He Turns Health Into Wealth

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It was just two years ago, that Michael Gould stood beside his daughter Melanie for the grand opening of his first restaurant in Brooklyn.  Now, as demand for healthy eating grows, Gould is cashing in with the opening of a second restaurant.

The first restaurant, Melanie’s, named after his daughter, stood out among the rows of fast food chains and neighborhood delis along Fulton Street in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.  With money made from wise real estate investments, Gould purchased the building at 1285 Fulton Street in 1981. 

As the surrounding area began to change for the best, people moving back in and the demand for services and eateries growing, so did the number of fast food chains and bodegas. 

Gould noticed that the people moving back into the area were different from those who lived there 20 years earlier.  “They wanted to eat and shop and had the money to do it,� he says.  “They were also more health conscience, but often had to go outside the area to dine.� In 2005, with his own financing Gould opened Melanie’s, a restaurant that offers a healthy menu with a Caribbean flair.  To be sure, Roti and other native Caribbean dishes are found at most eateries along Fulton Street, yet Melanie’s offers its patrons a unique eating experience that have kept the traffic growing at this restaurant since it opened its doors in 2005.

“My secret ingredient is consistency,� says Gould.  “When people are given choices they can enjoy eating tasty foods prepared for a healthier lifestyle. I try to provide consistency in authentic Caribbean dishes and favors, consistency in great customer service, and consistency in a clean, safe, and exciting atmosphere where you can bring your family, business associates, and friends to eat right in the neighborhood. You take a risk opening any business, but my investment here is also an investment to the community.�

He says he employs from within the neighborhood. He is also proud to provide affordable living space—the building has four apartment units over the restaurant.  “If more landlords took care of their buildings instead of renting out just the commercial space, Fulton Street could become just like any other booming business area in Manhattan where people spend time and money,� Gould observes.  

The success of Melanie’s on Fulton Street has prompted Gould to open his second restaurant in Brooklyn, this time in Flatbush on 3322 Church Avenue. Offering the same consistencies as the first Melanie’s, Gould is hoping his new investment will benefit the community as well. 

Caribbean music welcomes customers at Melanie’s from morning to night. Health shakes and drinks are served daily; all breads and desserts are made on the premises.  Gould takes pride in using state-of-the art kitchen equipment and cooking foods low in fat but high in taste.  Many of the dishes are recipes from his native Trinidad.  The restaurant has acquired a large following of faithful non-coffee drinkers who stop by each morning to get healthy fruit and vegetable drinks. Gould hopes to open a third Melanie’s in Harlem in the near future.   

The Grand Opening of Melanie’s at 3322 Church Avenue will take place on Thursday, April 26 at noon.  Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will join Michael and Melanie for the festive opening, as will President and CEO of the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Roy Hastick.

For more information call 347-767-8899


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