Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Molly Behnke, Owner of The Skinny Chef PDX, located in Portland, OR, USA.

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

I own and operate a personal catering business called "The Skinny Chef PDX." I created this platform to educate on Indian culture and inspire like-minded artists to follow their dreams. One of our many goals is to navigate food costs and donate a percentage of profits each month. We focus on executing unique dishes while highlighting Pacific Northwest ingredients. While my customers primarily hear about my business through word of mouth and Instagram. It consists of Portland foodies, foot traffic, and loyal friends of the internet.

Tell us about yourself

During the start of the Pandemic, like many others, I was out of work and bored at home. Baking every day to build content for no particular reason, I began selling custom pastries through my DM's and eventually collaborating with local business owners around town. I've always wanted to sell Indian street snacks and pastries off a food truck, and during the summer of 2022, I accomplished that dream. Pierce (Owner of Break Bread PDX) and I teamed up and opened a commissary food truck for the summer. I was able to create my own hours, experiment with full creative freedom, and connect with new people through food. These are the things that get me out of bed in the morning.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Since starting a business during a pandemic, I have met so many others who were motivated to create something, and that keeps me inspired. I competed on national TV for CHOPPED. I received an Eater article page for my "Ubeignets." I was given a generous anonymous donation to be able to cook for the Rose Haven non-profit. These are all things I could never have dreamed of. Portland has always been there for me, and my biggest accomplishment is being able to give something back.

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

No one tells you when you become a business owner; something breaks EVERY DAY. I would suggest reading up or watching some plumbing videos on YouTube. There's always the "in-between," the downtime, the slow rainy days where only one customer comes by. These are the times when you start to wonder if you made the right decision?

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

  1. Get comfortable with the idea of making mistakes. You will make a lot of them.
  2. Take time to understand the restaurant industry before diving in head first.
  3. If you don't believe in yourself, how can you expect others to?

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Support your local small business because every time you do, our dog gets a treat.

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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