We had the good fortune of connecting with Callie Cavanaugh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Callie, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
After many years in the food industry, I observed the lack of sustainability on all fronts. Chefs were working long hours for little pay, owners were profiting minimally, if anything, and the amount of waste was astonishing. I knew when chefs were given autonomy in what they cooked, the food was substantially better. I sought out to design a system in which chefs were able to cook what they want, when they want, using the highest quality ingredients in order to support the health of our bodies and the planet. Our chefs are happier, not only by tapping into the art of cooking, but also by serving their diners directly. They are able to feel the appreciation and gratitude of each dish that is served. Diners are also able to feel the love put into each plate. Our chefs know how many diners they are serving, so there is little to no food waste. Plus, when they cook food they truly care about, they would never dream of wasting it. We choose responsibly sourced ingredients that are not only good for our bodies, but also the planet. Our diners walk away from their tables feeling fulfilled, rather than full. By serving intimate groups in the comfort of our diners homes, the environment is set up for connecting with others, something lacking in our busy modern world. There are no other tables, loud diners, or obnoxious music to disturb. Our diners get to set up their ideal atmosphere and enjoy time with those they love. Mealtime used to be a sacred part of our day, to connect with our family and loved ones. We aim to bring this back, so we can take a moment to slow down and enjoy the art of eating.
What should our readers know about your business?
Nonna Eats is alive and well because of my ability to test often and fail hard. I first learned the concept of prototyping in design school. I’ve always been an idea person, but I became addicted to building and designing products. I love the risk of testing new things and accomplishment when something works for the first time. It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally learned the importance of focus. I’ll never forget the day one of my mentors suggested I create a “parking lot” for all my ideas, so I would never forget, and get back to them when the time was right. One of the coolest things to watch and learn is when you are truly committed to something and rid of all fear, it’s just a matter of time before you will receive it. The intention of Nonna Eats is to change the dining landscape to a more sustainable model for all (chefs, diners, communities, and the planet at large). We’re still very small, but looking forward to seeing how we can help improve the industry in every way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would spend most of our time outdoors, traveling to remote hiking destinations and creating epic outdoor gatherings with eclectic groups of friends and members of the community.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
While I am a solopreneur, I could have never gotten to where I am today without the support from my family, friends, and (many, many) mentors. I have read countless books and attended seminars on business skills and personal development, but nothing compares to the connection from my internal network. I’ve learned the hard way, whenever I have doubts or questions, reaching out is the key to moving forward. Without feedback, acknowledgement, encouragement, or a (most important) sounding board, it is easy to get caught in the weeds and avoid blind spots. Thank you to all who have listened and shared (you know who you are)!