Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Annie Berger, Founder of Little Lady Chef, located in Bethesda, MD, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Serving families in Washington, DC, and the surrounding area, Little Lady Chef, offers health-supportive personal chef services, in-home catering, recipe development, and meal planning. Our specialty is clean comfort food – updated classics, made well and in-season.

Tell us about yourself

My journey as a chef began several years ago when I was diagnosed with a chronic inflammatory condition with no common cause or cure. I sought out gentle treatments I could sustain and started examining what I put in my body. And, I started cooking – a lot. At the onset of treatment, my diet was limited, as I could tolerate very few foods without discomfort. Despite this, I was empowered by taking charge of my health and well-being. Gradually, my condition improved, and my palette expanded. I discovered a love for wholesome, seasonal ingredients – prepared well and raised with care.

Once my own health was restored, I wanted to share my passion for food while helping others achieve optimal health and conquer dinner. In April of 2013, I enrolled in the Natural Gourmet Institute, and now I’m fortunate enough to nourish people with my cooking. Since 2014, Little Lady Chef has offered meal prep personal chef services, in-home private events, cooking classes, and instruction, as well as recipe development for food brands, publications, and retail outfits.

I should clarify that I’m not a healer, and food is not a panacea. The path I took was specific to me, but I think we can all benefit from sitting down at the table and sharing a good, homemade meal. I live in Washington, D.C., with my delightful pups and husband, who happily gobble up everything I cook for them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is improving the daily lives and well-being of a roster of respectful, supportive, and kind clients.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As the sole proprietor of my business, I miss the collaboration and exchange of ideas that comes with being part of a team. This journey is very rewarding but can be lonely at times.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Identify and get to know your ideal client.
  2. Be adaptable: be willing to adjust your product/offerings based on the needs and feedback of your clientele.
  3. Set up systems to steam line your workload, delegate, and outsource what you can.

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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