Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Fran Steyn, Owner of Frantastic Events, located in Oshawa, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Frantastic is a catering company - we cater to primarily corporate customers, as well as private events. We have a small storefront where you can stop in and grab our extensive frozen fresh single-serving meals, soups, and bakery items. We have a specialized keto/gluten-free/no added sugar/low-carb section for our niche customers. Frantastic also has a food truck and food trailer which caters to outdoor/mobile style private and community events.
Tell us about yourself
I first got started as a home-based cookie-making business after perfecting a sugar cookie recipe as a Preschool teacher. Once I decided to open my commercial kitchen, I began building my catering company and menu. That was 15 years ago. Today I am motivated by the "business of business" - I love new opportunities that continue to present themselves. I love working with my team of Rockstar's as we plan and execute large events with ease. We all enjoy the joy of a job well done, and my work family is very special to me. We have been through a lot together over the past few years, especially with the pandemic challenges in the food industry.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Wow, what a loaded question. I have so many accomplishments that I am so proud of. Just still being in business every day is something to note. I would say my 2 awards from the Whitby Chamber of commerce, the first being Best New Business and then winning the Entrepreneur of the Year award. As a business owner, I am always deep in the thick of the day-to-day running of the business. So it was really great to stop for a minute and be recognized by the business community for my efforts.
Even more than that, being in the food industry, I was able to do a huge amount of fundraising with my corporate clients and provide meals to Long term care facility workers during the most stressful part of the beginning of the pandemic and the day I received a letter of thanks from Doug Ford was an awesome moment for me as well. See, so many to mention...
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing as a business owner is learning to trust and rely on others as the business grows. Letting go of micro-managing has always been a challenge for me. But I have learned that this gives others the opportunity to shine, so I have become better with this over time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Persistence and perseverance are key. Your business will work; just keep pushing forward.
- Live in a mentality of gratitude every day. Recognize that receiving and spending money are all acts to be grateful for. You "GET TO" work today. You don't "HAVE TO."
- Be a part of some kind of business community, especially if you work alone or online. It's important to feel like you are a part of something more than just yourself. So join a networking group or a Chamber of commerce. Just connect with others.
There is a 4th... be flexible and adapt to change. Things change; just roll with it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Being a business owner is not for the faint of heart. It is blood, sweat, and tears to build, grow, and be in for the long haul. However, I wouldn't have it any other way. At the end of the day, I remember to have fun and enjoy the creative freedom that I have been able to build for myself and my team.
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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