Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Viktoria Garbett, owner of Twiddle - love of food, located in Sheffield, GB, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run cooking classes for all ages in and around Sheffield. I primarily teach people how to make fresh, colourful pasta from scratch using natural ingredients only. I also get invited to primary schools to teach bread making, which is part of their curriculum. I am currently doing a diploma in culinary medicine that has led me to run online nutrition workshops for several charities, i.e., Bluebell and the Sheffield Fibromyalgia and ME Group. Once I have finished my studies, I will be offering nutrition coaching and more personalized cooking workshops.
I am passionate about educating children and teaching them some basic skills that will enable them to cook for themselves and their families. I truly believe this will empower them to make healthier food choices and lead a more balanced lifestyle when they grow up. Food is energy; it brings people together and creates lots of fun memories. This is exactly what my cooking workshops are about, to learn a new skill and to have lots of fun!
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Hungary and moved to the UK in 2006 after falling in love with now my husband and father of my two young daughters. I grew up in a country and in a family where home-cooked food was the "normal" and was also the centre of social life. I wanted to be true to these core values that I brought with me and raise my daughters in the same spirit. The business idea came around 4 or 5 years ago. My eldest daughter was a very fussy eater, and I was worried about her becoming poorly from eating - what I then thought was - a very restricted diet mainly consisting of cheese, bread, and yogurt. I just couldn't believe it and wasn't going to accept the fact that she did not enjoy the food I made her. It broke my heart, and it made me really anxious at the same time. I was blaming myself for making mistakes when I started weaning her and thought I was a bad mum. I was told a lot of new parents go through the same, and I know this is part of children's development. I still wanted to try my best and was not going to give up.
I went back to basics and cooked every single meal from scratch, started baking bread, pizza and pasta. I wanted to hide some extra veggies into the pasta dishes as she enjoyed these, so we started making fresh, colourful pasta together. We used spinach, beetroot, turmeric and experimented with lots of other herbs and veggies fresh, dried, and cooked. She loved making and eating the pasta and started inviting her friends over. I caught myself entertaining her little friends and their families in my kitchen every other weekend. This was when the penny dropped, and the idea was born. Since then, I have learned so much about nutrition and designed my workshops to be even more educational. There is so much information online about healthy eating that can be very overwhelming for all. My aim is to empower people to work out what is best for their health, their families, guide them with practical tips, and give them the tools to implement these into their lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My proudest memory is being invited to BBC Radio Sheffield to do a cooking breakfast show with Kat Cowan not long after I started my business. I had the worst "stage fright" before the show, which ended up being one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.
My daughters love baking and cooking with me. My eldest came along to my last children's pasta workshop and helped me run the session. I was really proud of her being in her element and also myself for passing on such important skills to her.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You have to be really good at time management when you run your own business. I work for a law firm part-time, run my business, and study too. As much as I know I am working on my dream business; it can be mentally and physically very tiring to manage it all. I often have to remind myself to set clear and healthy boundaries between all the different roles I have to fulfill and try to fit some me-time in to charge up my batteries.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would love to share my favourite Mel Robbins quote with you that inspired me to run my first event: "Start now. Start where you are. Start with the fear. Start with the pain. Start with the doubt. Start with your hands shaking. Just start".
Don't worry about your age, being too young or too old or not qualified to run your own business. If it makes you happy and makes you want to jump out of bed every morning to work on your dream, just do it. You can learn many skills along the way but be prepared that it will push your boundaries. It will teach you so much about yourself that you would probably never get to know if you stayed in your comfort zone.
I like to be able to do and figure out every single aspect of my business. However, I have learned that this is not always possible, and that is ok. There are so many experts in accounting, social media, etc., who you can rely on and work with. You might have to do a bit of research to find the right persons but trust me. They will save you a lot of time and energy that you can invest into doing the work you need to do in your business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Running your own business can be a little lonely at times, so I would recommend doing some networking and meeting other local entrepreneurs. Contact your local council for Business Support information. They have many free resources and advisers that can help you get started. They often offer free training courses and organize networking events.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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