Blend Catering is a fast-growing Hamilton-based business owned by Chef Erica Guidi. Erica has developed a cult following for her indescribably delicious cuisine. To the excitement of her fans, she has recently launched In-Studio Cooking Classes, including Vegan and Keto Classes, and Pasta Making Workshops. The classes are also great for corporate team building, wedding party ‘get to know you’ evenings, birthday parties or family get-togethers, plus you can book private classes as well.
We caught up with Erica recently with a Q&A about her business journey:
What’s the story behind how you started your business?
“Food is a hard industry to work in but it’s what I’m passionate about. I needed an outlet that would allow me to do the parts that I love. I figured if I was going to work this hard, it should be for myself. Catering allows me to be part of ‘special events’ in peoples lives by providing awesome food. The teaching aspect allows me to use my skills and knowledge to teach people a fundamental skill that will, ideally, enhance their lives.”
Tell us about your products or services you offer. What makes it unique?
“At Blend we cater all types of events: Corporate drop-off, Cocktail Receptions, Multi-Course Meals, Family-Style meals, Buffets, Food Stations and Cooking Classes. I use my international exposure to create boldly flavoured, pretty food.”
What advice do you have for someone wanting to start a business?
“JUST START. You have an idea that you’ve probably been sitting with forever. Start NOW, write your business plan, find key players who believe in you and ask them for help and get the ball rolling. If you wait for the ‘right time’ it’ll never happen. I planned for about 6 months, got my finances in order (this will look wildly different for everyone) and then jumped in! The business with change so much as you go so stay strong, consistent and be ready to problem solve and adjust as necessary.”
What business tool could you not live without?
“Quickbooks. Serious life/time saver.”
Where do you see your company or yourself in 5 years?
“This is the best question, or rather the one I get most excited about! In 5 years I hope to have Blend Cooking Studio up and running. We’ll host our Cooking Classes here, use it as our Catering Kitchen for events and our Gourmet Take-Home program. It’ll also be a great space for food photographers/stylists to rent for shoots and we’ll have a cafe out front with our grab and go options.”
What do you love most about Hamilton?
“Hamilton is my home, born and raised all around the city, from country to downtown. It’s been amazing to see how this city has changed and grown and is such a supportive place for me to operate my small business. I love that I can spend a day at the beach at Fifty Point and then be downtown for cocktails and good eats in 15 minutes. Hamilton has it all.”
Connect with Blend Catering:
Facebook: Blend Catering
LinkedIn: Erica Guidi
-Suzanne, The Generator