Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kiki Coll, Founder of American Vintage Chef Services, located in Bear, DE, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the sole owner/operator of American Vintage Chef Services. I offer weekly in-home meal service, as well as special occasion dinner parties. My food is vintage recipes that meet farm to table. I take the recipes our mothers and grandmothers used, give them my own twist, and incorporate fresh, local ingredients to bring my client's familiar flavors, updated comfort foods, and sweet memories. A taste of nostalgia!
My weekly clients are busy families & professionals who want to come home to homecooked meals but may not have the time to shop, travel, & cook. But, I also cook for clients just wanting to celebrate a special occasion or maybe temporarily need meal assistance due to health, or family change, like a new baby or an aging parent.
Tell us about yourself
I am an intuitive chef who learned to cook and bake on the strings of my mother's apron. My earliest memories are of standing on an old, wooden chair beside my mother as she formulated her recipes into delightful baked goods and familiar family meals. That tiny yellow kitchen with the 1970's flower power wallpaper was the center of our household. It was there that I learned the steps and techniques of baking bread, slow cooking a roast, and canning the fruits of our gardens. It was there that I learned about the connection between food and nostalgia.
My passion for the culinary arts seems to have been born into me. I'm happiest when in the kitchen! My clients are my motivation. Cooking for other people is very personal, and I gain great pleasure as well as a connection when people enjoy my food. Food nurtures both the body and the soul. Farm to table ~ table to soul.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'd say my biggest accomplishment as a business owner, particularly sole owner, is cultivating a social media following of over 275,000. That kind of support not only humbles me but keeps me motivated to do more and give more to my business. With their feedback, I've grown my business for the better and have so much more to create!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I'd say the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is having to wear many hats! Spreading oneself too thin is easy to do when you are a solo entrepreneur. Don't be afraid to ask for help and delicate some task.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do what you are passionate about, not necessarily what you believe will make money. Passion paths the road for profit.
- Find a Niche within your field, and use it to hone a brand that separates you from similar businesses and grows a more personal connection with your audience.
- Use any resources available to you that increase your knowledge of owning/growing a business, ask questions, and seek answers.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I expect my first set of American Vintage Recipe Booklets to be available by early August. Updates will be posted on my Facebook & website. Tune in for a taste of nostalgia with Chef Kiki!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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