education. They self-researched all the information they needed to start their business endeavors on their own. “We used YouTube and Google,” Ray said. “For every question we have along the way, we just go to YouTube and try to find multiple videos on it, or we go on Google and read several articles about it. If it’s a good book recommended on the topic, we’ll go buy the book and read it. That’s how we did it.”

Follow Charlotte's Kitchenette on Facebook to stay up to date about delivery and catering options, and the pop-up tent dates and locations! Learn more about Charlotte Rays Commercial and Residential Cleaning on their website.

Story and photos by Chris Lassiter. Chris Lassiter works for the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge and highlights businesses for the Staunton Black Business Collective.

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