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Old 10-24-2005, 06:41 PM   #1
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Who's in the food business?

I'm looking into starting my food business, perhaps becoming a Pampered Chef consultant then go on to catering. With limited money at hand, I will need to start cooking out of the house (provided the city regulations allow it). I will begin the consulting business and start building rapport with potential clients. I love to cook and friends and family have been telling me for years to start my food business. So much insistance has led me to believe that this is a "BIG" possibility for me. Any biz ideas or suggestions?

What have you done, or what are you doing to start your food business? Let us know and give us your feedback on pros and cons, achievements and failures, etc.

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Old 10-25-2005, 03:38 AM   #2
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A friend of mine had a small catering business in London. When I lived there, I helped out with some of the evening catering. Usually it was dinner parties in the posher areas of town like Kensington or Chelsea or Islington - and it was extremely HARD work..

She, like me, was a self-taught cook, who had (also like me) attended short-term cookery courses at various cookery schools in the UK and Europe.

She had a small van that she bought (owned a volvo estate, but that soon proved too small for the requirements of some of the dinner parties). She had to invest in extra freezer and fridges - to chill the many different types of buffet foods that she was often asked to cater. She had to bring her kitchen up to standard for preparation of foods for commercial purposes and that was expensive, too.

She had contracts for business lunches in the City - and was extremely successful.

However, after about 3 years she was totally burned out (I had to stop helping after about 6 months, simply because I was too tired to concentrate on my 'day' job!)

I say go for it. If you don't try it, you'll never know whether you could be a success.

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2005, 05:09 AM   #3
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I can't offer any practical advice but I can say that following a dream is always the right thing to do!

People don't spend much time regretting what they did do ~ but they spend plenty of their time regretting what they didn't.


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Old 10-25-2005, 01:44 PM   #4
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Ishbel,
Thanks for sharing your story. I know it's hard work where one has to devote many hours of energy. But as Zereh says, I don't want to regret not giving it a try. Thanks for the reality tip Zereh.

Dina
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Old 10-29-2005, 09:37 AM   #5
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Work Work Work Work, Get To Know Your Dealers And Salesmen, Always Try And Get The Local Product, And Goods, Meat Cheeases Veggies, The Like And Work Work Work Work!!!!
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Old 10-29-2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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I cooked for a living for years. When I decided to quit I still had to fund a way to go back to school. I started to cater in home meals. Usually romantic meals for 2. I would sit with a client and make the menu and then I would shop for the food and cook it at the clients home. That way I did not have to have a commercial kitchen and not a huge lay out. I did have to have the money to pay for everything first then the client would pay me. I had my own cookware and knives. this is a pain to carry around but well worth it. I did a few small weddings and only had to hire a helper a few times. After 4 years of collage I had to find someone to replace me as I had clients that were upset that I was now doing data entry. A friend wanted to cater but found out that it was easier to get her kitchen up to code to bake. She ran a successful bussiness out of her kitchen baking fancy cakes and desserts for resteraunts in Edmonton, Alberta. She retired when she got married and had 2 children. she still has customers trying to get her to do just a few pies LOL. there are ways to do this that don't cost to much money.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:05 PM   #7
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I too have wanted to get into Catering. I would love to have my own Catering business someday. Right now though I have small children at home and my husband is in the Military and away a lot. So I have decided to start my cooking career with Pampered Chef. Im glad I chose this path, it has been a lot of fun and has been very rewarding. If you haven't already talked with a Pampered Chef consultant about starting your own business email me and I'll be happy to send you information and help you get started.
Good luck with whatever you choose!!
Amy
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:57 PM   #8
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ArticKatt,
In what state did your friend run her homebased baking business from? Here in Texas, or at least in the area where I live in, homebased food businesses are not permitted. I tried starting a homebased bakery last year but the city restrictions did not allow me to. I'd have to have a separate space, apart from the home structure, where the business can be held in order for inspections to take place. I even thought of opening a Krispy Cream donut shop cause there's none down here. Capital is the issue.

Amy,
Thanks for your offer. I found a consultant down here. As a matter of fact, we met at my neighborhood park a couple of months ago and have become good friends ever since. I'm starting the Pampered Chef business this month and will be booking some shows for December. In the process, I plan to sell specialty pastries for the holidays as I go. I too have a toddler and two elementary school kids. I need a flexible job too. Good luck to you.

Dina
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:01 PM   #9
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Dina, ArticKatt is Canadian. Her friend ran her business from her home which I noticed was in Edmonton!

Dina, can you be a personal chef? That way what you would do is go into peoples homes and cook for them in their own kitchens. You could shop for them or use what they have. Lots of options that way.
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:39 PM   #10
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Duh! Yep Alix. A personal chef doesn't sound like a bad idea either. Then of course, I have teaching to fall back on, thankfully.
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