Welcome to the world of food

Your words to me…

“I have always dreamed of having my own small bakery…” , “I love baking, but it never works with me…” , “I want to start a food blog…” , “Why is my blog not getting good readings?…” , “I hate my job, wish I could do something I love… like you…” , “You are lucky to have found your passion, I too love food but don’t know where to start…” , “I want to start my own business in food…” , “I am a very good cook, maybe I should start a food business…” , “It was always my dream to start this business, but somehow it is not working…” …. etc.

–  words by my friends, readers, trainees, fans and followers

 

You have asked, and I have listened.

I am putting together this post to answer some of these questions for you, and ultimately to inspire you to really follow your dream, and make it a reality. I aim, in this post, to explore with you how you can move your dream from being just an idea you think about anytime you have a free minute, to a reality. Remember that dreams do come true only if we do the work! Although I am exploring this topic from a food-related-dream perspective, I think that the same concepts are universally applicable.

I have compiled these tips from my experiences, and from having repeatedly spoken about this with many of my friends and food industry professionals. There are many resources out there on establishing businesses that are worth exploring. However in this post I am exploring the dream with you, as a first step on the road to reality. I cannot cover everything in one blog post, and I do not intend on making this a thorough business plan. However, I will share with you some facts without which your dream will never come true!

This post is quite a read, so grab a cuppa, read on and enjoy…

 

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I Have a Dream…

We all have dreams… In fact, we all spend a very good chunk of our day dreaming! But as I told you before: dreaming is cheap, doing the work is what gets you there! by that I mean, we can all dream, we can spend all day, dreaming. In fact we can spend a lifetime dreaming. But that is all it will ever be: A dream! However, it does not have to necessarily remain just as a dream. Your dream can become a reality if you put it into action: If you do the work.

It is a false notion that dreams become a reality with no effort. That those who have achieved did it only because they are lucky! No, anyone who has ever achieved or even started to realise their dreams, did so because they worked hard and you too can.

 

From Dream to Reality you must:

  • Have something unique to contribute to the market (an idea | “dream”).
  • Focus this idea into a defined and workable concept.
  • Acquire all the necessary knowledge and skills to put this dream into action.
  • Invest time, effort and resources to materialise this idea.
  • Work extra hard to get that idea up and running. 
  • Once your dream had become a reality you will continue to develop, improve and deliver this concept in the best practice possible.
  • Have a competitive edge by continuing to be unique, original and armed with real skill. Your concept has to add value or once the buzz is out your concept will be out too.

Having a dream is, therefore, the first step, from which we move to work, mostly very hard and very demanding work to get that brilliant idea to reality mode. How do you do that or what does it take?

 

Step 1 –  The Dream…

What is your food-career dream?
It is funny how most people think that Chefs are the only food industry professionals! And therefore need to have that title attached to their names to prove that they belong to the industry. While ‘Chef’ is the title most synonymous with the food industry, there are many other titles to consider. The CEO of a food consultancy is just as part of the food industry as a Chef is! So is a food supplier, a food writer, a food photographer, a food publisher, a restaurateur (who are not always Chefs by the way)…etc.

So what is your dream? Is it to become an author of a food blog? To become a Food Photographer or a Food Stylist? Are you an aspiring Caterer? A Restaurateur?  A Chef? A Food Critic? Does your dream include a specialised bakery? A specialised cookery supply shop? A Franchiser? Or a CEO of a food consultancy?… there are a million and one fields in the food industry that you can work in! The first and foremost important thing that you have to do, is focus your ideaWhat is your dream? Which part of the food industry do you wish to belong to?

While we all love to, none of us can be everything at once! You can start somewhere and if you work hard enough you can possibly grow into the different roles, or grow into a multi-functional operation. But first you must have one unique, very good concept that is defined and workable.

 


Step 2 – The concept: Focused, Defined and Workable

The brand that came to life from a dream

Now that you have a dream, what do you do with it?

If your dream is to cook for your friends and be a star, then that is a hobby. Nothing wrong with that! You can learn cookery, you can practice, you can share recipes and you can realise becoming the go-to-kitchen-diva amongst your friends, who’s known to be the host with the most.

Do the work: get to know food, cook and practice, join courses, and be creative in your kitchen. Follow resources such as blogs, books, cook shows and build your knowledge and skills. These are the makings of your dream.

 

However, if your dream is to bring something unique, original and a concept that adds value to the market, where this concept generates revenue, then you are talking about joining the industry’s task force. This dream is not a hobby, or just something that you like to do occasionally and with big breaks and times off in between. Your dream in this case revolves around a business concept. Business concepts are all about filling a gap in the market, adding value to customers, and offering a real good service with a very strong competitive edge. In business it is all about revenue, and you will do all the work required to make sure your business makes the cut, that it survives and is profitable.

 

While this all sounds nice, what you need to know here is two main things:

  1. First; this is a job! Just because you are following your dream, does not mean that you are about to lead an easy life! It seems that most people think that doing something you like means doing nothing, except smiling!! No, it is a job, however a job that you love doing. Starting a business requires a lot of hard work. As the name suggests business is about being involved, about working hard, about making sure that you are achieving your objectives, that your business is growing, that you do not go out and become outdated!
  2. Second; as a consequence you cannot be stubborn about your concept! If your concept is not well received, you have to have the capacity, the originality, the creativity and the ability to redefine this concept.

In the market, it is not about what you like. It is about service, cost and revenue. This is the bottom line. This is what you must keep in mind when focusing (defining) your concept.  

 

Once you have defined your dream, into a focused and workable business concept that aims to achieve specific objectives, it is time to put all that into action.

It is very necessary to have a business plan, one that clearly defines your concept, your mission, goals and objectives. One that includes an action plan designed to achieve those objectives, and one that does the math! Before you jump to the conclusion of whether or not your concept is hot commodity, you have to do the math for the bottom line. To make sure that your concept is feasible.

Having read the above, and if you find yourself in neither category; where you are a step beyond cooking for friends as a hobby, yet way not into the hard work or resources required for starting a business, then you my friend are someone who is keen to work in food as a day job. Either you can go for an internship at a restaurant, bakery, food consultancy…etc. Or if you are a talented writer, photographer, stylist…etc you can seek jobs in those fields which are still related to food.

Whichever category you belong to, all three require the knowledge and skills to move forward…

 

Step 3 – Acquiring the required Knowledge & Skills

A prerequisite in order to put your concept into action

 

If you are at the beginning of the road, just finished with school, young and about to head to college then your option is easy: join culinary school. You will be properly trained to take up any field of the food world. You will have the knowledge, will be trained to acquire the necessary skills. You can even learn food business management and all things food related.

While, if you are someone who is changing paths, and following a life-long dream and think it is a tad too late for you to join the Culinary Institute of America, to start working in the industry, to climb the ladder to become a Chef, and move forward… It is still never too late to join the industry towards which you lean the most.

However, it is very necessary that you know here: whether a Chef or a CEO, you will never make it in the food industry without food knowledge! The food supplier and the food writer alike, both have to know what they are talking about. They both have to know the need of the recipient, from quality of food, to applications, to even shelf-life, safety and handling, they have to know what they are offering the market, or they will forever be behind and will never make it in the industry.

For example, a food critic who knows and understands the complexities, the techniques and the different outcomes of ‘brown sauce’ for instance, can give a better critique than one who has no idea what the difference between thin and thick sauce is! The first will always have better critique, more reliable reviews, and will always have a better competitive edge over the latter.

It is not the question of whether or not you need to know food! It is a matter of the details to which you need to know. If your dream is to become a Chef, then you must know it all in great details. Unless you are a proven extra talented cook who conjures up concoctions that are extremely good and thinking of running a restaurant the concept of which depends on your unique knowledge, then you most probably have to go the classic route of culinary education. However, each field has specific knowledge and skills that are required for it, and you can start there. You can start by acquiring this relative basic knowledge, then go on and build on it as you go. But do not be fooled into the notion that you can become a stockbroker even if you do not have basic financial knowledge, or even more basic: math knowledge!! Food is to the food industry what basic math is to the stock market. Do the math and acquire the basic knowledge, make sure that your knowledge continues to grow in line with the requirements of your defined and focused business activities.

 

Step 4 – Invest time Effort & Resources

“Dreaming is cheap, doing the work is what gets you there”
By now you know that nothing falls from the sky as a goose that lays golden eggs!! You have a defined concept that is workable, but you are still in theory phase: Dreaming! It is now that you have to put it into action. Now you have to do the work. It all starts with investing your time, effort and resources. From getting the knowledge, to establishing a business it is all an investment of time, hard work, perseverance, patience, and allocation of resources. Make wise choices, don’t invest in anything that does not serve a purpose: look for opportunities that help you move a step forward in your action plan. Look for long-term gain instead of short-term fixes. Having a fabulous lasagna recipe does not a catering company operate! Understanding Italian Cuisine, on the other hand, opens up a world of opportunities: Italian restaurant, Italian cookbook, Italian food catering company, Italian cuisine cook show, Gourmet Italian Products…etc. you get the drift…

You might reach a point that you are already out there, say you have started a food blog. The market can become glittery with so much promise and so many opportunities. But you know the work that needs to be done from your side to achieve the defined goals that you have set for your business. Do not deter from your objectives just yet, do the work, and you will most likely get better opportunities at a later stage, because you actually are more experienced and qualified than when you first set out. The same applies to a small bakery, as another example. Don’t go offering every single baked item on earth, wait, test the market, create your specialties, find your niche! Be good at it. In fact, be the best that you can be at it! Then put it out there…

Keep in mind, when you work super hard on your dream: you have done all the work, you have what it takes, and only you know how to run it inside and out.

 

Step 5 – Work extra hard for your concept to be up and running

Originality comes from truly having something to offer.

This step might sound very similar to the previous one, and while both pour into the same jug, they are slightly different.
Here, I am referring to your concept.. Your dream…
So you have worked extra hard, gone through all the steps, got the knowledge, and you feel that you have all it takes to make it in the market. You are about to hit the market with your concept… if your concept is a borrow-all from all resources, or copycat kind of concept that has no originality and depends on other businesses for ideas, then you honestly have nothing to offer, and are better off without an original business! Because establishing a business is just the first step in a very long journey. The market changes, and you have to adapt. You have to be able to come up with strategies when the market is down. You have to evolve, develop, and continue to improve. You have to compete and claim your place in the market. You have to deliver! Remember there is a responsibility in starting a business. A responsibility towards your customers, towards your allocated resources and towards the market within which you operate!

If you are borrowing these ideas, you will eventually be side-lined and out. You will not be able to manage crisis, to be innovative, to bring in more customers, or to even offer real added value to the market.

If you cannot relate to this, and believe originality is not necessary, then you are better off as a franchiser: someone who does not have to come up with concepts, rather one who carries out concepts that have already been created, and just do it well. Franchises usually have a set formula for work, that is guaranteed to work, all you need to do is follow it. Don’t get me wrong, Franchising is a very good business practice. However and since you are riding on people’s original ideas, you will have to have bigger capital to pay for their ideas and hard work. So if your allocated capital is not sufficient, you must find a way to be creative!

 

Step 6 – Continue to develop, improve & deliver your concept in the best practice possible.

You have come this far, now you show the world that you mean business.

Just because you had a soft opening, just because you were covered by press, just because you have a few clients or many walking through your concept’s doors, or just because some people are talking, does not mean that your job is done! It does not even mean that hard work is over! No, now is when you need to show the world that you mean business. That you are here to stay, to leave a mark, and to deliver the promise!
You must continue to develop your concept, your service and your offerings. You must continue to improve and offer the best service possible. You must continue to deliver and therefore to make revenue, and increase profits in order to continue to exist as a business.
You must walk the talk.

 

Step 7 – Have a competitive edge by continuing to be unique, original & armed with real skill.

Your concept has to add value or once the buzz is out your concept will be out too.

Finally, you must always have a competitive edge. Business is a very competitive arena, and it’s everyone’s game. The customers are the final judge, so make sure to offer these customers a real good service. Don’t ever assume that you can talk your way through offering a bad service! You have to offer in service the same miles in talk! The quality of offering and service is what makes all the difference between one provider and another. Ultimately why your concept/product is chosen/selling or not!

Quality is reflective on all aspects of your business. Quality reflects, strong focus, knowledge, skill, consideration, management, clear objectives, real effort to guarantee quality, originality, understanding of the market need…etc. This step is reflective on all that you have worked so hard to achieve.

Quality is not necessarily offering foods made with pricey products. Quality can be in convenience, in customer service, in flavour, in experience, in credible reviews, in photos that speak…etc.

 

When you know what you are doing, where you are heading, what you are offering, and exactly how to do it all with flair, only then does your dream become a reality. It becomes your vehicle to achieve, then to evolve from Good to Great! Otherwise, a dream will remain as a very cute thought you can pass your time with every time you need a break from reality. Kind of like that chocolate bar in your office drawer!


My aim is to start a conversation here, I have put it from my perspective and set off with exploring some facts. I would love to hear from you guys, whichever end you are at: Industry Professionals or Aspiring Industry Professionals, and/or Dreamers. Please do share your experiences with us, give us any tips or advise from your experiences. Share your dream with us or any relative questions that you can think of… lets get this conversation started. You will be doing a huge favour for all those who have a dream and looking for ways to make it a reality. 

 

Hopefully your dream will also come true and you too will realise all your objectives 😉
I do explore all this and more in depth in my courses, so take that first step and join us. Subscribe to our newsletter and get notified first when our courses are available  🙂
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35 responses to “Starting A Career In Food – Make That Dream A Reality

    1. Mehnaz, Welcome back 🙂
      I am so happy you found the post inspirational and encouraging 🙂 Let us know if you have such a dream and what your experiences are. you never know who will benefit from this sharing of experiences..

  1. Dima Dima.. wht a post <3
    when i 1st read this post, my heart started to beat so fast.
    from where should i start… i love everything related to food, from cooking, baking, styling, photography, decorating, serving food to ppl i luv and off course enjoy eating… this is a life dream for me that i wish it wl come true some day,,, i sleep and wake up thinking about this ( i spend all my free time exploring food blogs and watching tv cooking shows, or reading cookbooks and then off course i cant resist going to my kitchen and trying new recipes and adding my own twist on them) this became like an obsession of mine, sometimes i just wanted to stay all day long in the kitchen doing my favourite thing in life… i want this to be my lifetime job,,,but but but i always have doubts, i honestly cant take a decision… may be u can help,,, i luv savoury dishes but definitely i luv making desserts much much more, baking this is wht i adore most, more than year ago i found out that i have simple skills of cake decorating,, but since i live in irbid and no courses is offered here,,,, i took the decision to improve my skills alone,,, i watched lots and lots of tutorials and read lots of blogs about cake decorating and el 7amdellah i won the 4th place in my 1st ever participation in cake competition… this was really huge for me,, i cant describe the feeling for u,,, overwhelming… sooo i want to get started but i need advise a big one plz <3 thnx thnx thnx for bringing out this post… luv u

    1. Sweet Rawan, I am so happy that the post struck a nerve and am hoping that by reading it you gained clarity and focus as to what is needed to move from dream to reality. There is something very admirable about determination, and going the extra mile, being self-taught and finding a way when resources are scarce! This is the stuff of passion and of a determined mind-set.
      I would recommend first you focus and define your dream. And since you are saying you are more into baking, and that you have the talent for it and have done most of the work in this discipline, then stick to it. Don't forget that you can always add savoury at a later stage, just at first dont overwhelm yourself with too many concepts and dont spread yourself too thin.
      Start somewhere, develop and become strong, then grow!
      Like in the post, make decisions that are strategic, that have long-term gain and that assist you to move forward. This is where you must invest ur time, effort and resources at the moment.
      Put your thoughts down into a business plan and put small objectives that when achieved make you well on your way to achieve your bigger goal.
      Good luck and let me know how I can be of help 🙂

    2. PS you should join my baking course, you wont believe how it will help you. So many trainees took this course with me before they opened up their bakeries.. Think about joining it at some point 😉

    3. Dima hun, this is really thoughtful, and i can learn alot from this, i wish if u can lead me,,
      i think i lack the experience in running or maybe starting a business…
      Starting a bakery that calls for ppl walking in the street in the early morning attracted by the grt aroma coming out of my Kitchen to try the luscious goods inside is definitely a dream of Mine…
      how to but a plane, how to choose human resources and a location is something i have no idea about… should i study more about baking in a cooking school or it's enough that am home cook that makes yummy goods…
      and i wish i could join ur baking courses but u live in Dubai and i live in jordan/Irbid ???? :((((((

    4. Rawan, is it impossible for you to come to Dubai in November for 10 days? That is all it takes for you to join my baking course, in which I cover all this very thoroughly. I think it will help you massively, and we get a chance to sit and discuss your concept in more details and create a plan for you that you can follow… Just 10 days, and I can get you a very good rate at the hotel too. If you like to discuss this in more details send me an email 🙂

  2. This is such a salient post, outlining all the things we totally agree on about the industry. Couldn't wait to come home to leave a comment! I think all jobs that have been elevated to "glamourous" suffer from misconception that they line your paths with gold without effort. I got that in media when I first appeared on TV and started producing for TV and Radio and now I am getting that in food- which is now very hot and sexy. I wont even start on the realities of being a chef from our perspective. All that glitters is not gold. It is hard, hand and neck breaking work. It is great to have people follow dreams but every dream realized comes at the price of real "elbow grease." Thanks for your kind works and link to us.

    1. Agreed Kari. Professional cooking is a physically demanding job. One aspect that most people don't take into consideration when setting out with the food dream. I always tell my trainees: "It is one thing to make 12 canapes, but a whole different ball game to make 1000 of these little gems!" We cook at home and we love production, but when we have to carry it out day in day out and in big numbers tiring does not even begin to describe it.
      Food production is an industry that is very demanding in terms of time, labour, physical fittness and so on! And you guys would know because Chef is right in the centre of food production. So Thank you for bringing this out, because while to some this is a fact that will not change their minds as they still love and want to do this, for others this could be a reason why not to get involved at all.

      That is why there are various fields in the food industry to work in, so before making the decision of to which part one wants to belong, these demands must be taken into consideration.

  3. DIma – thank you for such a brilliant post. I've always wondered when I have read your posts – how do you gather your thoughts in such a cohesive way in order that many of us may benefit from them. Each and every point is so pertaining. And its true that most of us get attracted to a profession because of some exterior glitz attached to it rather than something that one is really and truly passionate about. And the best thing that I like about some of you – you all are very helpful and always willing to share your experience. I'm obviously bookmarking this – and will obviously need to come back to it very often. I am very keen to learn some cooking from you but the courses are always overlapping with school runs. Inshallah some time in the future. Till then, God bless you – for putting in so much time and effort to all your posts. Simple example – the daily posting on Ramadan. What tremendous amount of energy, time and effort it must have required. Love always:)

    1. Ishita, as ever you are full of sweetness. Thank you for the words and appreciation.

      The glitz is a 2-sided blade. It is nice to get appreciated on a wide scale, who does not like that? however, glitz can become blinding at some point. If all we do becomes about the glamour of things we can very easily become distracted from the original objectives.

      Thing is with the media, a concept is new, its hot commodity, it fills pages, it sells, it helps them realise their objectives… But it runs cold after a while. They will have to look for something new, smething more glamorous. What does a business that is based on glitz do then? Unless you find a balance between glitz and real objectives, the business will suffer once the glitz is out! Very important to consider in your marketing strategy.
      With that said, an outstanding business, with a real concept will continue to grow and continue to offer attractiveness to the media, in which case glitz becomes a tool you use in your business to move forward.

      Remember glitz that does not generate revenue for your business (directly or indirectly)is then just a hobby, in business it is all about cost and revenue! Every activity has to generate revenue or lead to that, otherwise it is a waste of time!

      You would love the courses, so keep in mind for when you can join 🙂

  4. I'm gobsmacked. This whole post is so nuanced, it reads a like a decision tree of feelings – I dream of this, so now I should move to that brunch…This post feels so incredibly relevant to my move from consulting > business > BIG CRAZY GEAR SHIFT > trying to set up Frying Pan food tours. The thing that resonated with the most – and that scares me the post – is the point about "In the market, it is not about what you like. It is about service, cost and revenue. This is the bottom line. This is what you must keep in mind when focusing (defining) your concept."

    This is the one that scares me to bits. And sometimes, the reality is that you won't know what the market likes, and whether there's a discrepancy between that and your dreams, until you've launched and tested the market. Ideally, you'd want to do that testing with as little risk and upfront investment possible – but I've come to realize that informally testing concepts out in Dubai can bear an often higher legal risk. Unless your testing = facebook likes + comments from people, esp friends, on how they think this concept 'WILL work! Absolutely, do it girl!' And that can often lead to the rose-coloured glasses syndrome, where you end up assuming that there is a market because everyone around you says there is one, and then when you finally put yourself out there, invest and open the doors for business…there's a trickle in of friends at first, and then…*crickets chirping*

    I hate to paint such a dismal picture, but this is the dread that sits heavy at the bottom of my heart every night, where I wonder, is there a market? Is there a sustainable market? And I won't really know, or believe until I launch, and see whether there is a market with my own eyes. But that's months too late.

    The reality is – unless you're doing something that's tried, tested and for which there's market data available, you may end up having to decide whether to put in the big bucks and invest in an 'innovative dream, even before you have the research and testing you need to give yourself peace of mind. That's the scary reality I face.

    1. Arva sweetheart, starting a business is serious stuff, and very scary to everyone. These feelings are usually what stand in the way and the reason why most people stick to a day job they hate (the security). Because in business there is always risk, there is no such thing as a 100% guaranteed business. I totally understand how you feel, and anyone who has ever dreamed of branching out relates to every feeling you have raised.

      Let me start with the bottom line: It scares you because you know, having gone through the process that it is true. It is all about making it. While we are passionate and love our concepts, we have to have a side that is willing to let go and adapt to market needs that arise as we go. You can test, do a market research, and trial runs… you can get feedback that is very encouraging, and you can be very confident about the findings, but come to do it all there is a chance that it wont work, that is why you will have to have it in you to readjust, to re-evaluate and to adapt to the needs of the time. With that said risk has to be calculated in order to make the most educated decision, but a calculated risk never stopped anyone from moving forward.

      You have brought up some very useful points that everyone must hear,
      I am so happy you brought the Social network issue. Please keep in mind that having 1000000 likes, followers and social network encouragements do not necessarily mean transaction. In social networks there is no commitment. Just because 1000 people are fans, does not necessarily mean you will have 1000 clients. Pressing like is easy, non-obliging and is free. The minute pay comes to the equation the rules change! Social networking is important for raising brand awareness, for getting the word out and for generating potential customers, but never a telling tool of a business's success or actual transactions. Having 1000000000 followers is good because that is more potential business, exposure… increasing chances to be found by those looking for your service, but that is it!
      Also dont forget that a lot of people look for inspiration through social networks. So many copycat home businesses could follow you just so they can find inspirations to copy, then there are friends, family and those who follow you for "support"… all that does not a business guarantee.
      It is also very good to bring up friends, You cannot ever start a business where your friends are amongst your guaranteed customers. Keep friends on the side as extras, but dont count them in. In most services your friends do not necessarily become your customers. They, like everyone else, have to think of convenience, cost, service…etc they are potential clients, but I wouldn't even count them in the calculations. If they come then great, but if they dont, that does not break my plan.

      Your only guarantees (by this i mean what ups your odds) is a sound, defined and workable concept. An ability to adapt to current trends and needs. A thorough and well educated plan. Perseverence, patience and hard work. A revisit in the first 6 months to evaluate and re-adjust. and a tiny bit of good energy lol
      But Arva, new concepts have always been introduced, they require more patience till ppl get them, but they do work..

      We can talk more if you like, get in touch with me if you like and we can have another chat 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting x

    2. Couldn't resist peeping into the 'typo-infested' comment that Arva left. I love Steve Jobs. He's my role model – where dreaming is concerned. He's always created a product and launched it everytime when there was no demand for that product. Forget demand people didn't even imagine that such a product could exist. And each product has been such that it created its own demand and how! He made an Ipad and made it happen in such a way that we can't think of our lives without a tablet. He creates a product (I'm supposing he's following his dreams) then a demand is created for them. Not the other way round. So there is scope for all of us who dream, provided we also work really really hard and adhere to the checklists that Dima has so beautifully chalked out. Dima, once again I read this with a fresh mind today and I have just one thing to say – Thanks so much for sharing this!

    3. Hahahahah Arva's first comment on Fooderati made me laugh, then seeing her comment, then your words: Arva hun, what's happening?

      Ishita agreed fully 🙂 I am trying to convince my kids (who dont hear me, each with an ipad in hand) that life is better when we run, walk and get bored with our neighbours in the 50 C heat at the plaza!!! I need a superphenomenal marketing strategy to advertise my thoughts against Steve Job's in this senario loooooool!!

  5. Very interesting points…I understand what you mean about baking for friends as a hobby, because that is totally what I do! After reading this I've come to realize that I don't want to remain an amateur food blogger forever, I would like to be a little better at this hobby of mine so maybe its time I started learning a few new tricks and trades. So thank you for the inspirational words!

    1. Tasmea, Nothing wrong with hobbies, they make life beautiful. Not everyone has to put the strain of business, and finances into things they enjoy recreationally. However if this post moved something in you and made you realise you would like to take it further, then that is also great. Don't do any drastic changes just yet, as you said, get on with learning and becoming stronger at the basics and then move on. Getting to know food will help you better your blog anyway, so you will be moving forward step by step but surely getting there.

      Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  6. Dima thank you so much for putting up this post here. You have done what no one has done. Flaming the fire in so many of us!!! Most of the people are too busy with their work or dont want to help fearing anyone going ahead of them. I am of the view one dosnt lose any thing by sharing. Everyone comes in this world with their share of success. The person whom one helps might not be able to give us back anything in return but the good WILL COME to those who help. KARMA!! I havnt read the post in detail yet so will be back again with more inputs. Lots of reading but thank you again so much for your time and effort to put this down for us. I am passionate about food, baking and was planning to write to you to discuss and what perfect timing as if you read my mind!!! One more thing Dima dear I sent you a mail on dima.alsharif@gmail.com. I know you are involved with so many things but just want to make sure its in your TO REPLY box. Please il be waiting for your reply. Your reply and guidance will be of immense help to me.

    1. Welcome back Naila, nice to hear from you again and with such kind words, thank you. I totally agree with you.
      I have not received your email, please resend it and I will reply as always. Anything I can do to help.
      looking forward for your comment after reading 😉

  7. Wonderful Dima, It was as if you know me and are talking to ME. This post is just like a summary. You can arrange and run a full fledged course around it. AND im going to/have to read the post again and again and again. its so deep. well done. The comments coming in are very interesting and helpful too. I follow all the bloggers except the last two you 've mentioned and they are just lovely people. I v just sent you the mail too and am now hoppinf over to see the courses you are offering. would love to see the comments of all the people who read this post.

  8. Dima, thank you for such a thoughtful post. I've been following the comments from Arva and Ishita and I really agree with them (and I love the "brunch" typo). Our talk a couple weeks ago about finding out what you love and pursuing it was so inspiring, and it seems like you've captured that sentiment here again.

    I'm also trying to start a "passion" business in food and while I have a solid idea (and am already in testing phase) there's another bit that's gnawing at me, which is how to make it a "social" business. It seems like a nonsequiter, but I want the suppliers in my business model to be people who truly deserve it: small, tiny, underappreciated and underserved business people. In Jordan, this translates to farmers in al Ghor and food producers in communities like Madaba and Ajloun.

    I already know it's possible (financially) to include them as suppliers, but I'm having trouble with getting to know them. When you're new to a community and you're already starting a business, you don't exactly have the time to visit these communities and slowly build trust. It can be frustrating…

    So, in all, I can empathize with the feelings of being overwhelmed and scared. But I'm also excited and happy to see such support from someone who has already made it!

    1. Sarah, very nice to hear from you here 🙂
      I agree with you on many levels. I have huge respect for businesses who thrive on and contribute to the community within which they operate. This module of 'social responsibility' in business is what eventually creates sustainability through a stronger market and stronger local businesses, where everyone is growing and benefiting. I applaud you and encourage you with all my strength. This is such a good example to follow. While and because these concepts are still young, I agree that frustrations can be a bit highlighted, but nothing comes easy. When we set to create new concepts and follow new trends things won't be as readily available, you will also have to go through the raising awareness, as most still have no idea what the concept promotes. Yes there is extra work involved, but it is the type of work that makes you proud, and a pioneer, which to me personally is another level of achievement altogether.
      Get the word out there as soon as you can, and ask people to lead you to the producers and suppliers you are looking for. Word of mouth is a very strong means in your case, and with time the list grows. Don't forget it does not have to start as a fully achieved objective! You have to start and grow into it. I will get you in touch with my dad who I think can really help with allocating suppliers.
      Just a thought, you have to find a way to delegate, you will never be able to do it all by yourself.

      I am very excited for you and for your excitement too. Yes it is challenging, but hey, isn't challenge what we are in it for?
      Thanx for the comment x

    1. I totally agree it is passion that keeps us moving, it fuels our energy to move forward, it feeds our eagerness, and therefore pushes us to work harder, persevere and have patience.

      It is always scary to take a step out of the security box, and it is a very serious decision that needs to be properly considered; but it is not at all impossible. It can become a reality.

      Thank you Dianne for reading and commenting 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed it.

  9. I wish I could work out exactly what 'the' dream is. I have about a billion ideas, and have no clue which road to head down. very useful article though – food for thought as they say!
    Thank you
    Ceri

    1. Don't worry about it once you have a real passion for something you will know what it is. It is good to be creative and have lots of dreams, but it is also necessary to be realistic and start somewhere. All you need is one focused idea, put it into action and start from there, then grow into all the other ideas. You will be amazed, how many you drop along the years and how your passion guides you to stick to the one that has been it all along.
      Thx for the comment, glad you enjoyed the post and good luck finding your niche 🙂

  10. Thank you very much for this inspiring post and the answers. I can see your passion for what you do, and this always makes the difference. Maybe I can rethink my model in order to get my dreams. You post has been very useful, many thanks

    1. So happy to know that you found the post inspiring that it did help you define areas that might need a little work in order to achieve your objectives. That is exactly why I posted this article. Best of luck with your business plans.
      Thank you for leaving a comment and I look forward to hearing from you again 🙂

  11. Dima; great article indeed! My advice for every individual trying to start a food business is to carefully understand what you wrote above; then play with something called a “Business Model Canvas”. It is a tool used by entrepreneurs to generate a clear business model.

    Download it from this link
    http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas

    and download a short description from this link
    http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/businessmodelgeneration_preview.pdf

    take care everyone

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