Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rebecca Taylor, owner of Ready To Go Foods Inc., located in Vaughan, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My name is Rebecca Taylor, and I am the owner and founder of Ready To Go Foods Inc, which was incorporated in September 2017. Currently, we manufacture Caribbean ready-to-use cooking sauces, paste and mix seasonings under the brand name of Miss 'P'. Our products were specially created for people who have traveled to the Caribbean, and have enjoyed the foods there, but cannot cook them. Also, for people with busy lifestyles, or for anyone who just wants to enjoy flavourful, authentic Caribbean meals right in their own home, without spending a lot of time slicing, or dicing herbs and spices. People can enjoy effortless cooking, which means less time spent in the kitchen, allowing you to enjoy more quality time with family and friends. Our products are all made from a blend of natural herbs and spices...Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Low Sodium, Gluten-Free, and No Artificial Flavours or Preservatives. Some people may have the misconception that Caribbean foods are spicy, however, Miss 'P' products are not; they are all Family Friendly flavours. Besides the benefits, and features of our products, we like to ask our customers to support us and buy local. Also, I am the real-life Miss 'P' my face is on every bottle of my products, so I take satisfying my customers very seriously.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up at a very young age, I was dragged into the kitchen by my mom where I was taught how to cook traditional Caribbean meals, which meant blending a lot of herbs and spices from scratch. Preparing Caribbean meals is very labour intensive. The creation of Ready To Go Foods all started at the point in my life when I was divorced and unemployed and I was considering a career change. At the time, my daughter had just gotten married and was living in New York. As
she was growing up, I never forced her to come into the kitchen to learn to cook. So, when she got married and had to face the fire preparing Caribbean meals, it was a task for her. She would constantly call asking me how to cook traditional meals. Then one day, she blurted out, "mom, since cooking is a passion of yours, why don't you create something for people like myself who loves Caribbean foods, but don't know how to cook it”. That was the “strike that scored” for me, and the rest is now history…. Miss 'P' Brand of Caribbean Flavours was created. I am not only passionate but also motivated by taking on challenges, and learning new things. I am in my most glorious moments when I am in my kitchen, creating, and testing new flavours of cooking sauces and mix seasonings.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In 2020, our pandemic year, the bank of Montreal had a nationwide across all Canada competition for the award of Celebrating Women Entrepreneur. The criteria for winning this competition were judged on perseverance, resilience, and how you had pivoted during difficult and challenging times in business. Over thousands of participants that entered, I came out a winner. I was awarded BMO 2020 Celebrating Women Entrepreneur Grant along with mentorship. I have to say, in business, this is one of my biggest accomplishments.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that I have personally faced as a business owner was being a one-woman operation, and running the show alone. Wearing all the various hats of a business can be quite daunting, trying to keep everything organized and on track, plus trying to find funding to support my new start-up. And besides all this, still being able to maintain a good balance lifestyle for work and pleasure.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be ready to work very long hours. Success is not going to be "a walk in the park," and always remember the world is constantly changing, and you must be ready and willing to adapt both personally and in your business.
- There is only one way to win and to be successful, and that is to hang on for as long as it takes.
- Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help, and when in doubt, I always reach out to YouTube University.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am proud to announce that we are now exporting to the USA and will be attending and exhibiting our products at our first USA Trade show, the Fancy Food Show, Javits Convention Centre, New York, June 12th - 14th.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.