Name: Sunny Gandara
Business Name: Menufacturers
1. How did you get the concept for your business?
Having worked as a chef for a long time and a self-professed foodie, I love going out to eat at restaurants. I saw a clear need for my services in vegan food consulting and recipe creations, as even the best, Michelin-rated restaurants didn’t seem to have a good grasp on how to create flavorful, creative vegan dishes. If you are not plant-based or vegan yourself, you may have a preconceived notion of what vegan cuisine is, and limit yourself accordingly. On the private side of my business, it’s my passion to spread education and information wherever I can in the form of cooking classes, workshops on plant-based nutrition and, of course, wine-tasting as well. Most people don’t have the time or inclination to research and figure out what to eat and drink, but they love to have a great culinary experience, and that is where I come in.
2. What is unique about your business?
I actually dislike labeling my food ‘vegan’ as I was not vegan for 40 years of my life, and had a catering business prior to me going plant-based. The most important thing for me is creating food that everyone will like. This is the motto of my business: “vegan food for everybody.” With my professional culinary background, in-depth expertise in wine, and experience as a certified health-coach in plant-based nutrition, I have a very broad, yet precise service to offer my customers.
3. What was your mission?
My mission was to have people see how exciting and varied vegan food is. For many people, changing their habits (especially diet) is scary, cumbersome and a bit of a drag. I wanted to share my experience and serve as encouragement and inspiration to those who truly felt that going vegan would be following their truest desires.
4. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Every time I take on a client who felt strongly about wanting to change their eating habits, work or lifestyle but felt it would be impossible, after a few weeks of coaching with me, they made incredible changes both on the inside and outside. It’s so fulfilling to see people take charge of their own lives and to see what’s possible when they truly follow their hearts, despite what other people may think. I have yet to hear a client say, “I regret going vegan!”
5. Do you have any advice for people looking to start a business?
Be patient, persistent and honest with yourself about what you want. Don’t start a business based on what you think would be profitable, rather start a business where you can serve others with the talents, background, expertise, and experience you have. Believe in yourself, reconnect with your ‘why’ on a daily basis, and be focused on yourself, and not what other people are doing. When you exude confidence, passion, and interest in what you do, it becomes contagious and you will soon start gathering your own loyal following. Keep going and don’t give up!