Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jonathan Penright, Founder of Chef Penright, located in Houston, TX, USA.

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

I am a private chef, providing private in-home and event catering to a wide array of clients. In addition to events and gatherings, I am a published author and recently released a unique cookbook novel, Executive Dishwasher 360 Degree of Culinary. My company offers meal plans and cooking classes, and we are working on shipping Chef Penright's signature dumplings to customers all over the U.S. My ideal customer is anyone with a love for amazing food.

Tell us about yourself

As a third-generation chef on my father's side, I would say that culinary arts were destined for me. The motivation comes from my deep love of food, paired with my goals of being an entrepreneur and refusing to make anyone else financially wealthy. The way I see it, I'd rather work hard for myself and build a legacy for my family.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The biggest accomplishment for me as a business owner is staying in business. In 2020, just like many other chefs and people working in the food industry, I took a hit when public gatherings were no longer happening. So I had to pivot and make changes to my company that would keep my business moving forward. I'm proud to say that we are thriving.

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

I'm never not working. As a business owner, there is always something to fix or address, and it ultimately is my responsibility. I'm always available and never have time to be away. Also, dealing with structural racism and frivolous fees for the most ridiculous things is beyond annoying.

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

  1. Minimize your fear. Whatever that fear may be - success, failure, or both. Both will happen, so you have to eliminate both of those fears.
  2. Plan. Make sure that you have a well-thought-out plan. I'm a huge believer in business plans - I know it is tedious and mind-numbing,
    but it helps you to understand your business and your goals.
  3. Go for it like your life depends on it - because it does. You have to bet on yourself and go all in.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Business is competitive, and that competition isn't for everyone all the time. But you have to develop that competitive nature over time to learn HOW to compete. It's an active game, not a passive one. So you have to have your morals and values intact as you compete.

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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