Like most artisan food entrepreneurs, I never actually thought I was going to start my own small food business. Not really knowing what to do after college with my English Lit degree and thanks to a scholarship that left me with no student loans, I figured ‘what the heck’ and enrolled in a professional pastry arts program simply because I loved baking. Turns out I was pretty good at it and next thing I knew I’d spent a number of years working in bakeries and luxury hotel chains.
While I loved the creativity that comes with being a pastry chef, something was missing so when I was given a chance to earn my MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management I jumped at the opportunity and spent two years immersed in the worlds of finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Turns out I was pretty good at business too and I enjoyed the logical and strategic challenges involved with business so when the time came to graduate it only made sense to me that I combine the two things I enjoyed the most and I started my own small food business.
Despite the fact I’d spent several years studying entrepreneurship, when starting my own business I realized that there was a lack of information out there specific to starting food businesses. Most material I’ve found is focused on technology or services businesses or, at the very least, how to open up a restaurant which is vastly different from what I wanted to do (having worked in many a restaurant, I can honestly say I never want to own one!). So I simply learned as I went along and talked to everyone I could for advice and knowledge. The more I talked with other entrepreneurs, the more I realized that there was a need for resources that artisan food owners and aspiring food entrepreneurs could trust and refer to when they had questions or encountered challenges. This site is my attempt to create that type of resourceful artisan food community I always wished existed and I hope you’ll join the conversation.
When not writing about or researching the world of artisan food business ownership, you can usually find me running around the lake with my husband and dogs or baking with one or more of my three favorite ingredients – chocolate, butter, and sugar. I honestly love nothing more than talking ‘business’ with other entrepreneurs so you can always feel free to drop me a line at info (at) smallfoodbiz (dot) com.
Photo courtesy of mlarson photography