From The Ground Up

Ingrid von Cube

Ingrid von Cube

I’m often asked how much of my life and my family’s life it has taken to build a catering business from the ground up. For the past twenty years I have dedicated myself to growing as a mother of three, a wife and a business minded woman. I own and operate Appetizingly Yours Events & Catering, which is highly recognized and reputable within the event planning and catering industry in Southern Ontario.

I began AY in 1989 with three children under the age of 6. My husband worked days, which helped balance our busy schedules with the kids and also supported us financially as I was establishing a small business. I worked very long hours out of a commercial kitchen, which left not much time for anything else. Eventually we decided it would be a benefit to our family, to convert our double car garage into our own commercial kitchen. I was able to actively become more involved in my kids school commitments and extra curricular activities, and flex my work time around what was needed for my growing family. Having your own business is never a 9-5 job, so I managed to maintain a balance with work and family much easier working out of my home.

Nowadays I often hear the question: “Do you ever shut if off?” And my response is simple, “Why would I? I might miss something.” After all my years in the catering industry, the sweat and tears I have given to my work, my passion and love for this crazy industry has continued to grow and grow. I have a real gift for it, and it’s a sense of belonging and a feeling of true passion when I am at work. Some days it doesn’t even feel like work. Now that’s the “perfect” job or life choice don’t you think?

I always took great passion in entertaining at home while growing my business. I would often experiment with food & decor ideas on friends and family before trying anything for the first time on clients. The compliments or feedback I would receive would give me the confidence to be different and bring new ideas to the table. In the past twenty years of business, we have always been known for pushing the envelope or raising the bar in food and décor presentations at different events throughout the year.

I have set goals for myself, which has been key for my career development. I encourage those around me to share their goals, because it has been such a rewarding experience to meet people along the way who can help you reach your dreams. I know it is a cliché, but “what goes around, comes around in life.”

I have traveled around the world, and had the opportunity to experience different food cultures in various countries including Tuscany, Greece, other European countries, the US and East and West Coasts of our incredible Canadian Country. In 2008, I attended the Summer Olympics in Beijing, where I spent time working with the owner of Culinary Capers Catering from Vancouver, BC. We have since shared many ideas and AY will be partnering with Culinary Capers Catering at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

There have been struggles and obstacles along the way, but I have preserved through them to the best of my ability. Believing in others and myself has been essential; I have a strong team of people that I rely on, and they have grown along with me. Now I find my challenge is letting go of the reins and responsibilities in my every day work. However, it has always been beneficial to surround myself with positive thinking people and we truly believe in sharing ideas across the country with others moving forward in the catering industry.

I think AY has had the potential to grow fast and possibly bigger, but my family has been my priority and my balance at the end of each day and I would not trade that for the anything. Balance is what has been the most important lesson I have learned. We all need it. I do things for myself, and for my health and energy (i.e. cycling, swimming & yoga), which in turn delivers positive energy back into my business.

In our industry and most likely in most, you have to always be several steps ahead of your competitors. I have been very fortunate to meet such terrific people, both in my community, and around the world while embarking on my incredible journey. I believe in networking and continued educational courses, and also not being afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. The latest endeavour has been exposing our company through the latest social media trends with blogging, computer networking Linked In and next Facebook and possibly Twitter. You know what they say: “If you don’t get on the train, you will be left at the station.”

I am nowhere near being done yet! “We are still having way too much fun!”