Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food service but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tony Carollo, Owner of Global Chef, LLC., located in Pisgah Forest, NC, USA.

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

We have a small personal chef business where we provide a weekly meal service - each week, we create a new, seasonal menu of dinner options for pickup or delivery. We are also available for various events, such as small-scale catering, parties, and pop-up dinners. Additionally, we also bottle and sell our own special hot sauce in collaboration with a local farmer. Our customers are a wide and varied group - of different ages and dietary needs.

Tell us about yourself

Originally, I had vague hopes of succeeding as a writer and/or musician, so I began my restaurant career as a way to learn a craft with some freedom to move about the country. I soon realized that I had found my "people" in the kitchen and that this craft was also my art. At some point, I realized that as much as I didn't like to be told what to do, I also disliked spending all day telling others what to do. So, obviously, I had to start my own business and work for myself. The entire business is literally just my wife and I - everything we do is an extension of and representation of who we are and what food and people mean to us.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Just simply still being in business after 13 years and now having my wife, Colin, work side by side with me. I couldn't ask for anything more.

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

Learning how - and forcing yourself to do - all of the things you never had any interest in. I love to cook and create new dishes. I don't love marketing, bookkeeping, networking, websites, spreadsheets, etc., but someone has to do it, and generally, that someone is you.

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

  1. Have a clear idea of who you are and what you want to do - while also realizing you might have to be somewhat flexible to accommodate the needs of your clientele.
  2. Remember that the work might sometimes be hard and unrelenting, but you are investing in yourself and your future, so ultimately, it's worth it.
  3. Community connections are really what it's all about. People have to trust you and what you do.
  4. One bad review can easily undo the work of 100 good ones.

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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