The food industry is hot, especially the catering business. In fact, according to Statista, food and drink sales of social caterers was expected to reach a whopping 8.12 billion U.S. dollars last year, and sales of mobile caterers just 914.9 million.
So being a caterer is not only a great hobby for college student T’keyah Russell, 19, but a smart business to get into. She is the founder and CEO of Good Eats W. TK Catering.
Brooklyn native and Delaware State University student Russell launched the catering company during her freshman year. She caters to DSU students and clients near DSU. “The idea of the business came about my freshman year in college. I did Sunday dinners at my friend’s house every weekend and all of my friends would come over. That is when I found my passion for cooking,” says Russell, who was raised in Brooklyn, but born in Carriacou, Grenada. She also lived in Trinidad until the age of three.
It is ironic, however, that Russell is building a catering company. “Growing up, cooking was my least favorite thing to do or learn. My mother always instilled in me that a woman must know how to cook. My freshman year at Delaware State was when I found my passion for cooking. It started off with me cooking Sunday dinners for my friends to then starting a catering business,” she shares.
Russell posts the weekly menu on the goodeats_catering Instagram and on her Snapchat. Customers email their orders. Among her bestsellers: “Good Eats popular dishes are our Baked Mac & Cheese, Rasta Pasta and Curry Chicken,” she says.
Between school and her business, Russell is busy. “School comes first before the business. Monday-Friday is my time to focus on school and to attend to my work, and Saturday and Sunday is when I attend to the business,” says Russell, who is majoring in Sports Management with a concentration in Hospitality & Tourism.
Russell, who will continue her catering business after she graduates, says she enjoys being a business owner. “What I like the most about being an entrepreneur is being able to bring my ideas to life and inspiring others to start their own business,” she says, despite some of the challenges. “My biggest challenge in business that made me into a better CEO and person was bringing something new to the table and being different in my craft, as well as making sure that I was versatile with my dishes to attend to my customers,” she says.
Looking ahead, Russell not only wants to build her company, but her brand. She says, “I have a lot of goals for 2018, but one of my goals is to expand Good Eats not only as a catering business but as a brand as well.”