What exactly is your business?
The Delish Dish Catering & Events is my full-service catering company, Made by Mavis is my line of artisan jam, jellies, sauces, and syrups; and Kickstart Kitchen is my incubator kitchen, which we rent to entrepreneurs who are looking to grow and start their businesses and connect them with complimentary business planning services.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I decided to start my catering company and jam business while in culinary school. When I took over a 5,000 sq. ft. kitchen in late 2016, I decided I wanted to help other entrepreneurs start and grow their food-based businesses as well. I started my catering business in 2012, my jam business in 2013, and my kitchen incubator in 2017.
How did you find out about Aviatra?
My mom first told me about Bad Girl Ventures in 2010. I applied for the program in 2012 and I was a Bad Girl Ventures finalist in 2013.
What is your inspiration?
I love to throw a good party with amazing food and stellar service. My inspiration for catering is happy clients, brides, and staff members. I love it when all the components come together to make an amazing event.
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
My biggest accomplishment is growing The Delish Dish to more than $500,000 in annual sales and being able to leave my business and go on vacation because I have such a great team. Plus, I’m so excited that we won the Best of The Knot in 2017 and 2018, an award based on reviews from our wedding clients.
What was the most valuable thing you gained from your experience with Aviatra?
My business plan and the connections I made were the most valuable things I gained from Aviatra. My business went from a hobby to a full-fledged start-up overnight when I had all the right tools in place. I love my fellow Bad Girls and they’ll always hold a place in my heart.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
The hardest part for me was finding a balance between home life and work. When you start a business, you have to put all your heart, soul, and time in it. I had to teach my husband, family and friends that I would have to show up differently and that my life would be different for me from there on out. Six years later, I have been able to find a good balance, although I still have t work 80-90 hour weeks, especially during my busy season. My husband has really stepped up to the plate to help make our home life run smoothly and efficiently.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
In 5 years, my goal is for Delish Dish to be one of Cincinnati’s premier catering companies. We also hope to have a café that serves breakfast and lunch, and at least one event center where we can host weddings, mitzvahs, private celebrations, and corporate events.
Any advice for future Aviatras?
To be successful, it’s important to give your whole self to your business—morning, day, and night. Dedication and persistence are key. Part of being the boss is working when no one else wants to work and showing your team that you will accomplish your goals, no matter the obstacles. Dream it, visualize it, plan it, get it done.