Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Boyd, Founder of Down to Earth Cuisine LLC., located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is adding the most valuable commodity back into people's lives, time. We give clients the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with their family while having peace of mind knowing all the meals they're enjoying are good for them. Our business is about changing the way food is consumed to be more environmentally responsible. We believe in sourcing organic products, reducing food/plastic waste, and donating meals to those that need them. We believe in restoring the environment, which needs us to take positive action to protect it. The vision and mission drive us to constantly learn better ways to better ourselves professionally, personally, and culinarily speaking. To have an environment that drives us to grow regularly is an amazing gift we have been given.
Our clients are anyone who cares about what they eat. Cares about where their ingredients come from. Cares about the environment. Maybe they are professionals with little time. Maybe they have a few (or a lot) dietary restrictions, and eating is a regular stress point in their lives. Anyone who values the 24 hours they have in a day and wants a bit of time back.
Tell us about yourself
I spent 16 years in the restaurant, with an unquenchable thirst for culinary techniques. I live, eat and breathe food, lol. I totally nerd out on it. While the physical and mental challenges of the restaurant world were rewarding, I wanted to push my personal growth in new ways. I wanted to still do what I love, but I could not see myself working in restaurants for the rest of my life. My wife and I were engaged and wanted a family. Working until midnight or later was not conducive to that.
I wanted to learn about building a business, developing a website, marketing, and networking. Things that I would have little chance to experience working in a restaurant. I am a believer in personal and professional development. Personal and professional development is something we feel grateful to have created an environment of abundance here. Some of the fondest memories of having this business are the growth we have been able to help within our team. We are constantly working on ways to bring more value to our clients. Our clients start with our team members and chefs first.
I also enjoy traveling with my family and seeing and experiencing new things. My hobbies include scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, flying, and gardening, to name a few. What motivates me each day is the constant hunger for growth and, most importantly, my family. I will gladly work from sun-up to sun-down to provide a good life for them and will never stop.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Growing the business 100% year over year. Being able to double the business every year while also constructing an environment where those in the industry can learn and grow in their skills. Working in every way for others to enjoy time with their loved ones, from the clients we work with to the employees that work for us. Becoming a certified personal chef through the USPCA an accomplishment that was two years in the making. My biggest accomplishment had a hand in the growth and development of a chef. Developing their skills, professionalism, and the possibility of things they can do. Also, the culture that we have built and continue to improve daily. Thank you for your help with all that, Danielle Bailey.
Being able to donate to organizations that plant trees on our behalf, remove plastic from the ocean and donate meals to those in need has been an absolutely amazing experience. We have donated thousands of dollars and hours of time to grow in this area. This is the legacy I am also most fond of.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The biggest challenge is finding new and creative ways to make an ideal work environment for those we employ. Always keeping on top of their needs and what is important to them. Every day we talk about ways to improve the work experience and how we can better serve our employees so they can better serve our clients.
The biggest challenge for a business owner is adapting and listening to your gut and not letting your head get in the way with that. It's challenging to want to always be so pragmatic in big decisions. I feel that when we can let our reasoning get out of the way and learn to follow our gut, good things can come.
Lastly, managing employees is by far the biggest (and rewarding) challenge yet. That's the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. Being a good leader is the most difficult and the most rewarding endeavor at the same time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, trust your gut because it will always steer you in the right direction and help you through those tough decisions. Second, always jump in and be ready to do the hard work that people don't want to do. Work with your employees and show that you are willing to do the work that needs to be done. Lastly, find a good coach and networking group. Build up a group of people (peers) you can reach out to and ask for feedback. Many different opinions can always help to make things clearer. You can spend ten years learning a craft or building a bridge, or you can find a coach who has already built that bridge and learn from them. Do yourself a favor and get a coach and save some time. Networking is not only about meeting people and gaining referrals but also learning a little bit about a lot of things. Being a business owner requires you to know a little bit about a lot of things, and networking is a great way to do so.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting a business is about following your dreams. It's the why question. Why do you want to start a business? When starting a business, think of who instead of what. It is always a question of who I can hire to get a job done instead of what I need to do.
Get out there, and follow your dreams. Run it by the rocking chair test. While you reflect on your life sitting in a rocking chair, will you have pursued your dreams, or not have done something you wished you would have, and live with regret? Take a chance!
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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