Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katie Simmons, Founder of Chef Katie Simmons, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

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

I'm a personal chef offering weekly meal service, private dinners, corporate catering, and healthy cooking classes. I am passionate about healthy eating, and my busy clients love coming home to a fridge full of healthy meals. As life gets busy, it can be easy to fall for the temptation of convenience food and take-out. However, I'm here to help you stay on track to make your health a priority.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a classically trained chef who attended culinary school at Kendall college after working on organic farms in New Zealand and falling in love with how food brings people together. I've worked at James Beard-winning restaurants and developed recipes for Whole Foods. I love to travel, having visited almost every continent. Since starting my own personal chef business for almost 10 years, I've been inspired to bring all of those delicious global flavors to the kitchen. My clients motivate me to explore new cuisines and cook classic recipes with modern, healthier twists.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've been ranked #1 on Yelp for many years. Also, my blog, Plants-Rule, has been featured on many healthy eating sites like Forks Over Knives and Food Revolution. My writing and recipes have been featured in many publications.

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

The personal chef business, in particular, is unique. When I first started, it was a learning curve to figure out all of the logistics of running this business. I've faced challenges finding good packaging, timing deliveries, and finding good assistants. However, in the past 10 years, I've learned a lot and have an amazing network of fellow chefs and cooks who have helped.

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

Before you decide to start your own business, first, make sure you are truly wild about your work. Many people say they would love to have my job, but the reality of cooking for 4-6 hours a day is much less glorious than what they see on TV shows. Also, talk to others in the industry who have created what you want. Many business owners are happy to share their success and learned lessons. Third, go for it! Let go of any past doubts or negative self-talk. Trust your willingness to work hard - you can do it!

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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