Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mel Athulathmudali, Founder of Chef Mel Creations, located in Dundas, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a caterer, teacher, and cook. My client base includes anyone that wants to learn about food in a fun, entertaining, and casual atmosphere. I travel to clients’ homes and give instructive dinner parties at which I cook with them and teach them new ways to look at familiar ingredients.
Tell us about yourself
I love cooking, and after 25 years spent traveling the world as a flight attendant, I decided to go to culinary school to hone my kitchen skills. I wanted to be able to take what had been a hobby and turn it into a career. Since then, I have turned this fun hobby into a business through which I can share my love of good food and entertainment with my clients. My main motivator is the satisfaction of watching someone who wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves a good cook produce a stellar meal and seeing the happiness they derive from sharing that meal. I have also translated this love of cooking into online and in-person classes for anyone of any age. My passion for cooking is something I wish to share with as many people as I can.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been my ability to adapt to the ever-changing environment and economic conditions. The past few years have given me, along with everyone in the food industry, some rather challenging times. I have weathered this time well and have proven that I can adapt and change as the conditions dictate.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things I have had to overcome has been the challenge of consistently searching out a new business in a full market. I have learned never to expect things to fall into place easily. I work diligently to keep abreast of new and innovative ideas in the kitchen and in my business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan. Write a business proposal, if only for yourself. That way, you have a roadmap of e where you want to be and where you are on your path to get there.
- Find something you love doing, and see how you can translate that into a job. I love entertaining and cooking, so it was an easy step for me to put these things together in the form of a catering company that goes to the client and teaches them to cook in a fun, entertaining manner.
- It is NEVER too late to start. I started my business in my late 40s and haven’t looked back.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Life can be full of challenges, and the road to success may seem long and uphill. It is. However, there are always people and things that pop into your life to show you just how beautiful and incredible life can be. Cherish these, hold onto them, and the memory of them will get you through the tough times. Also, never forget to stop and have a great meal whenever 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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