David Moskowitz, Alison Moskowitz, and Nina Connolly from Food Trends Catering
This week we sat down to talk with our friends at Food Trends about the hardships, triumphs, and joys of being a part of a women owned and run business in New York City.
Interview with Nina from Food Trends:
How did you get into the restaurant business? Was your initial plan to own a food business? If not, what was your initial desire?
My mother became a single parent and she and my grandfather joined forces in what they know best-hospitality and food. About 20 years ago they started a small shop and it grew and grew.
Who is the mastermind behind your recipes?
The recipes are a collaboration between my mother and the chef, with input from our catering managers and account reps who all have passionate thoughts and opinions. We continually tweak them until we get each every one just right. When our chef comes up with new recipes, everyone is involved in tasting and giving feedback which enforces a communal environment.
How has being a woman owner of a food business impacted the way you run your shop?
A lot of our employees view my mother as a mother. Everything she does has a maternal instinct behind it. She wants everyone to do their best and does everything she can to guide them so she can see everyone grow and succeed. The guys are protective over her and take feedback to heart and want to make her proud.
Who or what was your inspiration for your decision in running your own business?
She is just a strong person in general and was put in the position where she had to become the bread winner, with the passing of her husband. She didn’t graduate college so she had to rely on instincts and the belief that this was something she could do well. Her 50 full time employees, 100 event staff and her family are the driving force behind her work everyday.
What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome, if any?
When she started 20 years back it wasn’t a common place for women to run businesses. Workers didn’t show her respect so she had to earn the respect. She was forced to be a little more firm to make an example out of people. It was also difficult being a single working mother when in the back of her mind she was thinking she was missing out on the child rearing days. It is continually tough to stay on trend, especially in New York. It’s a cut throat business.
What advice would you give to women who are afraid or hesitant to start their own shop?
Don’t listen to the nay sayers. Do not ask for too many opinions. Work your butt off. The difference between people who do succeed and those who don’t is not because they didn’t have a brilliant idea, but because they didn’t work their butt off. Especially in the initial years of starting your business, if you have a setback, don’t let it crush you. Learn from it. Restructure fast and move on.