Meet Ms. Mercy Amechi from Enugu state Nigeria. She is the owner of a New York based mobile restaurant and catering business Chy Food Network, which specializes in authentic Nigerian dishes using heathy ingredients. Mercy believes it is important to eat healthy and stay fit and prepares her homemade dishes with the best ingredients and a healthy lifestyle in mind
1.What is Chy Food Network all about?
Chy Food Network is an authentically Nigerian mobile restaurant and catering business, which specializes in Nigeria dishes and also prepare some Nigerian-American fusion dishes. The focus is on delivering homemade food of superior quality made just the way our clients request. We also offer online cooking classes and home delivery service throughout New York.
2. What made you decided to start your business?
When I came to the United States for college, I enjoyed cooking for friends and roommates. During my second year of university, someone said to me that “when you are good at something, you should get some compensation” following which, I started doing some small catering and giving cooking classes to teachers and students on campus as a side hustle, to support my academic cost.
Fast forward to after I graduated, my mom came up with the idea that I should consider catering since I already had a small client base along with a heap of passion and cooking skill. As a result, I began offering a range of heathy home-cooked meal options to customers who needed small orders. As the news spread, I began receiving more orders.
3- How did you learn how to cook?
I leant how to cook by watching my mom – she ran a restaurant for 20 years in Nigeria and was well known in our region for her cooking skills. As a kid I helped my mom in the restaurant and learnt a lot from her over the years. Graduating from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management is a full pivot to cooking. I don’t have a culinary degree and I’m often asked how come you know how to cook so well? I usually respond, “it just comes naturally”.
4 – What have you learned so far while managing your business?
Some of the things I have learned in the food service industry and as an entrepreneur in general is that patience and consistency are the keys to success. Sometimes it is difficult to continue especially when faced with financial risk and. I learnt that marketing and words of mouth is very important in reaching customers.
5- What are some of the challenges you are facing?
Some of my challenges are discouragement from some of my friends and family. Some people think it is hard to make it in this industry and some people always ask me “what culinary school did you go to?” It’s had for them to believe it comes natural.
6- What advice do you have for anyone who will like to start their own business?
My advice to aspiring Africans is to keep pushing. If you have passion for something, go for it. Never stop believing in yourself. Passion is the only thing that can keep you going even if all else fails. The joy that you gave your best will always help stand up again. Don’t give up just because the sales may be slow. Give it time and watch yourself grow one step at a time.
7- What do you do when you are not working?
During my free time, I like to try new recipes and just cook something or bake. Cooking ideas just come to me and I just enter the kitchen to try it out. And many of the time, they come out supper great and I don’t know what to call it because it was just an idea. Also, I try to watch some food videos and photography because am interested in photography
8- What do you like most about what you do?
There’s this unexplainable satisfaction I feel when people enjoy my food and call or ask for more or the recipes. I try out new recipes everyday. I believe that once you are a good cook, there’s no one way of cooking. I eat my food and say to myself “your kids are going to be healthy and enjoy good food for life. I love people and love to cook for them. I like the gathering of people through food. I love the connection, the coming together food brings. I love how good food makes one happy. I love how food speaks different languages. I love how with food, an atmosphere can change for good. I love that everything we do in life connects with food. I like to change the mind of people with some good food. I love my freedom. My freedom is something I won’t trade for anything in the world. The freedom to be my own boss and work at my own schedule makes everything worthwhile.
9-What Skill do you most want to learn?
10– How can people reach you?
It’s quite easy, just visit our Iwing Marketplace profile and you will find all our information or you can call me +1 (757) 327-8395. The best thing about ordering from Chy Food Network is that we do home and office delivery in New York and we only use healthy ingredients.
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