ll archives: Lovable Foods' Alicia Garcia
Name: Alicia Garcia
Current location: Marietta, GA
Where are you from? South Florida
Education: Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University Fashion Design, Miami International University of Art & Design
Business & Formal Title: Catering Coordinator at Lovable Foods
Tell us about Lovable Foods. How did it come to be?
My husband & I are both Chefs. We met in Culinary School. As Chef jobs got uninspiring, and our young family continued to grow and become the center of our world, we established Lovable Foods as a way to share our approach to food on our terms.
We didn’t want to work crazy restaurant hours and the limitless range of creativity with catering was a perfect fit for us. Feeding our four littles and educating them about food is such a big part of our lives. It seemed natural to include it in our business and share our experience.
What is your company slogan/mission?
Love Your Body, Eat Real Food
What did you do before launching Lovable Foods? At what point did you realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur instead?
I worked as a Private Chef, while in school for Fashion Design in Miami. As soon as I graduated, my Dad signed me up for a business ownership courses at a community college. He declared that since i was a creative type, I might as well figure out how to sell my art! There, I learned how to write a business plan, and the hustle hasn’t left my spirit since. When I had my first child and decided to stay home with him, it seemed like the perfect time to put my business plan to action.
Whenever you decided that you were ready to take the leap, what were your next steps?
A lot of research about getting a business license in my county and how to legally set up my business. We couldn’t afford our own commercial kitchen space. We started off as private chefs working out of a shared kitchen space. And stalking event leads on Craigslist for possible gigs!
You and your husband run Lovable Foods. How does your partnership work? Tell us how you guys work together (who takes care of what, how your personalities compliment each other).
The short version... He makes it & I make it pretty:)
He runs BOH (back of house). He’s our Executive Chef. He oversees his kitchen, which includes all food, staff, and order of operations. He’s ridiculously talented, which compliments his loud, bossy, potty-mouthed nature. All the makings of an amazing chef that know how to get shit done.
I run FOH (front of house). As Catering Coordinator, I oversee menu planning, bookings, customer service, business management, and serve as a liaison for our other service providers.
How does partnership differ from solopreneurship? What tips do you have to make a partnership work?
Partnerships require compromise, trust, and being open to the ideas of others! More minds are greater than one. The BIGGEST lesson we’ve all learned is to “Stay in your lane.” Basically meaning, do what you do well, and be smart enough to entrust the same of others. Know when to seek them out.
What is the biggest thing you had to overcome launching Lovable Foods?
The idea that things will be perfect from the jump. They won’t be. Learn from each obstacle and GROW.
Would you describe Lovable Foods as your “dream job”? Why or why not? What constitutes a dream job for you?
Dream job. Close… In another life, I’d love to be a DJ. :) But yeah, I’ve got crazy passion for what we do.. The kind you don’t mind getting up at absurd hours for and you feel like your opinion/ideas have an impact. A huge plus, is being able to collaborate with hubby and toting my littles along. They are learning so many life lessons. They get to see us at our best, worse, and learn resilience. And that is priceless.
Any other projects/side hustles you’re working on? Tell us about them.
I’m also a fashion designer and have apprenticed as a florist. I’m working on incorporating these loves of mine into the Lovable Foods brand. A small floral shop addition to our catering market and custom tabletop decor available for purchase at our seasonal supper clubs are in our future!!
Entrepreneurs live and breathe their businesses. How do you balance work and life? Do you think that’s even possible?
Nope! Not possible. I do try to ignore technology from 5-8ish for my kid’s sake. Its hard because it involves both hubby and myself. We just make it a point to include them, really. Share our day and hear their advice! It's hilarious. :)
What does your daily routine consist of?
Geeze… Up by 5am. Usually going over the day with hubby (who is up at 3:30-4am). Get little people up and off to school. Answer emails and phone calls at home, while my toddler & pre-schooler run a muck. After the morning rush at the kitchen, I make my way into my office with my babes. 10ish. Get support orders out the door and communicate with our kitchen crew. I rush home between 2-4pm depending on school/after school activities. Then comes [the kid's] homework, potentially going back to the kitchen with all four kiddos, depending on the orders of the day – mixed with homework, a sibling bicker, and a delicious dinner by Dad (either at home or kitchen).
You have to do it and you hate it – what is your least favorite task to do at Lovable Foods?
Social media!! I’m a hippy and not a fan of technology.
You’re on the verge of a business-lady-breakdown. How do you unwind?
Wine and celebrity gossips with my bestie!! Or a walk in my neighborhood while blasting all the inappropriate music on my headphones, that I can’t bump in my mini-van. :)
What did you think you’d be doing now when you were 10?
A baker, funny enough!
Tell us 3 of your cannot-live-without ladypreneur apps.
Top 5 favorite cities?
Miami, NYC, DC, Savannah, & ATL
Red, White, Sparkling or stronger?
White, but I’m not a drinker. What's the point of extra calories and hangovers?
Tell us the best place to eat in Atlanta. If it’s your kitchen, share your best recipe.
Yup, my kitchen. Breakfast for dinner. My hubby and I came up with this french toast that’s served with cream and peaches that have been cooked down. Its seriously amazing.
Words to live by: Use your energy for good.
In 3 years you’ll be: On my first book tour!! (recipes, entertaining tips, & decor) Still catering, expanding our Home-Ec efforts in our school communities, running our market and online presence. Traveling and not changing diapers!!
What advice would you give to budding ladypreneurs interested in catering and event planning?
Work for a catering company first. Be a fly on the wall. Volunteer for every opportunity. Shut up in the kitchen and learn!!
Anything else to add? Spill it: Do it with passion or not at all. You don’t have to take every job. Especially if it doesn’t excite you, because you won’t give it your best effort.