Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keyuana Hairston, Founder of Chef Ase The Armored Chef LLC., located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

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

I’m a private chef and caterer. I offer event catering as well as private dinners for couples and families. I want everyone to be able to experience my passion for food which resonates in every plate I prepare. I love creating beautiful, flavorful plates.

Tell us about yourself

I fell in love with Creole cuisine while vacationing in New Orleans during the summer as a teenager. My passion for food started, and as I got older, I started teaching myself different things and learned from tv and different books. After years of cooking for friends and family, I finally decided to launch my catering business right before the pandemic. I have worked in numerous restaurants and concepts in Virginia as a lead cook-up to an Executive chef. There really was nowhere else for me to go except into business for myself. My motivation is my goal to become a restauranteur and eventually build a huge brand as well as provide for my family.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is overcoming my fears of becoming a business owner. I wasted so much time working for others and was fearful I wouldn’t be successful, and I am, doing what I love, the way I want.

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

Building a team, being able to trust people to be honest and trustworthy. In the culinary world, there are a lot of copycats, and everything you do, someone else does. There’s not a lot of originality, and that frustrates me the most because I put a lot of creativity into my food.

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

Be true to yourself, learn the basics of running a business, and stay in your lane.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I’m proud of where I am, but I still have a long way to go and a lot more work to put in, but you won’t forget my name or face.

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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