LG’s Elixir Entrepreneur ProfileJuly 10, 2019
Lesly Gourdet is the owner of LG’s Elixir LLC, a concoction crafted out of 11 natural and organically grown ingredients, cold-pressed into a potent potion. The elixir is a detox with properties conducive to good health. It is designed to boost the immune system and enhance the body’s energy.
Lesly’s elixir evolved from his childhood recipes created by his relatives to treat illnesses. He explains how he still remembers when his grandmother and great grandmother would pick herbs from the garden and fabricate them into different potions to address various illnesses he and his siblings were experiencing.
Later in his life, the first time Lesly experienced symptoms of the flu such as, feeling hot and cold, sweating, and shivering, he did not know what to do. He felt so weak that he called his mother who reminded him of the potion she had given him years ago. Lesly immediately took the herbal medicine and instantly was hopeful he would survive.
As Lesly made a choice to take his health into his own hands, he started using fresh herbal ingredients as a daily supplement. Upon becoming a vegetarian, he began juicing vegetables, fruits, and herbs, using ingredients, such as lemon, ginger, and honey, and the elixir was born. In the span of 17 years, Lesly’s elixir evolved to include 11 ingredients.
In late winter of 2017, the thought of sharing this elixir with the Charlottesville community was born. Lesly discussed this idea with many of his friends and family members who were very supportive. That summer, he began to frequently share his elixir with friends and vendors at the farmers market. Their opinions were also very encouraging and valuable. They supported his choice to officially sell his elixir at the farmers market. With the purchase of new equipment pieces and the best ingredients he could find, LG’s Elixir experienced a successful debut on May 26, 2018, at the Charlottesville City Market.
Three months after opening his business, Lesly attended CIC’s “How to Start a Small Business” Workshop. Although at the time, the business was up and running at a relatively good momentum, he knew that he did not have the experience, nor the knowledge he needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Lesly expressed that the workshop fueled his expectations and visions for LG’s Elixir. After enrolling in the entrepreneur workshop, Lesly was given a micro loan from CIC which he feels was instrumental in catapulting the business to the next level. He used the loan funds to purchase commercial and industrial equipment, both of which were necessary to improve not only the production of the elixir but also the quality of it. Lesly was able to start producing the elixir in a commercial kitchen, hire new employees, and invest in larger quantities of ingredients.
Lesly believes his biggest takeaway from the Entrepreneur Workshop was the opportunity to network amongst other established business owners in the community. In addition to this, through these sessions, Lesly feels he gained valuable marketing insights, clarification on perfecting his financial statements, and guidance for improving customer relations. Lesly continues to network with the CIC family after graduation and explains that he is constantly benefiting from consultations with members at the organization.
Lesly’s advice to CIC entrepreneurs is “to know and understand that CIC was invented to help them, support them, and provide them with the guidance and tools necessary to start and grow a successful business”. He also adds, “and have no fear”.
Lesly’s future vision for his company involves expanding outside of the Charlottesville community to eventually include the entire state of Virginia. His long-term goal is to establish an LG’s Elixir juice bar. “I personally feel grateful for the opportunity to have developed a relationship with CIC, and I am certain that so many other entrepreneurs share such mutual feelings. Let the journey begin”, he says, as there is so much more to come.