YEAR FOUNDED: 2019
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 5
Description of Business: Chef-owners Lisa Resch and Geoff Novins of Naples launched Coastal Flight Provisions in mid-September. The catering company delivers gourmet meals and beverages to individuals and private company clients for dining before, during and/or after their flights at airports including Naples Aviation, Naples Jet Center and Flexjet at Naples Airport; Page Field and PrivateSky Aviation in Fort Myers; and Marco Aviation.
The Background: The menu offers about 100 items including local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, prime beef, domestic lamb, fresh seafood, craft dairy and cheese products, and other specialties. It is common to receive custom orders. “It’s nothing unusual, but they want what they want, when they want it,” she says. “If they want foie gras and caviar, we can do that. If they want orangecicle Dannon yogurt with Frosted Flakes, we can do that.”
Resch says her contract with Naples Airport requires Coastal Flight Provisions to remain open 24/7. “It’s super-challenging,” she says, noting both she and Novins are raising families. “We have really great people that work with us.” The five part-time employees help with meal prep, deliveries, order-taking and other administrative roles.
The Idea: Resch, who also owns Naples-based Carolina Catering Co., says she and Novins started in-flight catering with her existing clientele in mind, many of whom have private jets. Her existing 5,000 square-foot catering kitchen, which Coastal Flight Provisions shares, is near Naples Airport. “They have probably 100 to 150 private flights a day. We know people were looking for options,” she says about offering competition to two other local in-flight caterers. “We knew there was room for growth.”
The Money: Resch says although they saved some startup costs by sharing the kitchen, they still had expenses such as delivery vehicle insurance, eco-friendly packaging and labels. “We invested $50,000 all in for startup costs,” she says. “We project our revenue will be $750,000 to $1 million in our first fiscal year, October to October.” The goal, she says, is to double revenue in the second year.
The Results: Resch says they’ve handled more than 150 orders in the past six weeks. While the number of orders each day is unpredictable, she says the popularity of Coastal Flight Provisions is increasing. “People think this is excess, luxury. But when you’re flying, you’ve got to eat.”
What’s Next: While business is more seasonal for Carolina Catering, Resch says, “I’m hoping in-flight will be year-round.” She would also like to get it involved in the community by partnering with corporations for nonprofit events. “We want to make sure we don’t miss anything, that our product is great and we’re consistent. We want to make people know they can depend on us.”
Lessons Learned: Resch says they have learned that each airport is different, and each flight-based operation is different. “We have to be flexible,” she says.