Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Angela Castrigno, Owner of Meal Prep Chef NH LLC, located in Durham, NH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Meal Prep Chef NH is both an in-home customized meal prep service and an educational platform for eating healthy at home via meal prep. My customers are individuals who want to make healthy eating a priority but just can't make it happen on their own because of time, stress, motivation, skills, confidence, etc. My 8-week online course, Become A Meal Prep Pro, teaches these individuals how to set themselves up for success with a meal prep routine that is simple and sustainable. It is also completely customized to their unique dietary needs and lifestyle.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up, my mother was always cooking. Even when we didn't need something to eat, she was cooking. I think it was a very therapeutic activity for her. As a result, we always had something in the fridge to eat, and if she didn't feel like cooking for a couple of days, she didn't have to! I never realized what a luxury this was until I moved out and was living on my own. Over time, I realized that not having healthy homemade meals to eat regularly was affecting my health negatively, and I started having trouble with school. Eventually, I fell into the world of eating whole foods for optimal health and, obviously, cooking. I realized that when I cooked my own food and ate that most of the time, I felt a lot better. I had been doing this for years and had gotten quite good at it when someone asked me if I ever considered offering meal prep as a service for others who needed help. The idea intrigued me, and I decided to give it a go, and I started offering personal meal prep to friends and family on the weekends. This was in 2019, and today I am doing this full-time in addition to teaching individuals online how to start a healthy meal prep routine on their own. I know what it feels like to be eating horribly and have that destroy your health. I also know how it feels to flip that script, and it really is incredible. Witnessing other people make this connection with food is what fuels me. Because it really does change your life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a solo business owner, I've built a career that I really enjoy, and that also supports me on its own in less than three years. I feel like that's pretty good! I'm still growing, but if you asked me three years ago if I thought I would be able to quit my corporate job to cook and teach meal prep for a living in that amount of time, I'd say, "no way!"
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being 100% responsible for every single thing that makes up the business. Owner/manager, employee, bookkeeper, writer, scheduler, marketer, contact person... it's a lot. But it's so worth it :) You just need to get to know your strengths and give yourself grace and ask for help when you need it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't wait for things to be perfect before starting. Things will never be perfect, and you will never start. Don't stress out about failure because you will fail multiple times. You can be afraid, but feel the fear and do it anyway.
- Pace yourself. Focus on one project at a time and make it good. If you've got too many pots going and you spread yourself too thin, you can get run down easily. Take care of yourself. No business is worth your health.
- Join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. It doesn't have to be with people doing the same thing as you. You just need people in your life who are fighting the good fight with you, who can motivate you when you're struggling and celebrate you when you win. There is nothing quite as uplifting as having a fellow entrepreneur cheer you on in your business. Because they get it like nobody else can.
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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