June 12, 2017

Full-Time Job + New Food Business + Newborn Baby (PODCAST)

Starting your food business is hard enough.  Doing it while also maintaining your full-time job makes it that much harder.  But what happens when your first child is born the week before your first farmers’ market?  Visas Taskar of Bombay Bitez shares his experiences juggling it all in his first year of business.

TRANSCRIPT:

Jennifer:Today we’re talking to somebody who is working full time while also building and creating. He started his business last year as you’ll hear, and he’s working to continue to grow that business. And there’s some other really interesting things that he’s also juggling as well that we’re going to talk about.

 

So, want to introduce you today to Vikas Taskar. He is an engineer by profession and foodie at heart. His introduction to the culinary world started, as it does for many of us, in the home kitchen while he was growing up in Bombay, which is now known as Mumbai, India. He started by learning about traditional Indian recipes as well as trying out variations of those recipes on weekends. Last year, he decided to transform his hobby into a business and started Bombay Bitez which serves authentic Western Indian snacks and beverages handmade from scratch with locally sourced ingredients, freshly ground spice mixes, and fresh herbs.

 

The company, which started as a Farmer’s Market business last summer and expanded into catering in the fall, is starting their second year of business this month.

 

So thanks so much for joining us.

 

Vikas:Thank you, Jennifer for having me in the show.

 

Jennifer:I wanted to start out by talking about the fact that, you know, you are not, you’re not coming into this entrepreneurial endeavor as somebody who has been working in the culinary industry their entire life. And you, like many of us, are coming from a, coming from a different profession. So tell us a little bit about what you’re, what you’re, you know, your professional background is?

 

Vikas:Yeah, so, I grew up starting engineering as my major. And I got my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. This is when I was back in India. And during the time I developed an interest for computers so I ended up following that passion. Ended up getting a job in software development right after graduation. After working for a few years, I came to the U.S. I got my Master’s degree. And I continued to work in the tech industry afterwards. So overall, my background is almost entirely science and engineering based.

 

Jennifer:Which is, know it’s funny. I was about to say, which is different than the food industry, but obviously as you know there’s a lot of cross over. And we’ll talk about how you’ve been able to take a lot of what you use in your daily, professional career and transport it over into your food business. But to start with, what made you want to open up a food business? And then as you start to think about opening up this food business, what were some to the challenges that you knew, even before you started, that you were going to have to overcome?

 

Vikas:Yes, so my interest in food and cooking actually came about at a very early age when I was growing up in India in the city of Bombay. This was a time when I happened to get very deeply interested in all types of food. Whether it was home cooked food, street food, as well as just about any cuisine that I might try out. And this interest actually remained a hobby for several years, but while it was a hobby, I definitely had the intonation to start something out on my own in the food business at some point. This was driven partly by a couple of, you know, factors.

 

One is that … and this is true even today. I actually find that cooking is a great stress reliever for me. Particularly cooking for large groups. And this was something I discovered several, several years ago. I also sort of like the feedback aspect of getting, you know, positive feedback or just feedback of any kind on dishes that I had made with an opportunity to kind of go and improve them over time. So, it was finally these factors which led to my venturing into the food industry when I finally did last year.

 

Jennifer:So what made you determine ultimately, you know, as you, as you realize you want to start up a food business, and, you know, there’s all these different ways you can take it. You can go into packaged food and try to get onto retail shelves. You could open up a restaurant. What, ultimately, made you decide to, at least to start, by becoming a Farmer’s Market business in the first year? And also, by focusing only on one market and not multiple Farmer’s Markets in your first year?

 

Vikas:So, once I’d made up my mind that I wanted to start a food business, I was fairly clear on a few things which I wanted would assure would happen as part of my business goals. One of these was that I had a fairly low cost plan with low capital outlay. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. It was going to remain a part time commitment at roughly one to one and half day a week where Farmer’s Market for one day a week with about a half day of prep time behind that one day and then some overheads kind of fit that schedule.

 

I also liked the aspect that Farmer’s Markets provided me the opportunity to get additional feedback on the food that I was putting out. As well as an opportunity to get revenue, but in sort of an informal scheme which is not perhaps as trying as having a full time business that operates six or possibly even seven days a week. So I looked upon Farmer’s Markets as a combination of a friendly, neighborhood environment, a place which I could use as an experimentation platform for my food, albeit food which had to be of good quality. And an environment where I could essentially put out my business with a relatively low capital cost.

 

Jennifer:You know, one thing that is evident in talking to you now, and just so that listeners know, I mean you and I have talked. We’ve known each other for about, probably, probably going on two years now. I think about a year before you started your business, we’d been talking. And you’ve always been very focused on not just providing a quality product, but also providing a quality customer experience through having seamless operations. And it always struck me, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that that’s one of those pieces, that I felt really carried over from your professional career as an engineer in that you are very focused on “how can we make the processes as efficient as possible. Whether it’s how I collect money from a consumer or how I, you know, cook this, cook this item.” So why was it … well, again, I guess the first question is “Am I right in that?”

 

Vikas:Yes, that is definitely true.

 

Jennifer:On operations?

 

Vikas:Yes, that is definitely true. So, my, my, I mean, I definitely was very operations focused at the start of my business.

 

Jennifer:And why was it important for you, like why did you see that as being an important thing to focus on because in talking to a lot of food entrepreneurs, not that they don’t see it as important, but it’s not necessarily kind of the top three that they focus on. So why did you see that as being such an important thing to be concerned with in addition to, again, having really quality product that you’re putting out to consumers.

 

Vikas:Yes, so one of the things which happened as part of my plans to start a food business was that I set capital constraints on myself and decided that the whole thing was going to start out as a very low cost venture. So given that I had set those constraints, the need to function with efficiency came about almost immediately, right off the bat. I decided to go with this low cost, and relatively operationally efficient, as operationally efficient as possible, approach because I, sort of, always have felt that being efficient is useful at the beginning because it helps when you work with constraints. You might have less money, and you might need to work harder and do more innovative things, but it helps you, sort of, be more frugal and scrappy, and actually to be start up like. And as a result, I ended up being fairly minimalistic when it came to what I perceived as some of the nonessential aspects of the business. Some of which, I realized, potentially were places I could spend more money in. But that was really the genesis of what drove my push toward operational efficiency right from the beginning.

 

Jennifer:So, I’m curious, what for you in looking at your business, like, can you give us an example of what you viewed as one of those nonessential pieces? And again, this is obviously specific to your business and your business model.

 

Vikas:Right. So one of the things which I was grappling with, and I should say, right until about a couple of weeks before launching, was I didn’t have a logo. I had thought through all the licenses and [inaudible 00:09:11] and I had gone into a farmer’s market and decided my menu and practiced my recipes and scaled them up and everything. But I didn’t have a logo and I didn’t have a banner. And I just suddenly started to feel that okay, I have a thing that I’m going to, you know, go out to the market, but I don’t actually have something which is going to tell people about who I am. And so I ended up just getting a very minimalistic logo made off the internet using, you know, a combination of the freelance sites. You know, to bring the banner along with it, and then just the standard logo sizes that are available. And, sort of, went with that. So the logo and brand was definitely something which I did as something of a very, very low cost initiative when I did start.

 

Jennifer:Great! Thanks for sharing that. I appreciate that. You know, the other thing that I, that we want to talk about today, it’s kind of part of today’s theme for the podcast, is the fact that, you know, you mentioned that you’re working full time, and this was kind of a one and a half day venture. But almost exactly the same time you started the Farmer’s Markets you had another huge life event occur. Can you tell us about that?

 

Vikas:Yes. So, our baby boy was born last year in June. It was actually exactly one week before the start of the Farmer’s Market. So, for a little bit of preface on that, it didn’t come as a surprise because, you know, we had known about this for a while and it was during the planning phase of the business that I was fully aware that there’s a possibility that the business might launch right around the time that he’s born. But of course, when it actually happens, it’s very different from when you think it might happen. So I was presented with this situation last year in June where he was born in the first week of June. We came back from the hospital a couple of days later, and roughly six days after that was, I was at the promotion kitchen getting ready for our first day at the Farmer’s Market.

 

Jennifer:And of course the birth of any child into the family is a huge event, but I think especially, I mean, this was your first child. And so that’s becoming a parent for the first time can be overwhelming. So how did you manage to juggle being an employee for your, the employer that you worked for, being an entrepreneur, and being a new father all the same time?

 

Vikas:So, it’s an interesting question. It was actually very difficult for the first 15 months. I will say that I was extremely fortunate to have family support. My wife’s parents were here and so we had help at home in the form of, you know, being able to take [inaudible 00:12:13] responsibilities when I was away. For example in the kitchen, or when I was at work, or when I was getting ready for the Farmer’s Market over the weekend. One of the, I did a couple of things to help me, sort of juggle through these aspects.

 

The first thing is I decided very much early on that I just had to keep business priorities for the first year. I decided to focus on product quality, customer service, and customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency which is a piece I talked about a little bit. And what I basically did was that I didn’t end up doing a lot of marketing, and I didn’t end up doing a lot of analytics based off our sales data. I didn’t end up maybe expanding my menu a whole lot during the season. And I basically got out a lot of things which I might have done had the time been different. But just the thought of having a laser focus and trying to get whatever I was trying to put out really well done.

 

The other thing which I, sort of, did is I tried to make sure … and this was partly true because of the background I was coming from. I realized that when I started at market that it’s extremely physically strenuous to work at a Farmer’s Market, let alone just work over the weekend. And so I made sure that I was being physically fit and staying fully prepared for the Saturday and Sunday rituals full of work as opposed to being a relaxing weekend that it might otherwise be.

 

Jennifer:That’s a great point because it is, working in the kitchen and then, you know, going out. And not just the physical piece of interacting, you know, of preparing the food and serving it to customers, but also the, well it can be uplifting and exciting, interacting with the consumers you have to always be on when the Farmer’s Market’s there. So there’s no time for either physical rest or a mental rest. Especially when, like you said, you’re doing, working full time and then also working Saturdays and Sundays. So taking that time, or figuring out somehow to take care of yourself within that so that you can enter into the weekends rejuvenated and excited about going in for the farmer’s market is huge. Over the course, especially over the course of a full season.

 

Vikas:Yes, that is definite. I would say that some of the aspect of just of feeling relieved of stress and cooking being a stress reliever that definitely helped in this regard because the weekend activities then came to me a little more naturally than they would by comparison with, you know, taking on something as additional duty.

 

Jennifer:That’s a great point. Yeah. You know, we talked about, just a minute ago, that you approach year one with that laser focus that you talked about. Which is a great way to phrase it, but it’s also a great thing for, I think, food entrepreneurs whether or not you’re also working full time and or becoming a new parent simultaneously. It is really hard for us as small business owners to try to do everything. Yet we always try to do. You know, most of us try to do everything and ultimately, like you don’t necessarily do all of it well, as opposed to having two or three things you’re really focused on in that first year. I’d be interested in hearing from you. Were there any, kind of, big lessons learned for you with regards to one or all of those pieces that you were focused on for your first year?

 

Vikas:Yes. Definitely. Actually there were three big lessons I learned as part of the first year in business. The first and most important lesson I learned was the importance of execution in bringing a product to market. This was true for a couple of reasons. One is that I spent the better part of 2015, roughly the latter half, on weekends, kind of [inaudible 00:16:15], thinking through what I might build. Thinking through what I need to do to get started. But 2016, roughly February 2016, was the first time I actually got started with the nitty gritty of what’s actually involved to start a business. And I realized there were gaps in my understanding. There were potential things I had not considered. There were roadblocks that I had. And so I realized that execution is really important, you know, it’s said quite popularly that ideas are a dime a dozen, but execution is what matters. And I really felt that firsthand.

 

The other, the second lesson that I learned was the importance of cash flow. Because I was keeping his business very low cost and I tried to make it self-sustaining as much as possible, I had a close eye on our costs, on revenues. Making sure they aren’t going over at any point of time. From the perspective that I realized that, you know, I could look at my business as something that’s promising with a lot of potential for the long term. But in the near term, I still have to be able to pay the next month’s rent. I still have to be about to get inventory for the next week. And I still need to basically manage the rhythm of running the business, regardless of how it might pan out in the long term.

 

And then, my final lesson, what I would say, the third most important lesson, was that there is actually a lot power of observation when it comes to the food business. And this, I felt was somewhat specific to my experience in the food business because while I was trying to start up a food business, I talked to a lot of food businesses, a lot of entrepreneurs. And in some cases, particularly while approaching a small business, I found that maybe they don’t always have the time to talk to you, or they don’t always, you know, they can’t always [inaudible 00:18:10] you in with what you’re asking them. But sometimes just being observant. You know, standing alongside a chef who’s cooking in an open kitchen, or a food cart at farmer’s market, or a food truck. You know, watching them take orders, and watching customer behavior. Some of these things actually tended to answer over half of my questions. And so over all this time I just realized that being observant actually answers so many questions for me.

 

Jennifer:Oh, I love that idea! I also, I feel like it might also answers questions you didn’t even know you had.

 

Vikas:That is absolutely right. In fact, it gave me learnings right from the fact, that I actually, hadn’t gotten my city business license until two weeks before starting in business because I didn’t know that I needed a city license. But then, you know, you see the licenses which are displayed at a business and then I realized, “Hey! Maybe I need one.”

 

Jennifer:That’s great!

 

Vikas:And then, down to little things like, you know, somebody serving, let’s say, a roll. What kind of aluminum foil are they using? Or what brand of vinyl gloves are they using? Now these things might actually appear as very mundane and day to day to an average business owner, but being new, I realized there was value in observing and, sort of, making most of all these things because when you go to the store, you’re presented with so many brands that you really do need to make a quick choice.

 

Jennifer:Yeah, it allows you almost to let somebody else vet the products for you. So that you can just go in and say, “Okay. These are the ones that XYZ are using. I trust that they are going to be better than if I just come in and blindly choose.”

 

Vikas:That is correct.

 

Jennifer:What about, you mentioned that you didn’t necessarily spend the time, a bunch of time or energy or money, on marketing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what about the customer education piece? And I kind of roll that into marketing because often times people will say, “Marketing and customer education go hand in hand.” But in your case, you know, your menu doesn’t necessarily consist of what Americans are always familiar with when it come to quote typical Indian cuisine. Your menu is authentic, but maybe not mainstream for, especially for Caucasian Americans.

 

Vikas:That is right.

 

Jennifer:Did, so … I guess a couple questions: Did the demographics in the area that, in your farmer’s market area, did it necessitate that you had to educate the public about your menu items? And if so, what did you do to help with that education process?

 

Vikas:So, good question. I definitely did need to do a lot of customer education. For some background, the food that I started out serving, both the snacks and the beverages, these are extremely popular in the western states of India, but they really haven’t penetrated into a lot of American cities. Definitely not in Seattle. And so, what I found that, what I found is that the demographic of the farmer’s market was such that I had people who hadn’t even tried the food, let alone hadn’t even heard of them. And so they would come up and ask me, say, “Hey. What is this?” So for example, we had a tapioca patty and they had sort of tapioca starch in their mind whereas this is actually tapioca that we use. And so I had to, sort of, educate them about how we put this together, and the tradition of how we cook it and prepare it. And there was definitely a lot of face to face time spent talking with customers at the stall.

 

I also had resources ready and, sort of, handy for them, in case they had more questions or needed more information. In some cases, those resources were really as simple as Wikipedia articles or maybe a link to a recipe on the internet.

 

It was overall an eye opening experience because what I realized out of having this sort of different menu from the standard what you might see in Indian restaurants or quick service restaurants, is that we got a lot of polarized opinions from some of our traditional items. On the one hand, there were people who thought, “Wow. This is something that I’ve never tasted before.” But on the other hand, there were people who maybe hadn’t even tasted all of those flavors coming together. Like tapioca, peanut, and potato with cumin seed and salt, and a few other spices. And they kind of took a little time to warm up. So in terms of how we adjusted and who we, sort of, got the consumer education going, it was a combination of face to face time spent with the consumer and, you know, it did mean, in some cases, that, you know, maybe you spend an extra minute or two in processing that order.

 

We did give away complementary samples initially where maybe a customer would order a more familiar item off the menu. Or they might just order a beverage. And I’d say, “Hey! We have this traditional item on our menu today. Would you like try something?” Or would they like to try it, and then, you know, maybe you give them a piece or a small sample.

 

And towards the latter half of the season we definitely found that people had warmed up to these items.

 

Jennifer:Interesting. I like that idea of doing the sampler. I mean, certainly, you know, if you can afford it to do the sampler.

 

What about, you’d also told me in a prior conversation that you put together a menu item that basically, kind of was a sampler platter if you will. A little bit of everything to help encourage, encourage people to try an assortment of items offered from your, from your farmer’s market booth. Can you tell us about that?

 

Vikas:Yes. That is correct. So one of the things we realized was because a lot this menu was new to the customer at the farmer’s market there might be some apprehension with regards to trying a specific item. Particularly if the customer is not sure about what it tastes like. And, you know, although we were giving out complementary samples, along with, you know, to paying customers who would buy some other product. Not everyone might stop by for a sample and so on. So what we actually did was we put together a sampler which was a small quantity of every item on our menu and we actually sold that as a full menu item.

 

Now what ended up happening as a result was that there was a little bit of a hit we took in terms of our margins because the sampler was discounted relative to the combined price of the individual items. But what it did allow is that it gave the customers the opportunity to sort of get a feel for each of the different items. We actually found that a lot of the customers who tried the sampler for a couple of weeks actually came back and bought the individual items in future weeks.

 

Jennifer:That’s fantastic! And you know, sometimes it is those short term, you know, you never want to have a crazy, crazy discount on your margin, but to be able to get customers to trust and learn about those other products ends up being a much better long term revenue idea then simply hoping that one day they might choose something different off the menu.

 

Vikas:Yes.

 

Jennifer:What, you know, we’ve been talking mainly about the farmer’s market arm of your business, but as I mentioned in the introduction, starting last fall you also started offering catering services. So can you tell us a little bit about the catering piece of your business? Why you ultimately decided to go that route? Had you planned that as part of your initial business plan? You know, and again, I know throwing a bunch of questions at you, but you know, what, what did you find different, or what did you learn in comparison to being the farmer’s market when it came to catering?

 

Vikas:Yeah, so, catering was an arm of the business that started out in the early fall of 2016. So roughly about three and a half months into the farmer’s market season. Catering was definitely something which I had thought about as something I wanted to do when I started the business, but then keeping a tight set of priorities, being busy with everything else that was going on in life, I decided, you know, maybe I should just give it a few months to see how the farmer’s market takes off before I get into catering. So in about the third month, we got into catering. The catering angle of the business is actually fairly different. In the sense that we have an expanded menu. We have a very different clientele and the orders schedule tends to be very different than the farmer’s market.

 

So speaking through each of these, what tends to happen is that we’re based on the east side of Seattle and so the clientele tends to be fairly local. Which is very different from the farmer’s market which is people who live in the city and actually, just might walk to the market or walk down the hill, you know, to the nearest stall depending on where they live. As I learned demographic of people who were coming to our catering business was almost the, you know, 180 degrees opposite of what the demographic was at the farmer’s market. We needed to prioritize a lot more on a lot of traditional Indian foods which might not have been things we sold at the farmer’s market, but have started to become popular among the local circles here. And so that was one angle of catering which, you know we needed to adapt and build.

 

There was a benefit of catering in that, catering orders seemed to be fairly well defined. And so we knew exactly when the order was coming in how much food was to be prepared and so, the situation of having food left over or having, you know, inventory that is being, kind of, just kept in the kitchen and doesn’t have a use for was really not there.

 

And then finally, and this is actually an interesting place where perhaps the farmer’s market was beneficial. Catering orders given my full time job, and given the fact that there are family commitments, catering orders, in essence, do tend to be fairly sporadic where we’ve done catering orders ranging from birthday party, baby shower, holiday party, you know, small gatherings at home. But over a period of time I realized that a catering order is great if the caterer is available to service the order on that day. Very different from a farmer’s market where you decide to go out on the day that you are available and then you can service any customer.

 

The reason I mention this is because in catering orders, we did have two or three situations where the order came in and then, you know, we were just way too busy on that weekend and we couldn’t take that order. Now I don’t know if that person going to order again after three months or after six months, or maybe after a month. Whereas at the farmer’s market even if we would run out of food, the customer could potentially come back the next weekend, you know, come a little earlier and try our food.

 

So I think in balance there’s definitely been a lot of learnings as well as understandings of key differences in the whole experience of getting into the catering business.

 

Jennifer:So then, you know, as, again, as I mentioned, like, you are starting your second farmer’s market season now. Are you continuing catering simultaneously? As you also do the farmer’s markets or how are you going to work that this summer?

 

Vikas:So, yes. We will be doing catering along with farmer’s markets this summer. One of the things that I realized which experienced caterers do and which I didn’t do actually the first year is they ask for a significant amount of lead time to prepare for an event. They typically sign contracts. They have some sort of formalized relationship with the customer well ahead of the event. So yes, we’ll definitely be doing catering in our second year as well.

 

This is a small business, and so we aren’t set up to do, for example, full service catering like some other caterers are set up to do. But we’re looking to expand as we go along.

 

Jennifer:So that actually fits perfectly in with my next question. So, as you head into this second year of business, do you have those, do you have those three priorities again like you did last year that you’re really focused on this year? What are you, what are you focusing on, what do you hope to learn, what, where are areas of strategic growth that you’re really looking towards for your business? Or essentially, what are you thinking? Like if you and I are talking a year from now, what would you love to be telling me about your second year of business?

 

Vikas:Yes. So, as we enter the second year of business in June, I’m looking at a few things that I’d like to do in the second year. The first is sales growth. So look at growing our sales year over year. Two, an expanded menu. We had a fairly limited menu at the farmer’s market last year primarily because we were just starting out. Looking to have better analytics on some of our sales data. So we didn’t really keep a lot of cash analytics. We didn’t really keep close track of sales as in the break down of sales week to week because we were just so busy, kind of, in the whole production process that, you know, we were just very tired at the end of it.

 

Another goal which I have for the second year is starting to explore more social media channels. And expanding marketing presence because that was one of the places where I couldn’t make it a core priority in the first year. But now with the second year feeling more of an implement for it over the first, I do want to expand in that space.

 

I also have the goal of essentially growing the business. So scaling up. We currently have a size limit on catering orders. We aren’t exactly set up to do very large, for example, 300 or 500 person orders. I’d like to start scaling up on the catering front, and then also scaling up on the farmer’s market front. It’s kind of an interesting challenge given the fact that everything in life remains the same. And our baby boy is going to be one year old very soon, so that takes up time, too. So I’m definitely looking at this as growing over the first year and then trying to start to do new things in the second year where I’m sort of building on the first year of experiences.

 

Jennifer:You know, and so, working towards building on, like you said, your first year experiences, you’re still working full time? Correct?

 

Vikas:Yes. That is correct.

 

Jennifer:And then you now have an almost, I mean, you know, coming up any day now, one year old. So I’ll ask you. How are you planning, or how are you hoping to manage all that? And still enter into the weekends feeling revitalized and excited about being at the farmer’s market?

 

Vikas:That’s a great question. So, one of the things which I have done in the down time that we had … and it’s not exactly down time because we stared catering in fall. But we didn’t do a farmer’s market in the winter season. And so there was down time to that extent. Is, I worked on improving our processes. I worked on improving how we manage inventory. And overall just streamlining our prep time, so that we have a better picture on, we feel better about how we’re going into the market prepared for the next, prepared for the next season. So definitely improved efficiency is going to play a big role.

 

The other thing which I’ll say is that as we sort of enter the second year of business, you know, I’ve taken time to become more efficient at household tasks. I will say that this is starting from mundane tasks like filling milk bottles and, you know, making sure that everything is neat and tidy around the home kitchen and making sure that home chores are taken care of. Because over a period of time, managing a family as well as managing a business necessitates that, you know, you really have to, kind of, take this on as two jobs. And more than two jobs actually. I think the thing that has kind of helped me and this is a discussion we used to have even last year is the business is, in a sense, a second child. And so when the business is viewed upon as a second child it really takes upon a responsibility of its own.

 

And in terms of energy and staying vitalized, this was a part that really came to mind last year as well. Which is how will I have the energy to work nearly 22 to 24 hours over the weekend when I’ve worked a full week Monday through Friday? I realized in the end that food and cooking, cooking in particular being a stress reliever, and the whole experience of seeing a satisfied customer at the market who has eaten your product and praises it or gives you positive feedback in a different way, is really so powerful. That really sometimes it’s not the energy but the adrenaline rush which comes from seeing those satisfied customers which keeps me going.

 

Jennifer:Yeah. I can identify with that, that it’s the, those experiences, I feel like they give you energy. Even though you are working on your feet, you know, all weekend long. You still kind of walk away more jazzed and more excited. I remember that when I worked in a professional kitchen, for hotels, I would be so excited by the end of the day, I would have to come home and there would be like two hours of wind down afterwards before I could go to sleep even though I wasn’t getting off until two AM. Just because it is the adrenaline. It’s coursing through you and you’re excited and you’re loving what you’re doing and that does provide you with a certain amount of energy.

 

Vikas:Yes. Absolutely.

 

Jennifer:Well, thank you so much for talking to us and sharing, sharing your story! You know what I love about it, like I said in the beginning is the fact that you are, you are doing what is not necessarily uncommon in the food industry which is trying to juggle this balance of professional, full time career with starting up a food business, or growing the food business like you’re doing now in addition to family responsibilities. And that, you know, sometimes that can be a tough act to juggle, so I love talking to folks like you who are doing it.

 

I also love your focus on operational efficiency. It’s one of those things that outside of this podcast in talking to other food entrepreneurs I’ve been hearing come up more and more. And whether it’s streamlining a business process or a cooking method, or something, that that’s really what’s helping a lot of food entrepreneurs become more successful because time is, time is our biggest constraint. So how can you maximize your time when it’s in the kitchen or when you’re focused on your business, and a lot of that is by taking a look at the processes you have and making sure they are as efficient as possible.

 

Vikas:Yes. Absolutely.

 

Jennifer:Well, again, thank you so much! I will put a link to the Bombay Bitez Facebook page on the transcripts for this podcast which will be on the Small Food Biz website. And again, thank you! I really appreciate it.

 

Vikas:Thank you so much, Jennifer, for having me on the show.

 

Jennifer:Yeah! Thank you.

 

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