Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kathleen Chiavetta, COO of Chiavetta's Catering Service, Inc., located in Brant, NY, USA.

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

Chiavetta's Catering & Chicken BBQ is a Western New York/Buffalo-based food service company in business since 1954. We also have a small line of retail products, with the main seller being the BBQ Marinade we use on our famous charcoal-grilled chicken. Our customers are mainly Buffalonians, Buffalo ex-pats, and friends and family of current and former Buffalonians.

Tell us about yourself

Family motivates everything I do. I was born into a family business and am the third generation to lead it. I'm a steward of something greater than myself. I carry the legacy of the generations who came before me and the responsibility to strengthen the business so that it will remain for the generations who come after me. It can be a heavy responsibility some days, but I consider it a privilege.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Leading the business through the last two years: A global pandemic, a national labor shortage, and unprecedented supply chain interruptions, while simultaneously doing first-time work on internal organizational development and strategic planning during a period when both owners retired and my brother, who had been my business partner, exited the business.

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

It's hard to ever switch "off." Even when I'm off, I'm often thinking about work. But once I manage to check out, like on vacation, I'm checked out. Even a text about something minor seems like an inconvenience.

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

  1. Do your research and always be learning.
  2. Surround yourself with the right people - both in your business and with a strong professional network.
  3. Be the kind of leader you would want to follow.

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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