We had the good fortune of connecting with Nakia Laubscher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nakia, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I most often think about the risk of NOT doing something. We only have one life, so why not fill it with ‘risky dreams’ and pursuing your passions with everything you have? You don’t grow when you are camping in your comfort zone. Stepping outside of what you’re comfortable with feels risky but is necessary for personal growth. The opportunity may feel like a risk, but consider the risk of allowing that opportunity to pass you by without making the most of it. Oftentimes, when we decide to start a business, those close to us are worried about if we will make enough money to fit our financial needs. To me, the risk of not living a fulfilled life is much scarier than the risk of potentially being financially insecure.
I believe there will always be opportunities to earn money, and it’s certainly useful, but there are many things that are more important than money. Feeling connected to the Earth, spending time with loved ones, finding the joyful moments in every day, using the unique skills and passions you have to help others, uplifting your community in whatever capacity you’re able to – these are the things that make me smile. And, to build a business that provides a path for personal growth and joyful experiences to our clients and community, that’s the icing on the cake.
Living outside of your comfort zone is exhilarating, makes life more fun, and exposes you to amazing opportunities you never imagined. Before beginning the journey of endless possibility, create a plan with your values at the center and know that the plan will change a million times. If you’re focused on living your values the risk won’t be intimidating it will be exciting. Embracing risk will most often yield successful results if you stay true to your focused goals and values. And when it comes to financial risk – que será, será.
What should our readers know about your business?
During the spring of 2020, I was hearing a lot of frustrations from people about their grocery delivery experiences – the produce was of poor quality, illogical substitutions were made when stores were out of stock of specific ingredients, and items were damaged from careless handling. I knew there had to be a better way to provide groceries, one of the most important and personal goods in our lives. Because of my chef background in the food industry and my passion for recipe development, I realized that I could offer a unique service that blended chef expertise and personalization into a joyful grocery delivery experience.
In August of 2020, I launched chefate. It is a chef guided grocery delivery service. Clients can choose chef developed recipes from our cookbook to create her shopping list and add on any other grocery staples desired. The grocery shopping is done by a chef and all groceries are delivered in reusable produce bags and shopping bags. The client does all of the food prep and cooking but if she has any questions along the way, we offer ‘phone a chefpro’ to get direct access to a chef. We also encourage donations with each shop which we drop off at local food pantries.
Our mission is to connect busy people with joyful food. Our definition of ‘joyful food’ incorporates positivity from three sources – individual, community, and environmental impact.
Individual food positivity incorporates the principles of Intuitive Eating in banishing any restriction or guilt around food and embracing deep nourishment and satisfaction as we eat. Individual food positivity also includes creating happier experiences in the kitchen by offering guidance from chefs to encourage more confidence and creativity in our clients’ culinary adventures.
Food positivity in the community is centered around our efforts to combat food insecurity. Everybody should have access to safe, nutritious food and by donating to local food pantries we are doing our small part to help those who are food insecure. Community food positivity is also about celebrating and connecting through our cultural foods. Each of us grows up with recipes unique to our family and when we share those foods we share a piece of ourselves and our family’s history. Connecting through food creates delicious opportunities to understand how we all experience life uniquely.
Environmental food positivity is centered around respecting our food and protecting where it comes from. By only using re-usable produce bags and grocery bags, we aim to reduce the amount of plastic in landfills and prevent deforestation by paper bags. Additionally, each of chefate’s recipes link to other recipes for ideas to utilize your leftover ingredients. By minimizing our food waste, we lessen our impact on the environment and show respect and gratitude for food.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love to start with a close hike – a trail that has some city views like Mount Falcon, Chautauqua Park, or North Table Mountain (bonus trip to New Terrain Brewery if we go to the mesa) Then, later in the week I like to take visitors further into the mountains to a trail that fits their hiking preference.
(Pre-pandemic) A Saturday night in RiNo was always a lot of fun. A couple can’t miss spots are Block Distilling, Denver Central Market, and Death & Co.
Sundays are great park days, so taking a picnic to Wash Park, Cheeseman Park, or any smaller neighborhood parks is always a great way to enjoy the sunshine. I highly recommend checking out Jazz in the Park in City Park after visiting the Museum of Nature and Science. Be sure to head over to the west side of the building for beautiful views of the park and downtown.
Go Rockies! After enjoying an evening baseball game, I love to walk over to Dairy Block where visitors can snap plenty of insta-worthy pics. Then, we head into Run for the Roses for a classy nightcap.
Weekdays are great for heading into the mountains – less traffic and smaller crowds. Depending on the time of year, I love taking visitors snowboarding, white water rafting, hiking, and/or kayaking.
And lastly Food and Drink:
Lowry Beer Garden is great when we’re looking to enjoy great food with plenty of space outside.
Little Anita’s has delicious New Mexican food for every meal, but I especially like to pick up a breakfast burrito on our way into the mountains.
El Five is a great tapas bar for meeting up with your local friends and introducing them to your visitors.
Fire on the Mountain has delicious wings and such a welcoming ambiance.
The Dew Drop Inn is brand new and a super cozy spot to hang out and catch up with friends you haven’t seen in awhile.
Comrade Brewery makes some of the best IPA’s that exist.
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 there’s well over a baker’s dozen of people I’d love to recognize, my shoutout is to Kara Gardner. As my former chef and boss, she taught me countless lessons that I have used throughout my career and life. From sharing technical knowledge, to navigating business interactions, to valuing a home/career balance that nurtures lifelong success, Kara is always generous in sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience to benefit those around her. She continues to inspire me to challenge myself and the status quo in order to pursue my dreams and live a meaningful life. I admire her strength and resilience and it encourages me through the difficult moments of entrepreneurship. I am so grateful for her enthusiastic support in me and in chefate – it truly means the world!
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chefatellc/