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Chef Kiersten FirquainKiersten Firquain is the Chef and Founder of Legit Provisions. The innovative eatery is a farm-to-table micro market in Napa Valley, California. In addition to her culinary talents, Kiersten, or Chef K as she’s popularly known, is a serial entrepreneur. Before establishing Legit Provisions, she founded Get Happy Catering, the Happy Food Company, InHome Bistro, and Bistro Kids. Chef K attended the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone and has an MBA in Business and Corporate Communications from California State University, Sacramento.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Chef Kiersten Firquain discusses her first business and transition to catering
  • How Kiersten maintained healthy lunch meals in her daycare schools
  • Overcoming bureaucracy
  • What is the Happy Food Company?
  • Should you work for the company you sell to?
  • How to manage more than one company?
  • The pandemic’s impact on the Happy Food Company
  • The secret to selling to a variety of buyers

In this episode…

Starting a new business is usually an extension of a job one has prior experience. However, some take a more challenging route by creating a company in a field with zero experience. So, what happens when the passion is there but lacks experience?

Chef Kiersten Firquain suggests starting with a business plan. When the passion is there, one will go above and beyond to discover resources to achieve the next goal. As a first-time entrepreneur, one may face numerous challenges. However, with the correct strategies and resources, one can overcome the obstacles.

In this episode of the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast, host John Corcoran welcomes the Chef and Founder of Legit Provisions, Kiersten Firquain. She shares how she left a successful career to pivot into entrepreneurship, the challenges of working for a company you sell to, how to manage more than one company, and the secret to selling to a wide variety of buyers.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02

Welcome to the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast where we feature top founders and entrepreneurs and their journey. Now let’s get started with the show.

John Corcoran 0:13

Alright, welcome, everyone. This is John Corcoran. I am the co-host of this show. And for those of you who haven’t listened to this program before, you can check out our archives got great interviews with smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of all kinds of different companies. And of course, this episode brought to you by EO San Francisco to San Francisco is the San Francisco chapter of the global entrepreneurs organization known as e o colloquially about 16,000 members worldwide, all entrepreneurs who have reached a million dollars or more with their business who are connecting with one another, doing learning events, social events, and growing together. And my guest here today is Chef Kiersten Firquain and she’s had a number of different businesses over the year, years starting in the Midwest. Now she’s located out here in the San Francisco Bay Area, she relocated to Napa County, California, beautiful Napa during the COVID. Because why not right, amazing place to move to. And we’re going to talk about different catering companies. She’s had some food companies for kids started with a daycare. We’ll talk about all that and get into it now. So Kiersten, it’s such a pleasure to have you here. But first, let’s start with you grew up, your mom was a teacher, your dad was in a government job. So you weren’t raised around entrepreneurs unless there were other family members or friends that you saw. But you had a heck of a work ethic, because by age 14, you’re out lifeguarding and doing water, water safety instructions. What drew what what motivated that? Was there anything? Was there? Do you remember as a young kid being like, I just want money to spend on things or what kind of like motivate you to go get a job at 14?

Kiersten Firquain 1:53

Well, back then I think my allowance was like $1 a week. I don’t know that wasn’t going to cut it. So yeah, I knew I had to go to work. And I’m from Kansas. We’re hard workers in Kansas.

John Corcoran 2:06

So you’re lifeguarding and water safety and things like that. Any memories from doing that? Was that all fun and games or

Kiersten Firquain 2:16

it was pretty fun? Yeah, I recall it being really fun, just being able to be outside interacting with all the other kids in the small town. And I babysat as well. And I did all three of those jobs up until I went to college. Cool.

John Corcoran 2:31

And you didn’t get into starting companies, you now started a half dozen different companies. But you didn’t get into starting companies until after you got out of college. It was actually you are working for a car company that wanted to relocate you to Detroit. And you had second thoughts about that.

Kiersten Firquain 2:48

That’s right, I had a great job. I got my master’s degree with that company. I traveled all over the world with that company had a bunch of free cars as you have when you work in the car industry. But once they kept wanting to transfer me to Detroit, I knew if I did that, I probably wasn’t going to leave. And I would stay with that company for the rest of my life. And I didn’t think that’s what I wanted to do. So I decided I was going to quit and move back to Kansas City and start my own business.

John Corcoran 3:17

And now there’s two different ways you can go with that sort of thing. When people start a new company, a lot of times they do an extension of something they were doing before. The other I think more challenging approach is to start something in a completely new area, which is what you did, you took the took the hard road.

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