It’s very rare that I meet another Krista. When I do…her name is usually spelled Christa, so when I met Krista Wilson, I just knew we were going to be friends.
Krista and I met via one of the local non-profit groups we both volunteer with. Not only do we have the same name and share a passion for community and local history, but we’re both entrepreneurs too! Krista runs delish. She is a caterer and personal chef. What a delicious career?! Hearing about her catering business, I had to share her story with you, so let’s get to it!
Krista Wilson launched delish. nashville’s caterer + personal chef in January of 2010. She offers catering for any type of an event. From a delivered meal for 2 people, a cocktail party for 50 to a buffet dinner for 200 people. Her ideal client is anyone who may be in the process of planning an event, dinner party, corporate lunch or needs a dinner on the table tonight.
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Krista, what led you to your catering career? Is there a particular area in the food world that is a specialty for you? (pastas, desserts, etc…?)
I have always worked in the restaurant industry – starting from a car hop at Sonic, hostess, server, and cooking at many different restaurants. Being around food is my passion! After having my son, I decided that I was tired of working almost every night and weekend. I felt like I was missing out on things with him and my husband. I thought catering would be something fun to get into because I could cater from home and I would still be working with food.
Creating small, bite-sized hors d’oeuvres is one type of food that I really enjoy making. I love being able to come up with new hors d’oeuvres and being able to be creative with the ingredients, spices, etc. Hors d’oeuvres are time consuming to make each individual one, but they are fun!
How did you discover this passion? What makes you passionate about food?
Growing up, my mom always cooked great meals! I enjoyed eating great food with my family around the dinner table each night. I would help my mom cook and really started to love cooking when I was younger.
How/when did you make the decision to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Before I decided to open up the catering company, I was working in restaurants. I have cooked at F. Scotts in Nashville, Wild Iris in Brentwood, Napa River Grille in Louisville, KY, Zooma and Pane e Vino in Providence, RI. I was mainly working at night and on weekends. After I had my son in 2008, I felt like I was missing out on so many things. I thought for a while about what I should do and decided to open delish catering. My sister and I co-owned the company at the beginning, but she has since moved on and has opened an event planning company. Opening the company has made things easier since I work out of my home and am able to create my own schedule.
What has been your best method for generating new business?
Word of mouth has been the best way to generate new business. Sometimes I will donate dinners or in-home cooking services to silent auctions for different events around town. I have participated in silent auctions for March of Dimes, Nashville Wine Auction, Assistance League of Nashville,
What do you think holds people back from starting a business?
I think people are scared of failing. It takes hard work and dedication to be successful. The fear of failure can stop people from fulfilling their dream of becoming and entrepreneur.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Being able to maintain a work/life balance is very important to me. Being able to work from home and create my own schedule has been great! I also have my family here in town to help when I need someone to keep my son last minute if I’m working and my husband is working late. They have been a big help!
Are you involved with any community outreach / non-profit organizations? If so, tell us about it/them and why you got involved.
I am a member of the Next Generation Heritage Foundation. It is an organization that protects and preserves Franklin, TN and also works to revitalize downtown Franklin. I became a member because I wanted to meet new people, gain more clients for catering and to be an active member with events, volunteer work and learning more about the city of Franklin.
How do you unwind in your free time? Any hobbies?
I love to work out. It makes me feel great after a morning workout and keeps my mind clear! Trying new restaurants around town is another one of my hobbies. I love to try the new up and coming places. Some of my favorite restaurants are Lockeland Table and Silly Goose in East Nashville, Rolf and Daughters in Germantown and Gray’s in downtown Franklin. Being with my friends and family is also another one of my favorite things to do in my free time. Relaxing on the couch, pool time with my son to drinks on a patio.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year? Why is that important to you?
To get more clients in the corporate world! I have been going to many different offices in the Franklin, Cool Springs, Brentwood area handing out business cards and samples in order to generate new clientele. I want to work with more corporate offices on a daily basis with delivering whatever they may need breakfast, lunch or an evening event. It is important to me because the more people I am able to work, with the more word of mouth referrals I will receive.
Tell us about a business struggle you’ve experienced and how you overcame it.
I have to admit, I am NOT a baker. I am a chef!! A few years back I had a disaster in the kitchen when I was trying to bake a chocolate panna cotta cake. The panna cotta would not “set” and it needed to be in the freezer for at least 24 hours. The event was in less than 24 hours because I kept trying to make the cake over and over again. For some reason that time it would not come out. I was freaking out. I ended up having to call a bakery to make a chocolate mousse cake and talking with the client about the situation. I apologized and didn’t make the client pay for it. It was really embarrassing, but the client understood and did not have a problem with it. As of today that is the biggest struggle I have had since opening the business. Hopefully it was the last! J I now work with a baker if I ever need any pastries or baking goods.
What is something that sets you apart from other caterers?
Price. Our prices for food, the service charges to come in and serve, bartend, set up and clean up the event are lower than any other catering company in town! And our food is amazing! J
If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be and why?
For vacation I would want to be on any beach. I love the beach!! I want to go to Cabo next. As for where in the world I would want to be living, it would be here in Franklin. I will never move because this is home. My whole family is here, the friends I grew up with are here and this is where my heart is.
How do we hire you?!
Call me at 615-915-9576 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to work with you in creating a menu that fits your event style, taste and budget. J
Who is your favorite chef?
Rick Bayless! He is an American chef who specializes in Mexican cuisine. His restaurants are located in Chicago and Los Angeles. Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines. I am of Mexican heritage and have enjoyed having Mexican recipes handed down to me from many generations. I have all of Rick’s cookbooks and enjoy watching his show on PBS, Mexico: One Plate at a Time. If you ever are in Chicago I suggest you make a trip to one of his restaurants, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. Amazing!!
I am SO impressed by Krista’s culinary creations. Her hors d’oeuvres are miniature works of art. If you’re in Middle Tennessee and need food for a special event, meeting or just as a treat for yourself, reach out to Krista. She would love to serve you.
Krista, thanks for taking time out of your day to share your entrepreneurial insight with us. We are so much stronger when we work together and appreciate the wisdom and expertise you’ve shared with us today.
What “golden nugget” did you pull from today’s interview? I’d love to know what resonated most with you. Please share and let’s dialogue in the comments!