Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Terra, Founder of Chef Liz Terra, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a plant-based chef, and I cook mainly for retreats, but I also cater for events, and I do private parties as well. All plant-based.
Tell us about yourself
I started cooking at around 14. I remember watching my grandma make gnocchi from scratch and being so interested in it at age 5. My parents don't like cooking, so I took the role. Five years ago, I stopped eating meat, and during the pandemic, I decided cooking vegan food was going to be my career. I took a health-supportive culinary arts class which was predominantly vegan, and started as a personal chef, cooking healthy food for a busy family. The business expanded, and now I am cooking for healing retreats, which is what motivates me: food heals. You just gotta eat the right things. When I see someone eating my food, appreciating it, and feeling better, my heart fills up with joy and a sense of "mission accomplished." Everything I know about healthy and healing foods needs to be passed along, people need to know that there's a way to never get sick, so this is what I do. I help people learn healthy eating habits and heal through food.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I used to think that having Hollywood clients was a great accomplishment. Financially, it is. Lol. But what moves me are the retreats. Spending 4, or 5 days with people, talking, getting to know them, telling them about food, the power of eating the right foods and being able to pass along what I know and help that's my biggest accomplishment. Well, also, when I work as a food vendor and my food is sold out, and people come to give me hugs saying, "omg, that was delicious!!!"
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The business. Haha, Well, being a business owner, the clients don't come knocking on your door. You gotta find them; you gotta convince them; you have to make people hire you. It's different when you work a 9 to 5, and you get your paycheck every month. Business owners don't have paychecks. We hustle 24/7.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Start, run, and grow. That's exactly it. Don't give up on a difficult day; there will be so many of them. But there will be days you'll cry tears of happiness because of your accomplishments. And have discipline, work smart, and get help with things you don't know. Oh, and save all your receipts for taxes since the very beginning - I learned that one the hardest way.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am an immigrant; I moved to this country 11 years ago; I was here illegally for six and for so long, I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Things change. Things get better. I look at myself now, and I'm so so proud. Hang on and follow your dreams. Listen to your inner voice, create your reality, and believe in yourself.
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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