So, let’s start with you are you from this local area?
Yes, I am local to the area.
Why did you choose this line of business? When did it start? What Year?
I enjoy the cooking aspect and seeing people smile after they eat the food that is being prepared. I went to school and trained through the Culinary Institute of VA, went to work at a restaurant and then started to do some personal catering on the side. I eventually added a baking portion of it such as pastries, muffins and cheesecakes. I first started with the catering in 2013. The cheesecakes in 2015 and then this year I started adding other pastries to it.
Starting a business is a tough thing to do! What inspired you to keep going as you were getting it off the ground?
I just stuck with it. There is nothing in particular that kept me going, as it was just a part-time business. If I got a call from a potential client, it was good, but once I started with the cheesecakes, it really started taking off.
When would you really say your business went from a concept to an actual functional business?
It took probably about a year and a half before I decided to actually hop into it and started doing the research on how to start a business.
Looking back, what was the most difficult challenge(s) you had to face?
Mostly getting the word out, and that’s when I started doing face to face with people telling them about my business.
What is one thing you would have done differently?
There is nothing I would really change, but I wish I had started a website a few years ago.
What do you enjoy the most about the Virginia Beach communities your business takes care of?
The excitement people have when they come up to a table at the farmer’s market and they make a purchase, like it and then come back and make comments. I have a table at Farmer John’s Market which is by the Farmhouse Brewery.
If a potential customer had to pick from 3 different businesses providing the same services you provide, what would make your company really stand out, and make them choose your company over the others?
I go towards what the client is looking for and work things around their financial budget and or the budget that they have in mind.
Has internet technology played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
Actually, the Farmer’s market helped more than anything and me talking to people about it via word of mouth.
Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the right tools?
Definitely!! Which I hope to, next year, do a website. That is one of my goals.
What is the toughest thing about being in business in 2019?
The number of people that are out there that have similar businesses as I do.
What do you think could possibly help set you apart from those other businesses?
I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about it.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years and why?
Continuing to grow and possibly doing it to where that is all I am doing, where I am not working for someone else but more for myself and, hopefully down the road, possibly opening my own brick and mortar.
What is the best way for our readers to connect with your team and to take advantage of what your company has to offer?
BUSINESS NAME: Casual Chef Catering
OWNER NAME: Carl Desei
PHONE NUMBER: 757-567-2372
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/casualchefcatering/