For December we are pleased to shine the spotlight on one of our clients. Enjoy Barbara’s story!
Barbara Bolvin started Gourmet Your Way Personal Chef Service in 2001 out of a passion for cooking and for the chance at creating her own business. Barbara’s primary business is providing multiple meals for families and individuals who want healthful, nutritious food but don’t have the time to cook for themselves. Barbara works directly with each client to choose a menu tailored specifically to them, and purchases, prepares, and delivers the meals on a routine basis. Clients have the flexibility to have food delivered once a week or once a month, or anything in between. In addition to regular meal preparation, Barbara also provides catering services for almost any kind of event, including parties, weddings, intimate dinners, or any other social gathering.
Barbara never thought of herself as becoming a personal chef. Growing weary after many years of being a successful Chrysler salesperson, Barbara serendipitously learned of an organization called The United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) that teaches people how to start a small business, write a business plan, and become a personal chef. Excited at the possibilities, Barbara enrolled and learned how to set up her own personal cheffing business. While cooking classes were offered at the USPCA center in New Jersey, or online, Barbara relied on her many years in the restaurant business and her natural talents as a cook. She began learning to cook “at her mother’s knee”, and on her own learned the many classical cooking techniques as well as following the trends in the cooking industry. Barbara was named one of the top ten personal chefs in the Washington, D.C. area in October 2003.
The initial challenge in establishing Gourmet Your Way, as with any endeavor, was publicizing the business to a target audience. The USPCA helped in providing access to a search engine (hireachef.com) and a free web site template. Wanting to stand out from the USPCA cookie-cutter website, Barbara decided to create her own website which was successful for many years. As search engine optimization gradually become more sophisticated, Barbara decided it was necessary to invest in a professionally designed website and contacted RWS Consulting through a mutual friend. Since then, website traffic has dramatically increased leading to potential clients from as far away as southern Virginia to northern Maryland, and all the places in between. In fact, Barbara has had to curtail her service area due to the number of requests.
In 3-5 years, Barbara hopes to retire, though she has doubts she will ever stop working at her true passion.