Mesa de Vida Small Business Profile

Mesa de VidaMesa de Vida

Owner/Founder: Kirsten Helle
Facebook Page | Twitter @mesadevida

Q. Tell us about the evolution of your business. Where did you start in growing your business and how did the business that we see today come to be?

My business started as something I could do part time with an infant, only a few hours a week out of the house. I had a passion for cooking and studied nutrition and wanted to help people eat healthier that didn’t have the time to do the cooking themselves. I studied the necessary components to owning a small business and just took the jump one day, emailed a whole bunch of people and got my first clients. After a divorce I took two years away from the business to work in corporate America. I had to get back to my passion. My business today has evolved into not only the personal chef aspect, but I am getting into food blogging, providing readers with my recipes I’ve developed for my clients and “healthified” recipes. I lost 100 pounds after learning about proper nutrition, I want to show people that it is possible and you can still eat delicious food! I am going to develop cookbooks and help “bring life to your table”.

Q. How many employees do you have and how did you come about finding them?

No employees! This is a solo venture for now, which means long days sometimes and working at night. I love what I do though and don’t see it as work!

Q. Who are your clients and why do they work with you?

Some of my clients are busy single professionals who eat out a lot because of work and just want a good home-cooked meal at their convenience. I custom design my clients menu’s and recipes based upon their needs, tastes and cook specifically for them. Other typical clients are busy families, who want to come together a few nights a week to connect at the dinner table over a homemade meal made especially for them. They would typically have gone out to eat before using my service, but the cost and inconvenience of taking a family out to eat a few nights a week really adds up and takes its toll. They now take their homemade meals made especially for them, serve at their convenience, and connect as a family over healthy, delicious food. My clients work with me because I save them time every week (time they used to spend planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning up) and they still get to enjoy delicious and healthy food.

Q. How do you choose what services to offer within your brand?

I offer what I know best….delicious, nutritious food. I want to share my recipes with more than just my clients in my area. I want to help people who are looking for healthy, quick recipes that are easy to shop for, affordable and possibly expand their family’s palates.

Q. What are some of the out-of-the box ways you market your business?

I am getting involved in social media marketing, a whole new world to me!

Q. What advice would you give to someone looking at or just getting into your type of business?

I would say stay true to what you know. I started thinking I had to offer everything to everyone, I hate to say “no”. I aim to please everyone but I know now I need to offer my specialty, and do it the best I can. Cooking is something a lot of people have a passion for, it is a true craft. It is a fun business that is always evolving. It is a fun business to be in!

Q. Where do you see your business in 5 years?

I would love to have a set group of personal chef clients and continue evolving and growing the blog. I would love to be able to travel and learn more about other food cultures. I would love to have a following of people who trust my recipes and look to me for inspiration. I want to become more involved in charity, especially hunger-related issues, which are very close to my heart. I would love to get a garden going again (a few years ago I transformed 1/4 acre of my backyard into an organic garden) and devote a lot of my plants for donation. I want to help people who think they can only afford processed, nutritionally void “food” to know how to grow and shop for healthy food that gives their bodies what they need.

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