In the world of small business, foodpreneurs are not only following their dreams but making an impact on our economy. During 2017 Small Business Week Diva Foodies is excited to share the stories of several culinary small business owners. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Gwen Narcisse, CEO of the spice blend company Hillari Moon.
Learning to cook was not a pleasant experience for me in the beginning. I always enjoyed eating delicious food, but when my mother determined that it was time for me to learn how to prepare it…Well let’s just say it was a challenge! As a young girl, I viewed cooking as nothing more than another chore. However, after much practice and patience, I grew very fond of it.
I found that most of my enjoyment actually came from the delight others experienced as they tasted the food I had prepared.
With a Masters in Business and a resilience gained from surviving a few corporate woes, I decided to use my degree and talents to create a business of my own. After applying my efforts to several business opportunities, I was motivated to search for careers that involved my passion. Once I discovered Personal Chef and Entertainment Cooking careers as opportunities, I immediately concluded that this was the path I would pursue. My desire to bring pleasure to the palates of others inspired me to pursue a career in the food industry.
Diva Foodies: How does your product reflect your passion for food?
Gwen Narcisse /CEO, Hillari Moon, LLC: During my experience of working as a Personal Chef, I learned that not only my clients but also lots of others were challenged with creating new and exciting meals. I wanted to use my passion for food and my desire to help people achieve a sense of fulfillment after cooking, as they and their families taste the love in every bite. By creating Hillari Moon gourmet spice blends we hope to provide the most delicious essence of quality spice blends possible to complement any food.
Diva Foodies: What one tip would you give to a person who wants to start a food-product business? Why is this tip important to you?
Gwen Narcisse /CEO, Hillari Moon, LLC: I would advise anyone looking to start a food-product to get as much training as possible.
Just because you know your craft doesn’t mean you understand the industry.
This was very important to me because my initial plan was to produce frozen dinners. After I received training on getting a product manufactured and sold in stores, I learned that the frozen food industry would require higher cost to penetrate and storage pricing would be more expensive as well. Needless to say I went back to the drawing board revamp my entire business plan and decided to market to those that cook vs non-cooks. With low startup cost, I am now in Whole Foods and not in debt.
Diva Foodies: The success of business is selling your product to people who will become repeat customers. Many factors go into the equation. A big one is marketing. Which social media channel works best for your brand and why?
Gwen Narcisse /CEO, Hillari Moon, LLC: Marketing is very important to business and I personal believe social media marketing is absolutely necessary when selling product online.
This year I have decided to expand my online market and will soon be creating videos to post on Youtube and Facebook.
For the foodies out there, we enjoying seeing delish food being prepared. Even more than that we enjoy eating delish food. However, it starts with the eyes. I believe that the YouTube and Facebook ads would be a great catalyst to introduce products to consumers and incite them to try Hillari Moon’s gourmet spice blends.
Connect With Hillari Moon!