So What If I Am 50? I Will Thrive In My New Home Catering Business!

I was adamant and hell-bent to do something on my own, something of my choice. which I had dreamed of for a long. Dreams don't have an expiry date!

‘Are you out of your mind? Do you still have dreams to chase? Do you think you will be able to get a job and build your career at this age? Do you think you can do business and make money at this point in life? When people think of leading a hassle-free life and striving for peace and quietude, you want to invite problems and make your lives difficult. When people voluntarily retire and prefer spending time with their family and grandchildren you want to build your career? Have you completely lost it? “Gharwale kya sochenge” (what our family would think)? On top of that “log kya kahenge” (what people would say)?’

‘Stepping out of the home and doing business is not a child’s play. You have to put time, effort and money into it and then also success is not guaranteed. You will have to be dedicated like hell and yet you can see no results. There is a lot of risk involved in this. Why do you want to lose peace and sanity of your mind at this age? Why do you want to jeopardize the harmony and peace of your life? Why do you want to buy trouble and open a can of worms?’

Several voices raised their concern.

But I wanted to do something of my own

But I was adamant and hell-bent to do something on my own, something of my choice. which I had dreamed of for a long. Dreams don’t have an expiry date and age is not such a yardstick to decide who can see dreams. So what if I am nearing fifty? I don’t want to give up on my dreams and want to rise to my full potential.

I was good at cooking especially Indo-Chinese cuisine. Whenever I made chowmein, gobhi manchurian, it turned out to be finger-licking good. People often appreciated my proficiency in cooking and complimented me saying you should open a restaurant.

Baby steps

I knew opening a restaurant was a bit too much to think about. So I started with baby steps. I announced in my friends’ circle and in my local girl’s groups especially to those where husband and wife both were working that I prepare delicious home-style healthy food and they can pick it up on their way back home every day or can order anytime. I assured them it would be as good as their homemade food and would cost them reasonably low. It is just that they have to order in advance since I am new in the business.

I got my menu printed and distributed it among all my acquaintances and posted it on social media as well.

I asked my sons to spread the word among his friends who were staying away from home and studying in college that they could contact me for their weekly or monthly tiffin as we serve home-style protein-rich food made with fresh and quality ingredients.

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I knew patience was the key. I held onto determination and dedication, bought all the necessary ingredients and waited for my first order earnestly.

Then came along a golden opportunity, and I seized it with both hands!

Two-three weeks passed but nothing happened. I kept my eyes on the mobile but I didn’t receive any notifications regarding the order from there either.

One day my son came and said that one of his friends needed food for a week as his food provider would be closed for a week for some family emergency.

I knew this was a golden opportunity for me. I grabbed it with both hands and delivered him healthy and fulfilling food at a competitive price. Not to mention he liked the food and decided to stick with my menu as it benefited him both quantity and quality-wise. I told him if he recommended my tiffin to his other friends, the weekend meal would be free for him. Information was passed down by word of mouth. By the month’s end, I had conquered five students who signed up for their monthly tiffin service with me. In the meantime, couple of my acquaintances also contacted me and ordered their food.

Setting up A Pinch of Taste

I completed all the legal formalities and officially named my catering service “A Pinch Of Taste”.

I also advertised that I take orders for small get-togethers and birthday parties. Soon I bagged my first catering order from my husband’s colleague. He had organized his son’s birthday party and ordered 25-30 people’s food.

I prepared mawa gulab jamun and gajar ka halwa in dessert one day in advance. It was a little strenuous for me but my mother-in-law stepped in and offered her helping hand. It fueled my enthusiasm multifold and my happiness knew no bounds. It was a weekend. My kids also popped in. “Many hands make the light work.” I made gobhi Manchurian and paneer teeka with red and green chutney for starters.  Keeping kids in mind I made pav bhaji veg biryani and paired it with raita, gravy and protein salad for the main course.

The food was ready by the evening. We packed the food appropriately and delivered on time. I was on cloud nine when they placed the payment on my hands. It was my first earning. I jumped for joy and felt proud of myself. Though the amount was small I felt a sense of accomplishment that transcended its monetary value. It was not just money for me, it was a dream come true. It not only brought me a sense of financial independence but also boosted my self-esteem and confidence. The feeling of contributing to my financial well-being and even to my family was empowering. Boom….I had nailed it.

Image source: YouTube/ short film Everything is Fine

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