Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julia Chebotar, Co-Founder of Health Chefs, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
HEALTH CHEFS, an exclusive private chef agency based in New York, co-founded by Tina De Jesus and me, award-winning chefs. And we elevate your lifestyle with a personalized approach to food. We're bespoke luxury chefs, and we take care of all your culinary needs, from daily meals to even special ones. We specialize in private chef placement for every season of the year by a carefully composed combination of chefs that genuinely love to create sustainable, health-conscious + seasonal meals. We achieve this by specializing in private chef placement and using the very best seasonal ingredients. We also focus on meal prepping for families, as well as designing specially crafted meals for new moms and their postpartum journey.
Tell us about yourself
Having known each other for years, we soon realized that we shared a passion for providing sustainable and health-conscious meals for our clients. We both believe that memories formed around the dinner table can last a lifetime. As well as the magic of sitting down and sharing a meal with those you love the most. This is also what led us to start Health Chefs.
I am also a TV personality on Food Network's Chopped and Kitchen Crash (I was named champion of both TV shows). As a culinary expert, I constantly develop new and creative recipes and contribute content for notable media outlets, TV shows, brands, and lifestyle magazines. With an impressive background in culinary training, I create recipes and food solutions founded upon a healthy, sustainable, and supportive lifestyle that is both fun and enjoyable.
My co-founder, Veghead Chef Tina, was formally trained at Le Cordon Bleu, where she learned the art of French cuisine. Right after graduating, she worked in a fine-dining seafood restaurant, gaining experience as a line cook. She decided to change her way of living in 2013 when she dove into all things vegetarian, nutrition, mental health, and yoga, which led her to create VegHead Chef, where she now creates seasonal plant-based meals that are suited to fit any lifestyle, dietary restriction, & unique preferences. All the while keeping it nutritious and simple!
We both have cooked for celebrities. Tina has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, and Jessica Biel, while I've cooked for Ryan Secret, the NFL + NBA, among others. We started this business in 2022 after both having very successful culinary careers, but we saw a need for health-supportive chefs in the culinary space. We teamed up and started Health Chefs. We now have 25 chefs on our team and haven't even been in business for a year! My motivations are sourced from wanting to help people, and with this company, we get to help people feel better, look better, and have more energy for their busy, fast-paced lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment this year in year one is signing on 25 new chefs and taking over the world! Not to mention my cooking accolades above!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing as a business owner is knowing when to shut off. We need rest and clear minds to think, but we tend to forget that when we run a business. Business burnout is the feeling of exhaustion and lack of interest in daily work, resulting in poor performance. It's caused by an extended time of feeling heavy stress and constant pressure to live up to a certain standard. You need to take time off, time for yourself and your loved ones, and you need to unplug and rest to be able to give your business all that it needs.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get a good bookkeeper and accountant. It is daunting, and they will help with all the financial stuff
- Get a good marketing team to make a social strategy, branding book, and website, and have your brand flow properly online and on social channels. Consistency is key!
- Hire a business coach for year one. It will be so worth it; in the end, they will help you with all the bumps along the way in a smart way.
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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