Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Van Voorhis, Co-Founder of Nude Dude Food, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

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

My business is called Nude Dude Food, a private chef company that specializes in intimate multi-course dining experiences based out of Chicago and Nashville. We also do a mix of corporate events, cooking classes, and other educational yet fun food experiences. One twist that sets us apart from other private chefs is, if requested, we will cook shirtless in aprons.

Tell us about yourself

I previously was a therapist working in very stressful environments for nearly 15 yrs. Cooking was always my passion and stress reliever. My now business partner at Nude Dude Food is my high school best friend, and we've always loved entertaining guests and cooking together. Seeing smiles on dinner guests' faces after a positive dining experience is one of my favorite motivators to keep providing good healthy food.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Surviving the pandemic and pivoting to start a pizza project on top of the private chef business. This pizza got us featured on a Food Network TV show called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."

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

Running a small business is not easy. You must be a jack of all trades and be able to have the discipline to get the job done.

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

  1. Be ready to work a lot to get off the ground.
  2. Take care of yourself, mentally and physically.
  3. Have fun.

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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