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Kathryn’s Kuisine
Kathryn’s Kuisine

Kathryn’s Kuisine, Kathryn Arceneaux

Title / Role: Owner/Chef/Sommelier
Location: Pismo Beach, California
Formed in: 2018
My successes.

My Virtual Cooking and Wine Pairing Classes are my current success, which stemmed from Covid. Covid almost killed by catering and in-person classes, but where there are lemons there is also lemonade In 2020, I immersed myself in learning wine and passed my Level 3 exam, which now allowed me to create my educational and fun virtual Cooking & Wine Pairing classes. I hope that catering and in-person classes will slowly increase in 2021. 

What do you do?

Kathryn’s Kuisine brings wholesome food and loved ones back home. Kathryn’s Kuisine specializes in Cajun and Mediterranean Entrees through both catering and teaching classes; both services are designed to meet guests’ specific wants and needs.  Kathryn’s Kuisine provides hands-on meal preparation lessons in home or at alternative sites. By passing WSET Level 3, Kathryn’s Kuisine now offers Virtual Cooking & Wine Pairing Classes every Sunday, 4:00 PM PST. If you just want a wonderful meal to share with loved ones, Kathryn’s Kuisine caters intimate parties between 6 to 25 guests. Together we will fine tune arrangements to craft your special party and memories.

What inspired you to start your business?

During my  25 years as a professional counselor and social worker for people with disabilities, I have always found fulfillment in service to others. For me, creating a scrumptious meal drawing people together is just another way of catering to the needs of others. In the bustle of our everyday lives, we all too often undervalue those things that so easily bring us joy and happiness- a delicious meal, fine wine and friendly company

What's special about your business?

I genuinely care and take a personal interest in all who inquire about my services. I take as long as someone needs to assure they have a perfect catered meal or cooking class. My passion for people, food and wine can be heard and seen by anyone who calls on me. With my caterings, I make each course with love and with the person in mind. In my classes, I find great joy teaching and sharing my passions and knowledge to anyone who wishes to learn in a fun, relaxing and educational environment.

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?

The high is definitely seeing happy faces of those I serve. I appreciate the positive and critical feedback from each and every guest. My biggest compliment is when I have repeat guests and/or they bring along a friend to class. The low is really having to do everything myself. I had to learn accounting, taxes, social media and now Zoom on my own. It has been rough at times.  Covid also almost killed my small business, but I took the time to educate myself further in wine, and became an official Sommelier

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

Honestly, I believe I came across SCORE through computer research on how to start a business and then I got contacted SCORE immediately

How SCORE helped.

My mentors encouraged me and directed me to specific areas of focus. They supplied a sample Profit & Loss spreadsheet and other tools (I still use today). I attended workshops on Social Media, Advertising, Business Planning and Accounting  and applied everything I learned.

What's great about my mentor?

Scott Hillis and Joe Whitaker were very encouraging and enthusiastic. We met regularly with a plan for each meeting. We all had our “homework” and always followed through. I really appreciated the summary notes at the end of each meeting, as a reminder of what we did and what yet needs to be done. They gave me great advice and tools I still use today. I sincerely encourage anyone to have them as your mentors!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

Make sure you have another income source!!! Starting a business means losing money in the beginning, with start-up costs and simply getting your name known. Use as many free services you can such as, SCORE, YELP (warning: they will pester you to advertise), Facebook and Instagram. Connecting with your local Chamber of Commerce is also very helpful.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

SCORE is a wonderful service taught by incredible volunteers with expertise knowledge and skill in various areas. If you need help in a specific area, SCORE is really the best place to start.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?

Starting a business is hard, but if it is something you truly believe in, then it is worth the struggle.

1165 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170
(805) 547-0779

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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