Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Janice Carte, CEO of Tiny Spoon Chef, located in Boston, MA, USA.

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

Tiny Spoon Chef is a team of passionate personal chefs who provide a unique, menu-less experience to our clients and friends - imagine having a chef BFF who knows you better than you! Our clients are so diverse, and yet, we find ways to customize our service to each household. We work with busy couples, growing families, and single folks, too, who don't have the time to commit to focusing on healthy cooking and planning for home meals.

We take the time to get to know about all of the key players in your home, we listen to their feedback, and we honor and cherish the ritual of family dinners together... and those dinners should be healthy, please everyone, and make all taste buds delighted!

Tell us about yourself

I started the business when my last boss told me they were in a "maintenance phase," and I just about choked with boredom! I needed to create and try new things, so I started taking personal chef clients on the side, as I'd done before. Clients started telling friends and family, and they told others. As things grew, I couldn't wait to share the warmth and joy of being welcomed into people's homes to nourish them. That's it! I wanted to share the happiness, and that's where the business came from!

Each day I wake up thinking of ways to make lives better... I get to be a part of fostering great client-chef relationships that can last many years. How amazing is that?!?

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is creating a business that honors and cherishes both sides of the equation: clients and chefs. Our clients experience highly curated week-to-week support. We prepare meals for them, grocery shop, and make mealtimes frictionless. Our Tiny Spoon Chefs have a great experience, too: gone are the typical restaurant weeks of 70ish hours, missing holidays & birthdays with family, and living paycheck-to-paycheck. We provide great pay with healthcare, dental, 401k with match, life & disability insurances, and an industry-progressive 43-hour work week. Our chefs are happy in homes because they are happy in their lives!

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

One of the most difficult things is that work never gets turned off - my brain is always, at least partly, in work mode.

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

  1. See the fear. Acknowledge the fear... but don't let it be in control, or you won't be.
  2. The pandemic really taught me that succeeding is a choice - dig in and problem solve. You will come up with an answer if you know you can't quit.
  3. Be in charge of defining what your business does. In the early years, I tried a lot of outside suggestions from clients when I knew what I really wanted to be doing... trust that. Just because every restaurant can make grilled cheese doesn't mean every restaurant should.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you've been thinking about starting your own business - just do it. What I would say, and what I hear from other self-employed folks, is that they should have pulled the trigger sooner. There are also peaks & valleys with business... the first year was simple. The next few years were a difficult, uphill climb, and then I had a lovely plateau. Right now, we're in another growth phase which is challenging and also fun! Tiny Spoon Chef has grown to a point where the size supports the growth in a more sustainable way... it was worth the wait.

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; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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