Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laurie Wall, owner of Wallnuts Expressive Catering, located in Regina, SK, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Wallnuts is an event catering business that produces both small intimate gatherings & lavish, large-scale events around the province of Saskatchewan. Our additional storefront selling delicious & nutritious ready-to-heat & eat meals, spreads, dips, sauces & baked goods means that everyone can have a WALLNUTS experience & celebrate even the smallest victories & joys!
Tell us about yourself
In 2002 I reinvented event catering in Saskatchewan by developing the trend of "food by design" when I created Wallnuts Expressive Catering. Wallnuts became the province's first full-service catering company that put as much emphasis on the quality of the food as the presentation & pulled everything together to provide a unique experience. I knew clients started by taking in the experience visually & then biting into unforgettable food, which needed to be served by professionally trained & uniformed staff.
Having grown up on a farm, I knew the importance of farm-to-table before those terms were trendy. Readily butchering an animal, growing a garden, or foraging for local vittles, the Wallnuts team always takes pride in utilizing true to the season's ingredients.
In 2006 Wallnuts grew to include a food shop where hungry locals could find delicious & nutritious food to go. Dinners, baking, canned & jarred things + an ever-changing repertoire of seasonal goodies, the shop is a beehive that produces some of the best take-out food in the city. Traveling the globe for inspiration & taking food courses to expand skills, I never stop my quest for greatness.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being the second female chef to be asked to compete in a national competition & winning a prestigious Paragon Award for customer service jostles for top honors along side the longevity of 20 successful years in this stressful industry I love with all my heart.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My greatest stress points are hovering between that "should I grow or should I keep things simple" line that's been nagging me for what seems to be eons. Of course, having employees & wondering if the phone will ring rank right up there as well.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Stop & think if you've got the skill set to be an entrepreneur, or are you a tradesperson who thinks owning your own business will be more lucrative? (It's not!) Try your absolute damnedest not to get into debt...you don't need the best of everything to start. Start right off the bat with the policies/procedures/systems in place as if you're going to franchise the business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
With over 20 years under my belt as an entrepreneur, mostly in the food industry, has left me with many thoughts, but this is one runs through my head most frequently..." say yes to everything that pushes your limits & then figure out how to absolutely NAIL it!".
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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