Founder of Gourmet Services, Inc., Nathaniel Russell Goldston, III was born on October 20, 1938, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Nathaniel and Mary Elizabeth Goldston. Goldston’s mother worked in food service in the public school system and his father at the local hotels and restaurants. Goldston received his B.S. degree in business administration with a concentration in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Denver in 1962.
Goldston worked at a food service company for ten years after graduating from college; he held positions such as district manager, regional vice president, and senior vice president. After being denied a promotion to chief executive officer due to racial discrimination, Goldston left in 1974 to start his own business, Gourmet Services, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gourmet Services, Inc. grew to include contracts at six black colleges and employ 300 individuals; in its first year, the company generated $2.3 million in revenues. In 1976, Goldston met former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, who encouraged him to move Gourmet Services, Inc. to Atlanta. The business continued to grow after relocating, and eventually Gourmet Services, Inc. became the nation’s largest African American-owned food service management companies, boasting 2,500 employees; it was ranked fourteenth among the nation’s top 50 food service companies.
In 1986, Goldston founded the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of America along with twenty-one other local businessmen and civic leaders. In 1989, Goldston became the 100 Black Men of America’s second national president. Gourmet Services, Inc. has donated millions of dollars in scholarships to students attending historically black colleges and universities; Goldston also established the Mary E. Goldston Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving African American students.