Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Frank Kraemer, Founder of Eat Like a Vegan Chef, located in New York, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a professional vegan chef who inspires people over 40 adapting a whole food plant-based lifestyle to lose weight, feel better, and learn to cook like a vegan chef...I offer individual and group coaching sessions, as well as access to my Four Seasons Meal Planner, including hundreds of recipes.
Tell us about yourself
Since I came to the US, I have realized the enormous amount of energy we use daily. How unsustainable most of us live. The food we hastily eat on our lunch break. Most people are eating to survive instead of eating to nourish their bodies.
Carrying these realizations with me, my family received the news no one wanted to hear. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She eventually beat cancer, but the mental scars never went away. Five years later, she was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's. It was then I realized many of my family members also suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and strokes. I could only think about my genes and that of my sister. What if this was a warning to change our diet…?
I realized in order to stay healthy, I had to change my diet. I read one nutrition book after another to see what would work for me. I tried David Asprey's Bulletproof diet, Paleo, and even Dr. David Perlmutter's "the Grain Brain" diet. When I investigated the benefits of a plant-based diet, I learned it isn't a diet but a lifestyle. And because of my desire to become a plant-based expert, I hold a plant-based nutrition certificate from the Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell.
When I heard that my Sous Chef had lost 40 lbs in a matter of months, I asked him, "How did you do that?" His answer changed my life: "Chef, I was watching what you were eating and simply ate the same." This was when I realized I had to live by example. I found my true purpose as a chef. My goal was and is to inspire as many people as possible through a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. I also discovered it's environmentally friendly. In fact, it's the most sustainable way to feed the world.
When COVID hit us in early 2020, I got laid off from my position as an Executive Chef; I was faced with the truth. It's now or never. This was my opportunity to start something on my own. That's how "Eat Like a Vegan Chef" was born…
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Since I started Eat Like a Vegan Chef, we have conducted over 15 challenges with more than 3500 participants who have lost a combined weight of over 20000 pounds. Some of these participants have continued the journey, lost their excess weight, reversed many of their chronic diseases, and now live a whole food, plant-based lifestyle life without the need for medication.
Having helped people lose weight effortlessly and reverse chronic diseases so they can live an independent lifestyle while taking care of their loved ones is simply priceless.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Not getting a paycheck! I am responsible for creating revenue. The bug simply stops with me. Bringing in new revenue is as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. However, once the revenue comes in steady, it's totally worth the stress.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Include your spouse or family in this journey, not necessarily as a business partner, but you want to be honest and share your goals and pains with them.
- Get a coach, but do your homework! Learn from someone who went this road before you. Consider if you are coachable. Then go with your gut instinct and hire a coach. It's not cheap, but in most cases, it's worth the expense.
- Create goals for the next 12-24 months. Then divide these long-term goals into monthly, weekly, and daily goals and watch what happens. Last but not least, take risks. If you are not willing to take risks, self-employment is not for you.
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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