What Is Meant to Be Will Be

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but in an effort to pay it forward, here goes...what is meant to be will be.

It’s a simple yet powerful piece of advice that my sister serves to me whenever I try to force something to work out for Support Suppers. It doesn’t mean be complacent, or stop fighting for what you believe in, or quit working your hardest and leveraging all of your resources to reach your goals. To me it means, have faith in the journey, endure the disappointment and heartbreak because surely what is yet to come will be worth it, if you trust your instincts, make thoughtful decisions and have patience.

The first 5 years of starting a business are easy...SAID NO ONE EVER! Difficult as they may be it’s the countless successes and failures and people you meet during these critical first years that help determine the path of your company. When I worked a corporate sales job, the competition was fierce and we were trained to view other companies in our space and their team of employees as the enemy. Fortunately, that’s not a hard habit to break, (fun fact: my very first order came from a woman I knew from a competing company at the job I quit to start Support Suppers) and I quickly formed uplifting relationships and partnerships with similar small businesses. We all have to eat and as long as you make a great product with an audience of customers willing to consume it, there really is space for all of us.

Within the first six months of being in business, I was looking for a shared kitchen space with another business owner we’d met and aligned with. After months of looking and no spaces proving to be a perfect fit, we abandoned the search. Then a few months later, what I thought was the most perfect little retail kitchen space for just Support Suppers crossed our path, but in a heartbreaking David vs. Goliath, we weren’t allowed to lease the space due to a large anchor store having an exclusive on the property. Countless more imperfect kitchen opportunities came and went as I considered going back to work to pay for our growth and hiring my sister as the full-time manager. Flash forward almost another full year and the business that I started my search with reached out with an opportunity to share the perfect little commercial kitchen in the perfect location. Meant...to...be!

This month we start cooking in this new space with this lovely group of people and I couldn’t be more excited about it. This change, albeit an adjustment, represents an investment in the future growth and sustainability for both of our businesses. Although, just one of the many moving parts happening “behind the scenes” this year, this is a big “win” for Support Suppers and I appreciate your patience and understanding as I attempt to navigate these changes seamlessly.

We currently have our June dates and menus posted and will work to finalize and post July and August on supportsuppers.com in the coming weeks. As we close out our third year and prepare for the changes ahead, we thank you again for all of your Support and encouragement along the way. Cheers to Summer!

Female Food Idols

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For anyone of you who may have received a call from me from my 614 area code cell phone number and wondered “where is 614”, this post is for you! I’m not from Columbus, OH, but my husband and I spent a significant amount of time during a pivotal time in our lives in Columbus. 

I wouldn’t blame you if you thought it’s just another average town in a midwest state, but it is home to a very innovative and dynamic food and beverage start-up culture. In fact, the food was hands-down the one thing I missed the most when I moved to Richmond in 2010.

When my favorite podcast started pitching their live episode with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams founder Jeni Britton Bauer, in Columbus, OH, I checked daily for weeks awaiting the episode. Jeni’s had just started it’s growth when we were leaving Columbus, and to experience her ice creams in one of her signature shoppes was an experience that can’t be described. I still remember my dad’s reaction when we skipped dessert at a very nice restaurant to get Jeni’s instead. As we walked to our cars he couldn’t stop talking about the heirloom pumpkin mascarpone flavor he just enjoyed (maybe even licked the bowl, my memory is a little foggy ;))

Her story is inspirational, especially to a female food entrepreneur like me. Take a listen to this podcast and next time you’re at Wegman’s pick up a pint and treat yourself.

We have two tasty menus lined up for this week. Check out what’s cooking and let us help with dinner. Thank you for your Support and safe travels and fun times to all the Spring Breakers!

Side Hustles

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There are many things that make entrepreneurship a fun and unique experience, but I think the ability to be in complete control of how I choose to spend my time and experience my life is my favorite. When I left my corporate sales career to start Support Suppers, it was a long, emotional learning experience which I embraced fully. I have learned a lot in two years, but one thing that I never really got over was the exciting draw of direct sales.

In November, I was offered a unique opportunity to channel my direct sales skills and experience while also furthering my connection with Richmond’s rich start-up and small business community. I joined the Pivot Pass team under co-founders April Palmer and Brig Leland to help them nurture their innovative idea and grow their network of Boutique Fitness Studios and Corporate Wellness Partners to launch their platform www.pivotpass.com here in Richmond, VA on February 1.

While serving comfort food and advocating for fitness and wellness are pretty much on the opposite ends of the spectrum, it’s really been amazing to continue watching Support Suppers grow organically, while also celebrating the successes of a very different type of start-up. More than anything, I look at where I was 2 years ago, nervous to take a leap outside of my comfort zone; to give up 13 years in a career that was rewarding and safe, but holding me back at the same time and I am thankful that I took the leap and opened myself up to this new start-up community. It’s thrilling to celebrate hard-work and dreams coming to fruition. Albeit small at first, there is no shortage of big dreams in the small business community.

The most popular question I get when I tell people what I’m up to is, “how do you have the time?”. We make time for whatever we want. There will always be time for Support Suppers and I will always make time to spend with my kids and family. What’s different is that no one is telling how to spend my time, in particular, Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm, and that is liberating.

If you’re not too stuffed from your Super Bowl fare, check out what we have on the menu this week as well as our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you and your loved ones get through the rest of this week. Thanks for your Support and, as wrong as this sounds...GO EAGLES!!!

Almost Famous

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It always cracks me up when I answer a phone call or deliver a meal and people are surprised that it’s me on the other end. As if being the owner of this little get up either makes me a big deal or just the bucks behind the business. I totally get it though, because before I embarked on this journey I really had no clue what went into starting a small business from the ground up and growing it to be the dream you’ve always envisioned.

So this week, since many of you may be traveling for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, instead of a cooking tip, I am going to share one of my ongoing sources of encouragement and inspiration.

NPR’s “How I Built This” is a podcast where the host interviews entrepreneurs who built companies and brands that we all now know or remember as major companies. The stories all start from the very beginning doing a really excellent job of highlighting the founder’s visions, hurdles, and turning points along their long journeys to success...and sometimes failure. Either way, it is an excellent glimpse into the life of a small business owner as they pour their heart into making their dream a success.

We’re living out the dream of giving you a better way to Support the people in your life. So check out what we’re cooking up at supportsuppers.com. I’ll get an alert on my phone that you’ve placed an order, carefully prepare all of the details, then my sister and I will personally cook something delicious for you and your family or loved ones to enjoy, and deliver it right to the doorstep. Thanks for all of your Support and have a great holiday weekend.

Act Small, Dream Big

I’ve always been a “dreamer”, so much so that sometimes I get carried away in my own imagination and have to bring things back to reality. That combined with a little OCD and ADHD means my mind swirls with ideas. Most of them are unrealistic or too situational and easily get forgotten. Support Suppers was really the first of thousands of ideas that really stuck with me and had a chance for practical success in the real world.