Starting a small catering business

african female chef presenting vegetables

From: Mmagape1

Hello AskRecy, my name is Marie.  I’m writing to inquire about starting a small business in a small rural town in Kansas. My desire is to start a business catering to minorities. The area I’m referring to at one time was predominately white, therefore the market was set up to cater to whites.  In recent years, there has been a population boom of mostly Hispanics and blacks, but the marketing has not changed, and the need to supply goods for minorities is great. Currently if one (especially blacks) has travel between 150 – 220 miles to buy products needed from hair care to hip-hop, to everyday professional and Sunday wear? I recently joined the unemployed group by choice after working in avionics for more than 19 years. My desire is to run my own 1 stop shop that includes accessories from the head to the toe. I know the store would be a success but an idea with no finance’s is just an idea. I need to know from you where to start as far as applying for and receiving grants for a minority women, ant input would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance for your input.

#AskRecy response:

It does not matter where you live, you will find a market for catering services. There are tens of thousands premises and off-premises caterers in the United States, and the industry is growing by 7 to 10 percent annually.

Catersource Ambassador, Bill Pannhoff, currently president of CaterSource states anyone serious about entering the catering business, should attend the 2014 Conference & Trade Show – The Art of Catering Food, in Atlanta, Georgia, August 4 – 6, 2014.  Mr. Pannhoff states that it provides five key elements of running a successful catering business, (1) Accessibility, (2) New Trends, (3) It’s a buying show, (4) Think outside of the box and (5) R&D, not research and development but “Rob & Duplicate.” He said, “Thousand have gone before us and Catersource is a great platform to learn the ups and downs of their journeys. Whether you are a big or small caterer, you do not have to go it alone, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Steal a great idea, duplicate it,  and add your own spin – that’s the point of Catersource!  The amount of information available to you through education is staggering.”
One thing to remember, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive in the majority of most people, retailing trends come and go, but one constant thing remains, every human being is looking for a way to leave his or her mark on the world. In today’s high-tech society and yes even yesterday, people have and had a desire to put their personal touches on business environment which has sparked a surge in crafts shops, stamp stores, paint-your-own-pottery studios and other businesses that let customers unleash their creative urges.
Have you considered home catering as one method to start and grow your business idea? It doesn’t take much startup capital. How about inquiring with some of your potential suppliers on the possibility of inventory consignment?

The SBA Women’s Prequalification Loan Program that exist in most states. These pre-qualified organizations works with Women Entrepreneurs and is dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for women by advancing entrepreneurship and providing resources to assist in successful business start-ups, maintenance of growth, and exploration of new business opportunities.

Go to
Another program is the Women’s Business Ownership Assistance and they exist to fund nonprofit economic development organizations to assist, through training and counseling, small business concerns owned and controlled by women, and to remove, in so far as possible, the discriminatory barriers that are encountered by women in accessing capital and promoting their businesses. They may be able to provide some leads and assistance in the area of your field.
Google Women’s Business Ownership Assistance
The catering business is one of the most lucrative and profitable home businesses with a high potential for expansion and growth. It is both financially rewarding and fun.  Also go to


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