Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Pauline Parry, Founder and CEO of Good Gracious! Events, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a full-service, award-winning food and beverage company that also coordinates all the services that are needed to create fabulous events to give guests an exceptional hospitality experience.
Tell us about yourself
I began my hospitality journey in England when I was a young divorcee with two children, and by chance, I fell into the industry by working in a family-owned french bistro and then working in a Michelin star restaurant at a 15th-century castle. We lived above the bistro restaurant and in the gatehouse at the castle. I discovered my passion for food and wine. After a move to California with a new husband, it was the American entrepreneurial spirit than encouraged me to start my own business. And that is exactly what I did......each day, I wake up with a sense of purpose and energy as to what we will be producing deliciously and creatively for our clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, I am proud that we have kept ahead of the curve in our industry, and nearly forty years later, we are still regarded as one of the best companies in our field. We have been proactive in giving back further education to pay it forward. We have won tons of awards, including being inducted into the event and culinary hall of fame. I have written two books, food fun-loving, party styles, and recently released My Culinary Love Story.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I do believe that would be personnel. I have been fortunate enough, though, to have had staffing that has been with me since day one, and I have actually worked with my daughter for 25 years plus. But without a doubt, to find the right personnel to blend in with the culture and has the right attitude. What we do is not rocket science, and we can teach anyone the trade if they have the right attitude.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Make sure you have a strategic business plan in place. Always hire slow and fire fast. Try and hire people that are better than you on all levels of talent. Always follow your passion for what you do. It will keep you on the path to success.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Hire staff sooner than you think you need them. You will find the investment well worth it as you cannot do it all yourself; you will work more efficiently and move forward with your goals in business and avoid possible burnout.
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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