The following are excerpts from actual, unsolicited email messages, letters, and forum posts we've received from so many happy members and site visitors:
This group paid off!!
I just had an interview with a potential client last week, and one of the questions she asked was whether I'm in any kind of professional group. I mentioned all the benefits that I've gotten from APPCA - the client questionnaire that I used to create mine (which we went over at that meeting), my invoice form, many recipes, answers to questions I had, and on and on.
She seemed impressed, and in the end, she hired me.
I couldn't have started off in this business all by myself.
Joan Angelis, Minneapolis
Thank you, Candy, for such an amazing weekend! I have been wanting to do this for 2 years now. After watching, waiting and dreaming, I finally made the leap from engineer to personal chef. What an enlightening experience to meet so many other people that feel that same as I do about cooking: cooking for others is my way of expressing my love for them! This is so real now and I can wait to get started. Thank you to Chefs Candy, Bernard, Shelbie and April as well as all the wonderful new chefs I met at the Seminar. It is fantastic to have a support system right from the get-go.
Good morning Candy & Dennis,
What a lovely weekend in San Diego. I left inspired, motivated and with a great deal of invaluable information, now I am ready to "Rock & Roll."
So many things on my to do list, will keep you posted on the progress and may even be contacting you along the way with questions. :)
Again,, "thank you" both for all you do....what a great team!!
It was November 2011 when I picked up the phone and called the APPCA- upon doing so Chef Candy answered and spoke with me for a good half hour. Chef Candy was so sweet, and offered me so much useful information as well the “push” I needed to pursue my career as a Personal Chef. By the time I hung up the phone with Chef Candy I was already signed up for the live two-day seminar.
Fast forward to today, January 2012, where I am the chef and owner of Eat Your Heart Out Edibles (www.eatyourheartoutedibles.com) and just about have a full week of Personal Chef clients. I was so skeptical when I started this path, and after putting money into my web design, website, ServSafe certification, registered DBA, and business insurance- I was still very skeptical. My success did not happen overnight. It honestly wasn’t until September of 2012 that it really took off- but all of my hard work paid off.
I am writing the testimonial to all those looking to pursue a career as a personal chef and are afraid- just as I was. My advice would be call the APPCA- ask to talk to Chef Candy, and sign up for a seminar. Just know that after you leave the seminar it is up to YOU to take the information you learned and tools you received though APPCA and work your butt off. It will not be easy in the beginning- but hard work pays off. Know that there is a great support system and wealth of knowledge on the APPCA forum.
Talking to Chef Candy and joining the APPCA has changed my life. I would have never been able to find all the info I needed to start my own Personal Chef business (since it is such a small unique career if you ask me), that being able to have a whole handbook handed to me, with all the info I needed, was priceless to me. Not to mention the great people I met at the seminar and still keep in touch with today. The APPCA is like a small family, one that anyone looking to become a Personal Chef should be excited to be “adopted” into.
I joined the ranks of the APPCA just this week.
I booked a 18 person dinner party last night.
The dinner party was booked because of APPCA's listing me on their search site!!
Paid my first year membership with plenty to spare!!!
tks APPCA!!! Great investment thus far!!
Chef Tim Hardn "Grumblebelly"
in the last week since we spoke...
I signed up for the Green training program. (Great stuff in there!!!) and have been exploring and learning all about the forums and the Personal Chef office. (I love it!) started developing a simple menu to start with.
..made a short, but sweet business plan so I know where i want to head.
Then on Tuesday, I get a call from a career services Dept that a guy called them looking for a personal chef...can they send him my resume?... Uh, YES PLEASE!
so, he called me. He's single, young (maybe 30), can afford it, is very flexible, likes good food but wants to stop eating take out so much, wants to eat a little healthier, wants a personal chef to cook him dinners mainly, likes a wide variety of food, wants to take it one step at a time (let's see what you can cook and we'll change the menu as we go and experiment...), ... could it be? I'd be a fool not to try! Worst case is I refer him to someone who has more experience if i'm over my head. But since he's single it would only be a bi-monthly or possibly only monthly client - which makes it a slow start and not too daunting. I feel confident I can do it based on my skill, education, and his feedback. A little quicker than I had expected, but I can do it.
Need to get insurance before I start...
Personal Chef Services
I just wanted to post this for anyone considering becoming a PC. Joining the APPCA was a great thing to do and really helped me get my feet off the ground. It was a difficult decision to make the jump, with a new baby and a wife that wasn't working but I am so glad that I did it. Starting your own business is not easy at all, if it was, everyone would do it. But it is very rewarding at the end of the day to know that my name is behind the food I create. I originally was looking at the USPCA but was unsatisfied with their customer service, I dug deeper, found the APPCA and called Candy. We spoke for about 40 minutes and I decided to make the move. Calling Candy was one of the best decisions I have made in my new business! If you are considering becoming a PC, you should absolutely speak with her! My business is growing each month and I am so excited that I am now doing what I love!
Food by Dan LLC
Candy, I just wanted to thank you for the excellent training class. I really enjoyed it, and got a lot of good tips. It was really nice to be in the group with others like me, who share a passion for good food, cooking and helping others. I am very excited to get my business started, and am in process of creating menus etc. I had first purchased the home study course, but went ahead and attended the training course in San Diego because I learn better in a face to face environment. It was really a good decision on my part, and provided the catalyst to get me going in my new venture. Thanks again!
We're Terri & Rachel of Terra Cuisine in Greenville, SC. We've both used this message board over the past month to answer the TON of questions we've had come up while starting our business. We've pretty much been able to find everything we've looked for here. So, thank you to all who have contributed to this magnificent resource.
We've been so busy researching and getting everything ready for our new adventure. However, we did have our first cook date yesterday at a friends home, who could be a potential new client. It went pretty well. There are two of us so that makes things a lot easier. We did forget something and one of us had to run out. Then we made the curry to spicy and had to trash it, run out for more ingredients, and re-make it. However, we had a BLAST! Plus our friends are raving over the food, which feels so good.
Anyway, I feel I've taken so much from this board, the APPCA, and the home-study course that I felt the need to say thank you! We could not have gotten off the ground so quickly without it!
Candy and Dennis,
A quick note of thanks for an amazing weekend of training. The two of you are great hosts and great teachers, I learned so much from you in those two fun-filled days. I am so excited to start my journey as a personal chef! Thank you for all you have done to make this journey so much easier for those of us just starting out. Thanks again for everything!
This is a shout out to Mamoon (APPCA IT, Personal Chef Hosting). This morning I get a call from a guy inquiring about my service. He asked the usual questions and then he asked: Who did your website and how do you get it right to be number 1 on every Personal Chef search in Charlotte that I do. I told him I belong to the APPCA and that we have our own expert that does these things for us and his reponse was: "Well this guy certainly knows what he is doing and he looks well after you"
Thanks Mamoon!!!! For all the newbies and those that are on the fence about website development and hosting - do yourselves a favor and contact Mamoon. You will not be sorry.
I just want to say a big thank you for everything to all of you. I started my business almost two years ago, and had barely any clients in 2010. This year, I'm almost too busy!! Everything I've done so far has been helped by advice from APPCA -
What to put into a Client Interview? - APPCA helped.
What to write in a contract? - Again, APPCA.
What kind of labels to use on containers for ongoing clients? - APPCA is where I found out.
What the choices are for containers in the first place? - You got it; APPCA.
I haven't figured out my taxes yet for this year, but it seems like I'll make a profit for the first time... and most of all - I'm HAPPY. I come home totally exhausted, but I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. This is why I'm here.
You all mean so much to me. Thank you.
I couldn't agree with Kelley more, this weekend was amazing! Candy knows this industry inside and out, Candy is this industry and if you don't learn it directly from her and her team you'll probably have a few gaps.
The training, information and insight we gained far exceeded the expenses of the weekend.
I can't wait until August!
To all of you out there waffling about going to a seminar or joining the ranks of the amazing Personal Chefs in this group, stop thinking and do.
I attended this past weekend's seminar in San Diego, and I must say that the information received exceeded my expecations.
Thanks to much to Candy and Dennis for opening their lovely home to the six of us. Your warmth and hospitality was surpassed only by the wealth of information and help your supplied.
Also thanks to Shellye, Nicole, Mary, Jennifer and Trinette for making this experience amazing.
I'll get away from the gushing now, and repeat;
Get off the fence and do it. Sign up for a seminar and begin the next great phase in your life.
I can't wait to see where this wonderful adventure will take me. And am looking forward to getting to know many more of these lovely people who make up this organization of Personal Chefs.
Thank you so much for passing this on to me. I just left a phone message with Bridgette and look forward to helping out in any way I can.
I have to say the best thing I have ever DONE is join the A.P.C.A. I'm very grateful to you for taking the time to speak with me on the phone and get me set up 6 years. I had my first client 6 weeks after I joined, from the find a chef link and have been thriving eve since. Thanks to you :)
Have a great holiday and I will look forward to helping fix Bridgette's Mom up:)
Kindest Regards, Denise
Healthy Homemade Cuisine
I have been actively working my personal chef business since May of this year. Not listening to the wise chefs here, I wasted a bunch of money advertising in my local paper. Only one call. However, I now have 8 clients (regular) who found me on APPCA. THANKS!!!!!! [Emphasis intended -- not yelling.]
Thank you so much for sending this! And thank you so much for a truly wonderful and inspirational seminar this past weekend! You sparked so many ideas for me, and helped to create a wonderful feeling of energy regarding getting started in this new career! I have been teaching all day computer classes the past two days, and have another one to teach tomorrow. But after that, I will contact Rusty regarding getting my membership card/number. I am excited about logging into Personal Chef Office, and getting started!
Candy- Thanks so much. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated your seminar last weekend. I'm going through a big transition in my life and a dose of "you" was exactly what I needed ! I've started the process of making my PC business. I'm calling it The Nesting Chef.
I'd love to send you some spices so would you please send me a mailing address ?
Thanks again- Rosemary
I have been in business since September of 2007. There were dry patches and times I thought of going back to waitressing, but as I sit here today and think back to what I have accomplished over the very short time in business, I am quite pleased and very happy I made the transition to become a personal chef.
My business is right where I had hoped it would be in my initial business plan and I am happily working steadily two days a week with clients that appreciate the service in addition to giving cooking lessons, small dinner parties and working the odd gift certificates. I have plenty of time for myself and my family and find my income is just enough to keep me happy. I can take on another weekly client if I choose, or not. That's the beauty of it, I can choose.
I may not be making a mint, but this was a lifestyle decision. I now have a career and a life. Imagine that!?! I have even found a niche to do some writing and have decided to take continuing education classes with an online university.
Thank you APPCA and all it's members for your continuing support!
Good Morning Candy,
I have been pretty busy as of late. Rewatching your DVD's, trying to do "PR" work for my husband, Chef Fehmi, and doing lots of emailing for potential clients.
Chef Fehmi just left our home for our first potential client meeting, which will be a Cooking Demo on the 30th of this month. He also has a meeting for a potential Personal Chef client the first week of September set up. We are hoping all goes well.
I also wanted you to know that because of your media DVD and the informaiton you shared about your own advertising experiences, I was able to talk to our local newspaper The Fall River Herald News, and the result of those conversations plus follow-up emails is that Chef Fehmi is now their monthly food columnist! We are so excited. He has had 2 columns as of today. Plus, it is being picked up across the nation!
Thank you for setting up APPCA, it is such a wonderful site, your support staff with Rusty and of course Dennis are so helpful and I also thing the resources are great not to mention, I love that the chefs are so generous with their knowledge.
Take care and Bon Appètit!
Cara and Chef Fehmi
just wanted to let you know that i attended the SAN DIEGO two day live seminar this past weekend. i cannot begin to tell you how supportive, informative, professional, etc., etc. candy wallace is. and what a joyful persona! we had a wonderful two days together of going through the curriculum; questions/answers; practicalities; computer training; and, great lunches on top of all that. she really cares about what she does and wants to pass on the knowledge (good and bad) that she has gained over the years. i had been looking at different organizations for the last few years and i'm thrilled that i chose the APPCA. i feel it will make all the difference in the ultimate success of my business.
Thanks so much for a terrific, informative and motivating weekend. You were so very generous with your time, experience, wisdom and energy. I can't tell you how much it all meant to me.
I look forward my future as a personal chef and being associated with you, Dennis and your organization will be a blessing to me.
Thanks again and I hope to see you in Vegas.
Leigh B. Sherman Oaks, CA
You have created a star!
A reporter from the Associated Press Googled me and found me on the APCA web site. She called because she was working on a story about the price of kosher meats. Ended up sending a photographer to take photos while I cooked. Her story appeared on the wire.
Here are a few of the places I have found it so far, as well as the link to the photos available on the AP web site. Am just beginning now to find all the local/city newspapers where the photo and story have appeared.
I say thank you every day for all I have learned from APCA, and the benefits of my membership!
All best regards.
Have a wonderful conference and a great summer!
I called you for the first time a year ago to inquire about starting my own business. I joined your organization a year ago. I became an LLC a year ago yesterday and have enjoyed every minute of the past year. Thank you for all that you have done to make people aware of this profession and all the help that you give on a daily basis. I appreciate it! You have made every day a dream for me.
Here is my website if you are interested as well as a few articles I was in in 2007. This past year, I have acquired a few every day clients as well as found my specialty in course in home dinners. I have formed a special relationship with the two most exclusive high rise condos on Lake Michigan and anytime there is a party in either, I am the chef. I have also been asked to do some food writing for a new magazine launching this spring for women who own their own businesses. Thank you for giving me the courage to make every day enjoyable.
Thank you so so much for keeping APPCA out there in the media and striving to keep this association growing, supportive and exciting! This has been an amazing growth year for me as a personal chef and my business-so happy that hard work and dedication is paying off and so happy to be a part of this organization-thank you and everyone at APPCA for your support! Have a Beautiful Christmas! See you in Vegas!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
To one and all,
I feel just like Polly. Saturated with ideas, thoughts, and so much new knowledge it scares me to death but at the same time it all becomes this huge adrenaline rush. All intertwinded with anticipation as to how each of us will navigate our lives as Personal Chefs. I truly look forward to staying close and following everyones career as it unfolds.
Last night at dinner a friend asked me to tell her all about the seminar. I asked her if she had a spare week and perhaps I could get through the first day. So much info in such a short amount of time---WOW---BRILLIANT. And it was imparted by such wonderful, charming, and understanding people---that would be you Candy and Dennis. So all I can say is thank you so much for all that you do, and the generosity of spirit you so graciously do it with.
Not to leave the food out because---it was perfect.
... I'd just like to add that, as I'm just starting in this business as well, that if I had NOT joined the APPCA, it would have taken me SOOOOOOOOOO much longer to get going. It would have taken a lot more research and work. The APPCA provided so many tools in the training manual that make it easy to do everything quickly without having to re-invent the wheel. On top of everything, you can't beat the liability insurance and web design/hosting that the APPCA provides. Candy and Dennis have just made everything SOOO easy. I also went to culinary school and have grown up in restaurants. I've done no less than 4 restaurant openings and, I'll tell you, the work is so intense. This is the easiest business start-up I've EVER experienced, and it's all thanks to Candy and Dennis!!!! The tools and support provided by the APPCA are unbeatable! (Greek Chef)
A letter to my fellow Personal Chefs:
Greetings my friends.
It's been a LOOOONG time since I posted. Been thinking of letting you know what I've been up to, just haven't taken the time. I haven't been reading the forums much lately either, mostly because I've been on a roll and doing pretty darn well, and as you know, life just pulls you along.
I am VERY happy to see how successful APPCA is doing (I have my new logo badge on my chef's coat!) and that our virtual community continues to grow in its generosity to each other. I refer someone to the website at least once a month.
So here are some of the headlines:
- June was two years for Full Fridge
- I've had the same weekly client since I started
- My monthly income climbed from under $1000 a month to over $5000 a month - in one year
- I led my first culinary tour to Tuscany for 16 people this last May and I'm planning another one for Oct. '08 - a barge trip in Burgundy!
- I came back from Italy to 5 weekly clients, including my first celebrity (local)
- Even so, my client roster continues to fluctuate and I've grown very comfortable with the ups and downs - which is a very big deal - no more 'all or nothing' thinking!! - I'm confident that work will be found and it's always true
- My WOTDF is very comfortable
- I'm interviewing with a woman who wants me to be a demo chef on cruises - in fact she says that if it goes well, I can choose the cuisine and the country
- I'm doing my first cooking class through Lisa Waldschmidt (Have Whisk Will Travel) next month
- My last catering client says I'm on his speed dial now
- I designed a romantic dinner for two that includes a structured conversation to bring the couple closer together, and I've delivered three of them in the last year (at a premium price, btw)
The best headline of all: Over 90% of my business has come from people finding me on the APPCA website!!
Actually, it might be this one: I'm VERY, VERY happy being a Personal Chef!!!!
Thank you all for giving me grounded, expert advice, for providing great encouragment, for being positive role models and for inspiring me to take the steps towards living my passion!
Say hi if you wanna.
Love and stuff,
I am Chef Laura Reynolds of Mimmy's House A Personal Chef Service in Albany, NY. Four and a half years ago I became a member of the APPCA and made my dream of becoming a personal chef a reality.
Trust me when I say that it was a decision that needed to be carefully thought out and some education and planning had to take place during the process, as any good thing does, but by far the best thing that I could have ever done as a business woman and a personal chef, was to join this organization.
The first thing that immediately became apparent to me was that you instantly become a part of an extended family and all of you have a common passion; cooking. In the 4 1/2 years that I have been a member of the American Personal and Private Chef Association, I have never experienced a time when I needed assistance, or questions answered, or encouragement, or a swift kick in the pants, that the people weren't there for me 100%. They all have the same goal in mind and it is to see me succeed as a business and as an individual. I can honestly say that I have spent thousands of hours on the phone, in emails, and in person talking to the members of the APPCA and the staff and I have always been treated with the most utmost respect and consideration, and more so than any other organization that I have ever worked with.
The products and services and the professionalism offered by the APPCA surpass the standards of excellence and code of conduct. For 2 years before finding the APPCA on the internet, I tried to establish on my own, the means to start my personal chef business. I was met constantly with discouragement and the reality that I could not start my business based on the lack of knowledge concerning the personal chef industry and doing business as a personal chef. At the time the NYS health department and local liability insurance companies could not offer me assistance because they did not know how to classify me as a business and thought my business would be a large claim liability. I was unable to obtain an insurance provider that would be affordable with a policy that had the coverage I desired as a start up business.
Chef Candy Wallace and her staff at the APPCA has graciously labored for over 10 years and has brought the personal chef industry to what it is today; one of the fastest growing new businesses in our country today and a business the is observed by the Culinary Federation as a respectable and acknowledged business trade in the culinary field. Her expertise in the personal chef, private chef, and culinary fields, has won her numerous awards in the culinary industry, and has laid down a strong foundation for all of the personal chefs under her direction and guidance. Like a mother she is proud of your accomplishments, a great encourager, a strong example of leadership, and someone you can be confident to guide you in the right direction.
After finding and joining the APPCA I have been able to gain back my small start up costs (the investment of becoming an APPCA member) by more then 100 times over and we have considered it priceless. If my husband and I have said this one time we have said it 1000 times over,"it has been the best investment we have ever made together as a married couple and as a business".
I would encourage you strongly, when you make your decision to, dare to make your dreams come true, remember the best thing you could do as your first investment in your business and for yourself, is to join the American Personal and Private Chef Association. You will not regret your decision to do so. The only thing you will regret is that you didn't do it sooner.
The door is always open and the phone is always on so give us a call or email me if I can encourage you more to join the great group of people. You won't be sorry.
Oh my heavens, if you think you are excited now, you just wait.
In our case, we really did our homework for approx. 1yr trying to decided what to do.
Everyone on the vistor forums suggested calling Candy. From the moment Candy answered the phone we KNEW the decision was made and we joined the APPCA.
We joined at the end of April and was not able financially to attend a seminar until November.
In our opinion, it was the best thing we ever did. (we really wanted to attend sooner, but funds did not allow it) Starting our business and then attending the seminar was in our favor. We had already put a client on a waiting list until we were up and running, not to mention feeling comfortable with the whole process.
We started cooking on a mock cook date with family and friends. Studied for ServSafe, making our business plan so on and so forth. By the time we actually attended the GREAT Chicago seminar we had two steady clients, and for us ALOT of questions!!
Oh, sorry I didn't answer your question, if you put forth the effort, it will be the best money that you have ever spent! In our case, we feel blessed that we didn't have to mortgage the house to start our business.
The wealth of information that the members provide is priceless. The time and energy that Dennis and Candy give of their lives just to enrich ours is overwhelming.
You COULD not belong to a better organization..
Good luck and we hope to see you on the inside!!
For sure you did not waste money -- you will earn back every penny of your dues, training material & seminar fees. I know my business would not be where it is today if it were not for the APPCA seminar & the forums. I currently have 2 weekly clients - by my choice - I only do this part time so I've had to turn away prospective clients) And, by the way, 90% of the calls I get are from the APPCA link to my web site! A good web site has been the KEY to my success - that's my word of widsom - get a good site (APPCA can design one for you as well).
It's also wonderful for networking - just last week another local PC needed help & so I helped her out - earned extra money & learned something as well (can't beat that). So...don't worry, you made the best decision!
This past weekend I attended the seminar held in Tampa that was taught by Jim Davis. I was disappointed that you weren't present too, but Jim was fantastic. He appeared genuinly glad to be with us from the first instant on Saturday morning. I imagine that the seminars with both of you teaching must be even more awsome and inspiring if that could be possible.
The two days provided excellent coverage of information that I had read and had questions about. I had no idea that such good questions would be asked and then answered so easily and expertly. Jim knows your business. His confidence and enthusiasm was supportive and encouraging.
The calibre of the other students was quite impressive. The age of those present surprised me as I thought they would be all be young. And, I didn't expect their experience to be so expansive.
I am so glad you decided to hold the seminar in Tampa because of the convenience for me. It was surprising to me that there weren't more individuals there from Tampa, but it was their loss.
Looking forward to the future as one of your success stories,
P.S. I already have a client. She's biting at the bit, and I'm frantically trying to do all that is necessary to be ready.
You and Candy are the greatest.
Thank you so much.
I will get to work on some importing and updating my web page.
The seminar was absolutely wonderful. I loved all aspects of it and especially the tech support and website help.
You both do an amazing job! i felt like the seminar was very intimate and personal, it felt like i was part of a very small club, instead of an association with over 6000 members.
I appreciated all the help and special attention you give to everyone.
I learned a lot and feel confident that i will have the tools and techniques to be successful in my business. Your support is great.
Thank you and I will keep you both updated on my mac progress as well as my p.c. business.
Thank you so much for the wealth of information that you provided on Saturday at the seminar...it was exactly what I was hoping for. You are such an inspiration and pioneer for the personal chef industry. I finally feel like I have found my niche and it is because of a profession that you and those around you carved out that people like me will have a place in this "food" world.
I went to the Boston Training session This last week-end. After joning the APPCA last June, I started with the materials only due to many "life things" going on with my family. Becoming a Personal Chef is a dream come true for me so reading through the materials and acting on them covered all aspects of getting my business started. But I have to say that meeting with Jim and the other Chefs who came to the meeting to help out, was inspirational. Speaking with them pulled the program together to show that it really can be successful. The Training put the icing on the cake.
Thank you Jim for lunch and for all the wonderful stories you shared at dinner.
I am very happy! (and overwhelmed as you said) - I got the study
package in the mail a couple of days ago. Therefore, I am quite busy
exploring all the materials, book and CDs. Now I am trying to define
my next steps.
There is a lot of information to cover and a good deal of of preparation to run my business properly. (for sure, this is not just shop, chop and cook.
Thank you so much for offering to call - I'll be in touch as soon as I organize my head and I can make the most of our time talking.
By the way, I managed to install and download all the extra materials available on-line and in the CDs. I am very happy with the software that is available for Mac users - I already start customizing it with different recipes.
Also, I was able to see the MasterCook for PC - great to have as a resource.
Baby steps at this moment -
Best regards, Luisa
Dear Fellow APPCA chefs,
I just wanted to extend a huge thank you to all of you out there on the forums - especailly you regulars! I've been a member since the summer of 2005 and took the seminar with Jim that fall. I have 2 small children and I'm taking my time setting up my business - taking on jobs as I can fit them into my boys' schedules. Anyway, I've been such a "lurker", reading posts and learning from all of your experiences.
Yesterday I had my first "real" cook date for a couple and their two children. They sounded great over the phone - they live fairly close to me, they have no allergies, no food phobias and they were super nice. As I'm driving to their house I'm wondering "what's wrong with them?" They seemed too good to be true!
Anyway....to sum up my day - it went great! It was honestly flawless (I've done this for friends in the past and that has truly NOT been the case!) Oh, and I'm sure many of you will smile at this... the only time I started getting flubbed up was when the clients came in to chat!!! Fortunatly that wasn't often and only for very brief moments. Overall, the clients ARE awesome - very laid back & friendly. Got my check and a tip??! I told them I would call back in a couple of days to see how it was going.
Ok, so the point of my post is to say thanks to each and everyone of you for sharing your ideas, lessons learned and your business sense. Thank you also to everyone in San Diego - you are always so helpful when I have a question or concern. Another thanks to Jim for teaching a wonderful seminar - I swear little tid bits that he shared were popping into my head all day! I know I wouldn't be where I am right now without APPCA. The wealth of information you gain from the membership is INVALUABLE - you can't get it working on your own - it's just not possible. The money I spent on the seminar and my dues are worth every penny. Looking forward to earning enough $$ to go the a summit one day and meet all of you!
Dennis , my main man thanks to you Candy, Mammoon for your expeditious response to my concerns. The attention and priority in which you exhibited was essential to resolution of my legal matter.This is just one of the reasons why I'm proud to be a card carrying member of APCA ! WHENEVER I call or e-mail I always get a sincere , concern reply. I've said it before I LOVE YOU GUYS AND MY ASSOCIATION . Please post this if you like for other members who may run into this situation.I also think we (APPCA) may want to look into a prepaid - legal service for members.
Sincerely Chef Greg'O
Dear APPCA and the APPCA class,
I have appreciated reading your emails and updates on your businesses - Good luck to all of you in 2007. I have been so busy, that I have not stayed on top of email but I wanted to send you a note to let you know how my business has been doing since the class.
As you all know, I had already started my business previous to the APPCA class, but the class gave me some vital info and tools that have helped me to move my business to the next level. I already had 2 clients, but shortly after the class, someone contacted me for a consultation near Hagerstown - very near where I live, and she hired me during our first meeting. We also set up a regular day for me to come - every tuesday. It's been about six weeks and she and her family are thrilled with the cooking.
I also gained two more clients after her - one monthly client and one twice a month client. I am still cooking at the retreat I told you about - simply because I still really love it and don't want to let it go completely, so basically my schedule is very full already. Someone called me last week that I actually had to refer back to the personal chef website.
Anyway, I just want to thank Candy and the APPCA and the whole class because I know that what I needed was some support behind me so I wasn't doing it all by myself. I really love cooking for people - it just makes my heart happy to know that people are eating nutritious food made with love!
I wish peace, happiness and abundance to each of you in the New Year,
Hi there Candy:
I enjoyed the class in Gaithersburg very much and wanted to let you know how much I appreciated you. This was such a positive experience and a real change of pace from the macho (stuff) the CIA and ACF serves up. After thinking about it, my only suggestion for an improvement would be to put a bit more about what to bring to the class. I ended up calling to make sure that I didn't need to bring a jacket or a knife kit. Pretty minor stuff. I don't know if you could tell, but I learn so much better verbally and visually than I ever do by reading, that the class really fulfilled an important need for me.
Dear Candy & Dennis,
I wanted to thank you for... Where do I start? Just thanking for everything doesn't sound like enough.
Thank you for helping me make my dream of cooking the way I want to possible.
There. That sums it up!
After attending the summit, I feel inspired to go out and cook for the world! I came away with so much knowledge and comradery that it is spilling out of brain! The speakers and were all wonderful and informative. It is going to take me weeks to tackle my notes and handouts.
I am so grateful that there is such a thing as the APPCA. Oops! Sorry...APPCA! How wonderful that news was! I know that this is going to expand our business by leaps and bounds.
Again, thank you for....everything!
I have to jump in and say that I have been an active member for a year now. My business is growing so much faster than I could have imagined! I have never been more tired or happy in my life. I work very hard but when my head hits the pillow I am so happy that I became a personal chef and even more happy that I joined this organization. I feel like I have friends across the US.
Candy, I don't know how you've done it but you have gathered so many wonderful people together. People who have helped me grow my business, who were there when I wasn't sure I could do a party for 50 and encouraged me and then when I did it and needed someone to boast to there were there again cheering me on.
Thanks Candy, Jim, Jackie, MariaLuisa, Kathy...the list of people who have helped goes on and on! Thanks everyone!
Just got back from the NJ seminar today and I'm trying to figure out how to put my thoughts into words. I've been a member for almost 1 year but I got my materials in the mail, never actually got through them (have ADD, no way I'm ever getting through the whole manual). I decided going to the seminar might be a good investment.
Jim, you did one heck of a job because the first words that come into my head are, "I was blind but now I see", (only had 1 glass of wine, promise!). I learned so much in the 2 days about PCing but most important, I gained confidence in myself and my business. Being in the group brought me back many years to when I was on a team or in a school club, where I had the genuine support of a leader and my peers and no matter what, they always had my back. I've always missed that feeling and now because of this association I've got it back. I'm on a team again!
First and foremost I'd like to say thank you to Candy for having a vision and making this whole association possible and putting the people in place for these seminars.
Jim, you're a gem (your wife, Sandy is a precious stone for putting up with you!), Jim Huff for your words of wisdom I'm truely grateful (of course your wife is totally responsible too), my group, I'd love to work beside anyone of you, APPCA forum thank you for having me on your team and watching my back.
Anyone on the fence about jumping in, is there something wrong with you???
Watch Out Here I Come!!!
I just attended the Personal Chef Seminar in NJ and I can't say enough WONDERFUL things about it !!! I got so much information and feedback from the course. Jim is the most wonderful charismatic and dynamic speaker/instructor. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone in the class and wish everyone great success. If you are on the fence about attending, I say jump right on it, you won't regret it!!!!!
Hello Staff at American Personal & Private Chef Association,
Thank you all for everything that you do. Because of you and your service I just signed a contract with New Orleans Saint [name withheld for privacy] to be his personal chef for the football season.
Again, thanks for everything.
Hi my name is Chef Darlene.
I've been in Food Service for about six years now, not counting the many years cooking for my family and friends. I got into food service because of my love of cooking, but sometimes in food service you don't get to be the cook. So I decided the only way I would always know that I would be the cook today was to take that step and be a personal chef. I joined the association July 12,06, I've been studying and getting all the legalities in order and before I was really ready I got my first call which turned into my first client. I had not even begun to work on advertising, my clients found me through the "find a chef" link at personalchef.com. Candy Thank-you for developing this association and helping me make my dream come true.
I am new to your wonderful organization and I wanted to thank you for loving what you do! It shows in the way you have covered everything a chef needs to get started and be continually supported. I am very happy I joined and look forward to a long relationship with APPCA!
Hi Chef Candy,
I joined the APPCA recently and have already gotten two inquiries from potential clients from your website. This is very encouraging as I am concerned about having enough clients (or any clients for that matter) when I go into business. I am not in business yet however and am writing to ask your advice as to whether or not I should be listed on the site at this time. Should I explain to my leads that I am not yet in business but would love to get in touch once I am licensed and insured, or should I be removed from the site? Please advise.
P.S. I have submitted my FBN and am waiting for it to run in the paper for four weeks so that I can get my license and insurance. My business name will be "Iz Delicious". I am so excited! Can't wait to go to the seminar in July.
I have been reading the posts in the forums on the APPCA site and reading them has been so helpful already.
Sincerely, Chef Izzy
I have to add my thoughts on the recent seminar as well. I was unsure whether the seminar was the way to go or whether I should just purchase the materials. I am so glad I decided to attend the seminar. The information and insight we were provided will prove to be invaluable. Additionally we had the opportunity to talk to Jim's son Brian another successful PC. I now have a clear picture of what I need to do to get my business up and running as well as the confidence to do it.
Thanks Candy and Jim for a job very well done.
I found the seminar this past weekend in Boston invaluable. Jim is a GREAT and engaging teacher. Thanks to to established chefs Javier, Dennis & Christine, John & Emily for taking time to visit with us and to make this industry 'real' by sharing. I would highly recommend this to not just new or prospective PC's, but also to PC's like me who's businesses are in a lull, or just does not seem to get off the ground. I have renewed insight and a new sense of direction and a new purpose with what I want to do my PC business. Earlier in the year I actually thought of closing my business, but it aint going to happen anymore! Thanks for the caring and sharing. This is a great organization!
I just have to tell you that I am once again overwhelmed with the generosity of the APPCA members. I just attended the seminar in Boston this weekend. I am energized and I feel like I can take my business to the next level. I couldn't wait to get back and sing Jim's praises - thanks Jim! I feel so lucky to be a part of this organization.
I think we had a great group of newbies that can make a real contribution and make the organization proud. And the veterans... what can I say? You guys are great! You took time away from your families and businesses to help us. John, Javier, Emily and Christine and Dennis thank you so much! Your advice was great and talk about entertaining! I can't remember when I've laughed so much.
So now I just need to get a really big dinner party and I'm booking a flight to San Diego.
Okay enough of the sappy talk. Love you guys!! Thanks! Okay, now I'm done.
Thank you for your prompt help... I'm all set for now! That Jim Davis is sure the best! We all had such a GREAT seminar with him over the weekend, and came away feeling so fortunate to have had such a terrific instructor. And we all had an absoloute blast! What a terrific program... you are all so personable and helpful! So now, can you send me about 100 clients, so I can get started making my millions?
Hi. My name is Chef Debbi and I am the WCR 2005 APPCA scholarship winner. I debated for a very long time about taking the seminar and was so excited when I won the scholarship! I took the seminar in October and thought that I'd start my business out slowly but clients started seeking me out right away, thanks to Candy and her wonderful team! I've done nearly no advertising and I can take no more clients at this point. This group is supportive and passionate about what they do! Don't hesitate if you're still questioning about taking the seminar. It's easy to get started (be ready to go from the very beginning) and Candy teaches you everything you need to know! Thanks Candy!
I would like to echo the comments from the chefs at Gift of Thyme. We attended the 2-day seminar last weekend together in San Diego. What an incredible experience! The group represented all walks of life...age, gender, experience/no experience in the food service industry, formally trained or self-taught. But we all had one thing in common. We are passionate about food and want to make it our vocation, either full or part-time. The information we got from Candy and the ensuing conversations were so valuable. The encouragement and support from each other was motivating. We couldn't wait to get back home and get started! We are so fortunate to have had Candy pave the way. She has removed so many road blocks and organized invaluable resources to make our start-up easier. Where else could you get great training materials, access to low-cost insurance and web designers and an established group of veterans ready to cheer you on? I am so grateful for the hard work that my new Personal Chef colleagues, but especially Candy, has done to make this adventure into a new career go smoothly. There is so little monetary investment for all that a new personal chef gets in return. I encourage any of you to consider "jumping in." The water is great!
I just flew in from the seminar in San Diego and I have to say it was the best money I've ever spent. The training manuals and seminar are priceless and when you realize what this little nitch in the culinary industry really is and what it can mean for you (even those of you with "no formal training" or second career folks), it all makes sense and it just brings a calming smile to your face. Does this sort of work sound delightful and rewarding? It is! Does the APPCA seem like a credible and legit association and support center? It is! Don't sit back and let what seems to be right pass you by. I am so glad I took this chance and I would have regreted it if I didn't. Now, I get to look forward to a future that I am in control of, making money I deserve, doing what I love and am passionate about, working on my terms, with no more nights, weekends or holidays or corporate ladder. If any of you need any extra boosts or more details please email me and I'd be more than happy to chat with you. Candy Wallace is an amazing pioneer for Pesonal Chefs (besides being the sweetest lady you've ever met) and I will be her number one advocate from now on. Hope this helps!
Gift of Thyme PCS
I also bought the materials including the videos and they were great as I could rewind and refer to them often in the beginning but the education you'll get from the forums is priceless IMHO!
I just had my first official cookdate today, and it went great. I just want to take a moment to thank you all for all the help I've received. First, I owe a HUGE part of my success to the October training in Maryland that Candy and Jim did. It helped me develop my "elevator speech," which has landed me TWO clients. And second, these forums have been so helpful to me both in recipe research, pricing, "cook kit" development, and cookdate strategy.
This is exactly how I envisioned my business getting off the ground, and it is working beautifully. So thank you, fellow personal chefs, for helping me launch my fantastic new career. I certainly couldn't have done it without you!
In May 2005, I joined the American Personal & Private Chef Association as one of the ways I could support my decision to change careers and become a personal chef. About the same time, I enrolled as a culinary student at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR. Since that time I have heard multiple accolades about our association and you specifically, Candy. As a student member of ACF, I receive the periodical, Sizzle, published by the organization. What a treat it was to see you featured in the article, "Advice from the Pros!" It was great to see our niche of the industry represented in such a positive way. Also recently, I was on the student panel that met with the ACF accreditation team on their site visit to our school. During introductions, we were asked to talk a little about our visions for our professional future. When I said that my goal was to be a personal chef, all members of the panel commented on how they had heard you speak at a recent conference and they were so impressed with what you said. Again, I was proud to be affiliated with our organization!
Just wanted to let you know I have not one, but TWO clients now. (Only got the business license 10 days ago.) Both clients came from the personalchef.com web site. The first client assessment took about three hours. That woman can TALK. (A moment of silent prayer that she is not home on Monday, her first cook date.)
It works. You're the best.
I just wanted to take a moment to comment on the seminar that I attended in New Jersey the weekend of October 15. As with any new venture, I was very nervous about becoming a personal chef prior to attending the seminar. I know that I can handle the cooking, but I was concerned about the business end. Jim Davis is a great instructor. He was so generous with sharing his knowledge. He discussed how to start our businesses, PR, menu planning, and so many other relevant topics. He also had us work on that all important elevator speech. This past Saturday, I found myself giving my elevator speech to a room full of people at a cocktail party. I mentioned the words "personal chef" and was like a scene from one of those old E. F. Hutton televison commercials. Everyone stopped talking and listened to every word. Before the seminar I would not have been comfortable discussing the profession or my career goals. Since I returned to CT, I've prepared my brochure, started working on a website, and had my first client assessment interview. I'll be cooking for him later this week. I would encourage any visitor to this forum who may be thinking about entering the profession to attend one of the seminars.
Thanks to Candy for your wonderful seminar this past weekend in San Diego. You are a superb teacher and the information was in depth and exactly what we needed to get started in this wonderful industry!
Excellent information, so many tips and helpful hints. I always feel if I get one great idea from a weekend seminar, it's been well worth my time - this weekend far exceeded my expectations. I learned so much and thank you for sharing your wealth of information. Your passion is contagious!
The logistics of the class were also very good. You handled all our random questions with grace (sorry if we all broke into your flow so many times!) We're all so excited so thank you! The location was fine and I loved the size of the class, it felt very intimate.
I would tell anyone to attend the class rather than simply read the manual - your information, first hand was the springboard I needed to start my business off on the right foot.
All personal chefs are guaranteed success with the APPCI!!
I just wanted to let you know again how much I enjoyed attending the 2 day personal chef class in Gaithersburg last weekend. It was really terrific. I learned more than I had ever hoped for. You are a wealth of information and the practical experience you shared was invaluable. I enjoyed your style and sense of humor very much. I feel like if I lived near you we could be instant friends for life.
I wasn't sure if I would really go forward with this at first, but after the weekend I am excited about doing what I love for real now.
Your speakers, including Jim were all great, however I felt like I identified with your style and approach more so than the others. I am people person and really think working with the elderly will be very satisfying.
I am not the most organized, detailed oriented person (except when it comes to cooking). My only worry is to make sure I keep organized enough to run this like a real business. I ran a couple of online business' in the past selling gifts and such. I ended up giving too much away and keeping my prices low which caused me to not make any profit at all...and actually lose money. I hope this doesn't happen in this effort. I have a tendency to be too nice and too giving...and I am famous for not being able to say 'NO'.
Anyway..I hope I can write you at times to ask for advice or suggestions on how to handle situations. You have really done a remarkable job building the visibility of this business. The respect of the industry, as well as admirations from your peers must bring you such inner happiness and satisfaction at a job well done.
I will definitely attend Seattle's conference (or wherever it ends up). Take care and talk to you soon.
I attended a seminar taught by Jim in February and it was fantastic! I still can’t believe how much I learned in just two days. It was great to learn the ropes from Jim. He’s not only extremely knowledgeable about the business, but also very entertaining. Having left a teaching career to start my personal chef business, I can say that there aren’t many people out there who can present for 8 hours and keep it interesting. Jim made the seminar informative and fun.
I still refer back to the pages of notes, tips, suggestions, advice, and ideas for my business that I got in February. When I was finally able to dedicate myself full-time to starting my business in early July, I reviewed everything that I had from the seminar. I followed Jim’s advice and I’m happy to share that in less than three months I already have three weekly clients.
Going to a seminar is really a must if you want to get your business up and running with success. If you have any doubts about spending the money, just remind yourself that the seminar is a key part of your business investment. It’s worth every penny and then some!
Proud to say I am finally a member of the American Personal Chefs Association.
Had to learn the "hard way" again. Shopped for liability insurance and web hosting on my own. Wow. Wonder how some people survive doing liability insurance on their own. No comparison on what the APPCA offers vs. paying for liability insurance on your own.
Thanks also for your kind words and low key sales approach. Your competition just doesn't get it. Everyone I talked to at San Diego and in Chicago was very helpful.
Please pass on to Karen Tursi how great she is to be part of the APPCA. She is truly a walking poster for how to be a personal chef.
Looking forward to a long relationship with the APPCA.
Hello Chef Candy:
Thanks for all of the stuff you sent to me. I am definately going with YOUR program soon. I have a new message phone. I will be in touch in the coming weeks. Again, thanks! Bon appetit,
Hi chef Candy,
I received your information packet and have browsed your sight quite often. Of the three big personal chef sights, I think I like yours best. Especially your commitment to the industry...
Thank you so much for your help this morning. I have talked to everyone now. But you made my decision for me. The level of professionalism and your love of what you do tells me a lot. I think you are definately going to be able to help more, and teach me more than anyone else.
Hi Terry, Candy and Meredith!
I just received my prize package today and I am SOOOOOOOOO excited!!! First of all, I love getting surprise packages...and second, I opened up my box and kept finding more and more goodies as I went through!! I found the spice caddy first and thought - oh wow, that's awesome...I need that!! I love that! Then I found the framed and signed beautiful award and I was so thrilled and proud and can't wait to hang it on my wall and put it on my website now that it feels official!! Ooh, maybe I'll scan it....when I figure that out that is!! Next I found the cool measuring beaker that won't tip over - and won't leak like my other one...now I just have to decide whether it is going to go to work with me or stay home....hmmm!! Such FUN decisions!! Then I found my awesome microplane that I totally can't wait to use - LOVE it!! NEED it!! And THEN I found an envelope with a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE TO MAC KNIVES!! I was like, oh my gosh - that is awesome!! Woohoo!! yippee!! I already have the original APPCA knife kit from Mac and a santoku (the cook's illustrated knife winner) that I got about two years ago -- and now I am already shopping on the website to find my next Mac knife!!
I thank you all so much for these wonderful prizes and for all the work you did on putting together such a professional and exciting contest! I am still so proud to have won (especially the vegetarian one!) and receiving this wonderful package today just brought back all of my original pride and excitement!!! I am so proud to be a member of APPCA and now a very happy 2005 Best Vegetarian Recipe Winner!
Thanks so much again and all the best to you guys!!
I attended the Charlotte Seminar April 23rd and 24th. Wow! What a great way to power up my business! Jim Davis is an excellent and informative instructor, and was very patient with all my/our questions. Thanks Candy for encouraging me to go.
This is Phyllis Brannin. I just attended the San Diego Seminar this past Saturday and Sunday April 9 & 10. What an incredible experience! A wealth of information in a relaxed, warm and nurturing atmosphere. Just one of the many affirmations I have had this week that I am defininetly on the correct career and life path. Thank you Candy and Dennis for starting my journey on such a positive note.
This morning, I booked a Mother's Day sit-down dinner for 8 adults and 2 children and procured a 5 x 4 client for every two weeks!
Candy, it was so nice to have someone to share my victory dance with verbally on the phone right after it happened.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In my opinion, the seminar is invaluable in terms of information and tips that you could never gleen from the videos alone.
Please attend if you afford to do so... the seminar in fabulous in terms of a confidence booster and from a information standpoint.
Well I'm back from sunny San Diego and in sunny Fort Lauderdale... just wanted to send a note of thanks for your fabulous seminar!
I've been to many seminars in my (former) career as an Art Director and I have to say, the fact that I am so enthusiastic about yours tells me I'm on the right track in my choice to become a Personal Chef. I realize now that had I just purchased the the tapes and course materials, I would have missed all of the great tips, insights and wealth of personal knowledge that only a class with you can provide. The seminar gave me such a boost in confidence. I now really know that, yes, I can do this. I'll be able to do the kind of work that I really love, and support my client's well-being with delicious meals.
I'll ditto that! I have yet to launch my full-fledged campaign to let my community know I'm in business, but I've received 4 inquiries via Find A Chef in the past 6 weeks. Plus, I got a call this week from a local reporter wanting to interview me for a small publication. Once again, she found me on the APPCA website. I definitely feel I joined a great organization.
I just wanted to tell you what a great seminar and over all conference this was. I felt such a sense of companionship with everyone here. Usually I keep to myself at stuff like this, but that was not an option here. Everyone was so friendly and fun to be with. It was just like I was always meant to be with this group of people. Wow...it was just great.
It also reinforced my confidence and desire to be a personl chef. The cooking classes at AI did the same thing. THey confirmed I already know a heck of a lot and gave me some great pointers.
You were especially motivating and inspiring. I felt your love for this business and your desire to help others succeed and make it grow as an industry. You weren't selling anything. Just giving us the support we need to make it happen for us. Thank you so much for that.
Well, I guess I'll be talking with you over the next year and hope to see you in New Orleans.
Thanks again for wanting so much for all of us,
Beth you are a professional and pleasure to converse with (prompt and professional). Thank you for your efforts, I would not give up the privilege of using the APPCA web link.
The APPCA is the best personal chef organization ....................period.
...I would like to add one more thing. I have recently left the Royal Navy after twenty four years service, and took your book to my careers advisor just before leaving because we have an interview on what we are going to do and if we have any questions about our future.
My advisor stated that she wished every company could produce a manual as concise and helper to new business starters as yours is, she was overwhelmed with the amount of advice and information contained in your manual. I also would like to thank you for your help and I hope that my business will serve you well as an advertisment for your association and that I shall be kept very busy in the future.
thank you once again.
Thank you so much dennis-
again, i hope everyone in the web class realized what a great opportunity for exposure being on the person chef search website will be. you were so right when you mentioned it is the first site that pops up during a search, and if i were looking for a chef, what better place to find one than on the APPCA web site.
I had been dragging my heels, procrastinating about doing more marketing - ok, doing ANY marketing, when I finally decided to contact APPCA about putting up my little one-pager website. Well, I gotta say - it's been the best thing (after joining APPCA)that I've done in a really long time!
I've been getting phone calls and emails from all sorts of potential clients and today, just rec'd an email from a local newspaper planning to do a story on personal chefs! Needless to say, I had never bothered to send over a press release or anything else and am thrilled to be getting the attention!
I'll be sure to let everyone know if I make it into the article!
I was one of the newbies attending the seminar led by Chef Dane Mechlin in Santa Clara this past weekend (January 24-25). (You can probably tell I'm a newbie because I registered my real name as my user name. Now I've noticed that nobody else seems to do this. I guess I'll have to figure out how to change mine!)
I found this seminar absolutely invaluable. I can honestly say that it exceeded my expectations -- by far! The seminar focused on the business aspects of being a personal chef, and particularly on business startup. So, writing a business plan, identifying demographic groups to which you hope to sell your services, and marketing -- especially marketing! -- were all addressed. This business is admittedly "not rocket science," so someone who has some business background might imagine that they don't need any coaching on these subjects. Not so, in my opinion. Every business has its unique characteristics and challenges, and if you have a chance to learn about these from the experience of others you should seize it. Learning from your own mistakes is really the only alternative, and mistakes can be very costly in a business that is necessarily reliant on reputation and word-of-mouth for building a clientele. I told my wife after the seminar that I was confident that it was well worth the time and money just for the mistakes it would enable me to avoid. (And I got a lot more out of it than that.)
It is pretty easy to list the topics addressed in the seminar. It is much harder to convey the value of the interactions with Chef Dane and the other people taking the seminar. Dane is a very encouraging person, as well as being very knowledgable, and I don't imagine any of us doubted the sincerity of the encouragement he gave us. And talking to the other newcomers was equally encouraging in its own way. I felt considerable relief just from learning that everyone else has their own reservations and concerns, just as I do. But each of us also has some significant strengths, and talking about them with others helped me realize that this business really can provide opportunities to take advantage of them.
The bottom line for me is that I feel much more excited and confident about entering this business on account of attending the seminar. I really can't ask for much more than that.
Looking back at what I've just written, I do believe I've been gushing! This is not my habit by any means -- on the contrary, I tend to be pretty critical. But in this case, I just don't have any significant criticisms to offer.
I know this particular discussion forum can be viewed by people who are just considering whether to become personal chefs, and I would like to offer one specific piece of advice to them. You have the option of just obtaining the written materials that are provided for the seminar and treating it as a "home study" course. Don't, unless you just absolutely have no option. The additional cost for attending the seminar is not much, relatively (although you might also have to incur some travel costs). But I don't think I can overstate the additional value of it. I read all of the materials (well, not ALL of those recipes) before the seminar. Yes, a lot of those materials were used at the seminar, but I got so much more out of the discussions and the opportunity to ask questions of Chef Dane and talk with other newcomers than I did from just reading them, I was actually really surprised by it. If you are serious about this (and why would you spend $700 on the materials if you weren't?), take advantage of one of these seminars. It is definitely worthwhile.
Hey, Jim -
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for all of your awesome advice and support! My first cook date was AMAZING! It took me about 5 1/2 hours shopping - clean up (4x4). I was tired at the end of the day, but not exhausted as I had expected and I had SO much fun!
The plan was for me to come and cook so his mother wouldn't have to cook for their daughter while they were away. Afterward, I would come bi-monthly for them. Well, they went thru eight of the sixteen meals in 2 1/2 days! The best part is that it looks like I may be switching to weekly (YEAH!!!) - we're going to talk when they return from a business trip. Also, he is the publisher/president of the only newspaper so we're talking about some sort of press....any suggestions?
After the September seminar, I hit so many PA red tape glitches, that I thought this would never happen. Thank you for giving us the vision to see past today and to focus on the possibilities of tomorrow. Your seasoned advice really helped me to not give up (at least not until I earned back that $1000!!) and I'm so glad I didn't.
You are the best!
Blessings and joy,
Chef Candy,I wanted to drop you a line to let you know how incredibly helpful and informative the workshop at L'Academie de Cuisine was for me. I have been toying with the idea of becoming a personal chef for some time and after taking the class I finally feel I have the tools and the support to actually make it happen. Both you and Chef Jim were wonderful in conveying the information found in the materials, but also in sharing your personal stories and anecdotes with the class.
Thank you again!
Hello Chef Patt:
Wow, I finally did it:) Thanks so much for your help earlier. I am reading all the questions from the forum and truly amazed with the diversity of questions asked and the spontaneous help provided by the other members. It's like a class room with a very welcoming and encouraging atmosphere. I feel excited and very motivated:)
Happy New Year! The second week of the year I receive 6 phone calls from potential new clients. There must be alot of new resolutions, I guess. That is the most I have ever gotten at one time. I have already cooked for two of these leads and have received back 3 more client profile forms with set meeting dates next week.
I asked all of them how they heard of me: my web site, a referral, signs on my van, or the APPCA website? Everyone said from the APPCA website. I have been a member of the APPCA for over 5 years and it's great to realize it works for new reasons and old. Yes, I think I'll pay my membership fee again this year and go to the APPCA Summit to smile and learn new tricks with friends.
You absolutely, positively, must have a link to the APPCA website. All of my current customers have found me through the Find A Chef feature. By the way, did you know that the APPCA is the first association returned when you do an Internet search on a major search engine for personal chef? How much do I think that's worth? About $1200 a week for me...
Just a short note to thank you thus far for all your help in my decision to become a personal chef. I know I joined the BEST organization. I am looking forward to my new career and promoting APPCA. Thanks again.
I simply wanted to write and thank you for all your assistance. A few months back, I contacted the APPCA regarding my externship from the Orlando Culinary Academy. Immediately, you got on the phone with me to discuss my need for a mentor. My school allowed me to use my business as my externship and I needed a mentor. You recommended Chef Ira Michaelson. And you were right! Chef Ira has been a great help and answered countless questions. I'm so glad I joined the APPCA!
Thanks again for all your encouragement and assistance!
I am a very new member of APPCA. I joined the organization yesterday after talking to few members, a staff member, and you regarding liability insurance, and would like to thank you for your time.
I am a cross-cultural and bilingual culinary professional with background in design. I’ve received culinary education in San Francisco and worked in restaurants. This spring I found myself suffering from strain and left restaurant environment. As scary as it is, I m committed to build my business and actualize my mission to preserve myfamily’s culinary tradition; raise awareness of food, health, and season among dining public, and make people well and joyous.
I am also a member of WCR and enjoyed reading the article about your organization on Entrez newsletter. I am hoping to introduce myself at the annual conference in November.
Thank you for building the organization where people like me can find the support and new possibilities. If I can support the local (SF) chapter in any way, please let me know.
Bringing wellness and joy to your dinner table
It was sure great seeing you again in Washington, D.C. I wanted to personally thank you for organizing the personal touch demonstration at our convention. From all accounts, it was a tremendous seminar and workshop.
I've heard what a great success your conference in San Diego was. Your work and dedication speaks well for the personal chef industry.
Let's keep talking, sharing, and growing together.
Mike Baskette, CEC, CCE, AAC
ACF Director of Operations
When I decided that it was time to do something for myself, a very difficult decision for Cancer women, my first choice was pop star. Since my daughter told me that I couldn't sing or dance, I had to look for something else. I was a nanny for eight years, service director for two years, accounting assistant for three years, and a personal assistant for the last five years. Personal chef made perfect sense to me.
When I started my research into the profession, I quickly realized that a national, professional affiliation was absolutely necessary. I printed each page of the websites of the three major organizations. My husband and I read over them many times - comparing points on each one. For months, I spent my evenings pouring over huge amounts of information, needing to make the best decision for me, and my family.
By the time I felt like I knew everything I could learn from reading - looking at websites of members of the different affiliations, I decided to make some phone calls. I made more than one call, but my conversation with Candy Wallace made my decision for me. This is the right profession for me, and APPCA is the best professional association to help me succeed. I know I can make this change in my life with the support offered by Candy and the APPCA.
Thank you so much for your attention - to my silly questions and my grave concerns, for the confidence in my success and your dedication to making this a profession to be proud of.
Susan Conner Banchs
New Orleans, LA
I am working on my business plan and self-studying for my serv-safe test in August.
I hope to run my test cook-dates (I have four lined up) in September and start advertising in October!
I think I may have finally found the business for me. My biggest worry is not the cooking or work involved but in finding the new clients. The forums really help. There are a ton of good ideas out there.
Thanks for supplying such a great resource. The Web is a wonderful place.
Thank you Candy Wallace and staff!
Just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to promote my business. The A.P.C.A. has been a great marketing tool for me. I appreciate all the kindness you have given me.
Chef Cindy Rhodes
Le Chef D'Amour Fine Catering
..I just viewed the tape "A Day in the Life" and am delighted with the presentation. It showed the "nuts and bolts" details that I needed to extend my services to individual families. Thank you for bringing this opportunity to my family.
The Bread Man
Just wanted to send a thank you for getting back to me with the preliminary info on the Summit. I appreciate so much that a real person answers my e-mails and that you care so much about your members! Just another reason I love being part of the APPCA!
"Wow! A whole year has gone by! Once again, thank you for helping me change my life and for all you do for all of us."
"I have enjoyed my membership in the APPCA so much. The forums have been a great source of inspiration, recipes, advice and friendship. Thanks you for all your hard work."
"My association with the APPCA has been nothing short of wonderful. My business is soaring and prospering."
Hi Candy!I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for coming to Denver to lead the Personal Chef seminar this past weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and left the weekend very invigorated and inspired. I know that no matter what direction I take I will use many of the ideas presented by you..
I also wanted to let you know that I have attached the picture that was taken of you and I and my buddy, Kim Hicks, from this weekend. I think it turned out pretty good!Once again Candy, I'd like to thank you for your tireless efforts in bringing this exciting career path to the forefront and giving it the credence and credibility it so deserves. You are truly an inspiration.
With Best Regards,
If so I am happy to respond to the survey! Wow, that would be awesome to win the drawing for the summit!
The APPCA has provided the support and information that I have needed in the past and would expect that our awesome members will continue to help when I need it. I try to pass on whatever helpful information that I can to those who need it. I am very happy with my decision to join the APPCA and am proud to be a member.
Although I will be attending the Summit next week, I thought I would send you an e-mail to thank you for all that you do instead of trying to tell you in person since I know you will be very busy next week.
I have been in the food industry since 1994 working part time for caterers learning the business. In 1998 my 20 year marriage ended and I needed to go from being a stay at home mom to a full time worker. I started a catering business and it was good because I was able to still be there for my son when he needed me. However catering can be very stressful and I had enough stress in my life. Last March I spoke with someone about the personal chef industry and immediately got on the internet to obtain more information about this new and up and coming industry. The first organization I discovered was APPCA. It sounded to good to be true. I looked at other organizations but I came back to APPCA. Two days later I ordered the tapes, became a member and began my personal chef business. I gave myself at least 6 months before I would get my first client. Two months after becoming a member, I had my first client. Sinc! e then I have obtained two more clients and I am currently working on publicity in my area to let people learn more about Personal Chefs.
My son just left home to start college in Boulder, Colorado, my life is somewhat settling down after adjusting to a nasty divorce and my personal chef business is on a roll.
If it wasn't for this wonderful organization you started and the immense support I get from the forum, I don't know where I would be now. I still have my catering business but I prefer being a personal chef.
The other night as I drove home after doing a food assessment for a new client, I suddenly felt like my life was back on track again. All I could think of was Candy Wallace was a gift from God for me. I was told in my darkest days that as one door closes another one opens. I thought for me that would never happen. Boy was I wrong.
Candy, my chef hat is off to you. By starting the APPCA, you have helped me in more ways than you can imagine. I love what I am doing and I really am happy about that.
I just needed to let you know that you are very instrumental in helping me get my life back in order.
If we have a chance to meet face to face at the Summit, I will give you a big hug.
I'm just getting set up to start my business...I'm one of those "crazy ones", trying to get everything ready in 30 days...but I'm actually almost there!
I just wanted to say a thousand thanks to Candy and everyone else in the APPCA! I've gone through the training manuels and am reading the forums daily...I'm sooo impressed with the caliber of people, the support everyone is willing to give, the practical suggestions, and the committment everyone has to the success of, not only their own businesses, but to the success of others!
I first heard about the APPCA a few months ago when I read a press release about Chef Kerri's Gooseberry Fool. I've had a desire to work in the cooking industry for many years, but still wanted to be my own boss, and didn't really have the knowlege how to make it happen.
Since the first day I phoned and spoke with Candy, I knew this was the way I wanted to go! Candy, your dedication to this association and the personal intrest you took in supporting me really made the difference! I'm truly grateful!!!
I also had the privilege of spending time with Chef Kerri. She showed me how she put her kit together and gave me many wonderful suggestions...her help is invaluable to me, Kerri, thank you with all my heart!! Kerri also helped to ally so many fears I had! (Ok, I still have some fears, but I'll just keep reading all your wonderful experiences and suggestions on the forums!) What a beautiful team to be a part of!!!
I wish I could meet everyone at Orlando next month, it just isn't possible for me to come at this time. But I'm already determined to go next year...by then, I hope I can be there to encourage others, the way you all are now encouraging me!
Grazie mille e tutto!
A thousand thanks to all,
As a professional chef on a yacht, I already knew how to cook. What I needed to know was how to market my service, how to set up my business and how to reach potential clients. The APPCA provided all that and more. I got all most all of my clients from personalchef.com. I love owning my own business.
Chef Dane Mechlin, CEC
Nadine and Dane's PCS
Santa Clara, CA
"As an ACF member, I have learned the value of a national organization which supports my profession. As a personal chef, no other organization has compared to the APPCA in providing this same level of professionalism, and support. I am confident in my cooking, but they have given me the tools to build a successful and rewarding business."
Chef Ira Michaelson
Your Personal Gourmet
"A Personal Chef Service"
If you are SERIOUS about this business, you must make the investment in enrolling in this seminar. If you've already purchased your training materials, the additional cost to attend a seminar is not that much (Just call Candy and ask!). There is NOTHING like getting together with experienced PCs (Jim Davis conducted and Wendy Perry visited), along with other new PC's--to sit down, face- to-face with "Experience" and hammer out all those questions you have (packaging, procedure, marketing, etc., etc., and yes--those insecurities too! There's no way to ever put all this into a training manual. Each of us are different, and we, therefore, will want to run our businesses differently. The seminar helps you "run with it."
The forums are WONDERFUL, however, the one-on-one is priceless!
Jim and Wendy, heartfelt thanks once again.
A Thought For Food
. . . and P.S. Candy Wallace - You impress the daylights out of me! There are NOT many heads of major organizations that are SO accessible. Every time I've dialed the 1-800 number, Candy has answered! Most other places you get the freakin . . . "If you want this, press 1, for this press 2." And then there's the e-mail response! Thanks for the wonderful example!
Thanks Patt so much for the prompt attention. I had a great time at the seminar and it it so nice to have faces to connect to the names. FYI: When I got home I had a message from a woman who wants my service as well as her daughter and for her mother! I have as assesment meeting with her on Friday! Great blessings and joy!! Thank you again for all the encouragement and support and I may be calling you for a pep talk before Friday.
I greatly enjoyed meeting with you at the (IACP) conference. You are a gifted speaker with tremendous presentation skills. Your workshop was a hit!
I am looking forward to discussing the Personal Chef option in greater detail soon. Regretably, I will be in LA this weekend and unable to attend your San Diego workshop this time. I will contact you when I return to see if we can set up another time when you're in town.
Should I return to live in San Diego after culinary school next year, perhaps we can network more often.
Thanks so much for your help. I really love this organization and have learned so much from the forum and the materials. I now have three clients, another who will be starting next month, and two more who are very interested. I was so nervous to make the leap, but everything has gone so smoothly, and I think a lot of that is due to the APPCA.
my name is lisa and i'm a member in the boulder co area. my business is personal culinary preparations. let me say first that i have received more new clients via the internet than any other media form. joining was a definate plus and i would reccommend it to any new personal chef. i'm going to be traveling to thailand and austraila for 6 months. i want to study the cuisine in each area, but am especially interested in thai cooking. from what i have seen on the internet most of the thai cooking schools are geared for tourists (non professionals). i am looking for a more indepth study of thai cooking. could you suggest any particular school? any help in this area would be greatly appreciated. also, are there any websites for personal chefs in that area? i found one for austraila, but nothing for thailand. Thank you so much for your help.
I spoke to you before Christmas and I am now getting my feet off the ground I want to let you know how much i have enjoyed the wealth of information in your kit I am excited to begin my personal chef business and I look forward to on-line discussions.
Hello, I first would like to thank you for letting me pursuit my dreams. I've always love to cook and when I realized I wanted to become a Chef, It was too late. I've already had two children and an Internet business with my husband. I couldn't possible say to him...Honey, I quit...I am going to school for a year to become a Chef and when I graduate who knows who will hire me... Surfing the net I found you and well...I had made a name for myself here in Montego Bay. I don't particularly follow your rules. Things in Jamaica are different. Everybody has a maid so I don't cook for them. They also don't beleive in frozen food, BUT!!! I implemented a eat healthy plan and since Jamaicans don't know how to eat healthy, they hire me to cook their meals daily. I cook their three meals plus two snacks from my house and they pick it up from me and put it in their fridge. I also cook for parties and corporations. Anyways, I like more information about college. Can you do it online or by mail??? Thanks, Madelaine
..It is apparent you all really enjoy what you do . . . thank you for your dedication. I also want to complement you on the advice to purchase the Mastercook software. It is truly useful tool, and with the for a $10 rebate, a real bargain. Keep up the good work.
Enough can't be said about your efforts! While I'm a new pc (first cook date is Tuesday), I joined the APPCA back in November. Once I laid out all of the business plans, made it through the holidays and a needed medical procedure, I started advertising/marketing. I'm happy to let you know that my first client found my website via Find A Chef, only 1 week after my link being added to the site!
I've also collected a $1,000 fee for an event I'm catering for a party of 12. My closing ratio is at 100% (ha ha)! I do however, recognize that what this closing ratio means is that Find A Chef brings in well qualified leads.
And today, I received an email from an individual in Canada who found my website through Find A Chef and is wondering if I could provide consulting services to help her begin her business. My background is in consulting, so this of course is invigorating! I of course will be passing her information along to you so that you might contact her to further support my recommendation that she join the APPCA.
Thanks for you efforts. They do not go unnoticed!
I spent most of Saturday and Sunday reviewing your web site and reading through the archives. Personally, I believe this is a wonderful tool because it gives a prospective PC the opportunity to visit the archives and have most, if not all, of their questions answered. I have always loved cooking and I believe it is truly my passion. The price you charge for the course is VERY reasonable and I know within a month (if not before) I will be able to join your organization. It is good to know that you don't have to be a professional trained chef or have a culinary degree. Moreover, while reading the responses in the archives, it became very clear that APPCAs are more like a family and are always willing to help. The information that was given to potential PCs was very endearing. Candy, you have definitely touched the pulse of the camaraderie that is needed for everyone to become successful.
People often forget that Together Each Accomplish More.
Have a great day! :-)
I am fairly new as well, about 4 months. I am so loving this job.. I have no clients yet, but I may after tomorrow when I have a business breakfast with 50 of the areas business owners. I am so excited. I do have a hot tip for you. Use the website in the manual www.kidon.com and type in your state and get all the newspapers and tv stations in your area and email and send a hard copy of your press release. I did this on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning I had an email from a paper about it, a call from a paper about it and a tv crew that wanted to film me cooking for a client.
Candy really knows what she is talking about, use her info and have fun!!!!!!!!
Last night I typed up my press release and went to the www.kidon.com website like suggested in the manual to search for Maine newspaper publications. I emailed the local publications with the press release and also printed a hard copy and mailed it. Just from email alone, I got two calls. One was from the local tv station which I emailed for the heck of it and hoping they would just print it on their website and they asked if I would be interested in either doing a cooking show in my home once a week or doing a tv interview for my PC business. I was so floored I almost died.
Then 5 minutes later I got a call from a newspaper that said they were going to print the release or atleast part of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moral of the story-
Part 1: THANK YOU CANDY for such wonderful advice and such an awesome oppurtunity.
Part 2: Use that website!!!!! Email and send hard copy.
Thank you for your time and ideas during our phone conversation. I took your advice and have been reviewing the archives. And am I glad I did! Your support and ideas, even though I haven't spent a dime yet, have completely sold me on becomming a member of APPCA! The level of support and goodwill is exactly what I am looking for to align myself with, and to do so proudly! I still must wait a few weeks (grrrr) to order the home study package, but am taking your advice and cooking for free for friends in exchange for refrences. I am just a little worried that I still don't quite know what I am doing and am hoping for the best! lol
Thank you for helping me to change my life:)
An ex-Avionics Tec..
I followed your examples in the book for Press Releases and got a great article published in our local paper.
If you care to view the text, it is located at www.postherald.com. Once you are there look under archive dates for Wed., August 29, 2001 and view the Flavor section. The food photo isn't opening but the article was very nice.
Thanks for such a detailed booklet.
I went to Candy Wallace's seminar at the ACF Chef's Forum 2001, and was thoroughly impressed and interested in what she had to say. Best seminar I ever attended! Have to save for the dues money, but will join as soon as I can. Would love for this to be my new career, and need to learn everything I can about pursuing it. I do personal catering now, but would probably be able to begin my search for a client base from the one I have. I'm so excited!!! Thank you for being available for people like me!
I just had to post a Thank You to Candy, Jim (The Cook Too) and all the people that made it possible for us to get together in Jacksonville this past Sunday. Once again I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know new chefs starting out in this area, and touch base with some old friends. I must say the energy in the room was unbelievable!!
We had a chef that came from as far away as Rockville Maryland, one from Orlando, one from Delray in South Florida, and one from Meritt Island Florida. A warm hello to everyone. I was even more pleased to know that there are at least 6 chefs in the Jacksonville area, that are very interested in starting a Local Chapter. So, once I receive the information from Jim, and get over the start of the new school year, (my daughters first) I would like to plan for a meeting sometime around the end of August-begining of September. This should be a great time for all the new chefs just starting out, because we are ending the slow time of the year and the busier times are just ahead. I also would like to invite any local chefs that are interested in attending, that were not able to attend last Sunday, and chefs that live near Jacksonville are always welcome as well, just contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for the details in a few weeks.
Once again, I must say that I am honored to have met all of you, and am looking forward to working with all of you in the future. Take care, cook with passion and have a great day! Chef Tracy
I need to share with all of you that the NPR interview with Candy has brought me nine calls and three e-mails and I have sent six packets of brochures, prices, menus, etc. out just today! I even developed a kid's menu last night! And my phone rings every morning early.....ALL from Candy's interview. All I can say, Candy, is thank you. I'm thrilled!
Gram ( Ellie Ruth)
Dear Fellow Chefs,
I am new to this association, joined in Nov. 2000. This PC business is a longtime dream of mine and I finally got up the nerve to give it a whirl, thanks to chef Candy, she really gave me a lot of encouragement!!! I am a culinary school graduate (Art Institute of Atlanta ) and have been working the hotels and restaurants since my graduation in 1990. Most recently I was an executive chef with Marriott Corporate Services.
The Exec. Chefs in Marriott Svcs. are really an elite group but I have to tell you, they have nothing on you guys!! (all gender inclusive) You Chefs seem to be top notch professionals the way questions are asked and fielded so effeciently.
I knew that I would miss the camaraderie & professionalism then we all enjoyed in our meetings with Marriott, but I think that I have discovered an equal if not transcendent forum in this association. I just wanted all of you to know that I am proud and honored to be considered a part of this group. Best of luck to all in growing their business. Mine has really taken off and I have gotten invaluable help & information that attribute to that, right here on this forum. Keep up the good work Chefs.
Two years ago I got on the internet and found Candy and the APPCA. I bought the whole program; membership, seminar, training program and a listing on personal chef.com. After several months of shuffling my feet and afraid to leave my roots in the restaurant industry, I got down to business and followed her program. It's very hard work starting your own business.
I got customers, made mistakes, got better and then I got quite good. Now, I have 200% of I wanted to achieve. Before taxes, I will make six figures this year. I work five days a week/50 hours. I cook for 10 great clients weekly that love my service and me.
I am certain I would not be this successful, prosperous and happy without Candy & Dennis's organization. We now have a Northern California APPCA Chapter, one of the first, which is supported by the APPCA/APPCI. Everytime I look around this organization is growing and getting better. It's very exciting. Now, I'm part of it.
If you have what it takes, you will love working for yourself in this industry. Save yourself time and money and join THIS organization. Take it from someone who walked the road less traveled.
WHAT A BLAST!! I am SOOO excited -- having just completed a LIVE 30 minute interview on 'GAYBC.com' radio show 'Hangin'OUT.' When our President, Candy Wallace of the APPCA contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining her from the east coast for an on-air interview, I was both excited and nervous. Jeff and Chelle, our on air host however, took no time putting us both at ease. Candy answered questions regarding the association, our beginnings to date and I answered questions regarding my experience as a novice [but already successful] personal Chef as a result of my training thru the APPCA. You can 'hear' our interview on line beginning tomorrow 2/25/2000 after 5:00pm in the 'archives' of the program Hangin’OUT at: www.gaybc.com This is one of the many benefits to being a member of the APPCA. Candy, thank you for garnering advantage for personal chefs across the nation. As always your timing is impeccable.
CONNIE'S Carribean American Soul, A Personal Chef Service
Hi Chefs! I can't tell you how wonderful our meeting was this weekend. If you have not taken the steps to meet w/ others in your area that are doing the same thing you are I can truly say you are missing a great opportunity to network & LEARN. Chefs from all over the state of Texas came to join us as we met to form the Lone Star Personal Chef Association w/ area chapters for the following areas: Central Texas Personal Chef Chapter President: Michael Costilla For: Austin, San Antonio, Brownwood, Waco, Temple, San Marcos & surrounding areas. North Central Texas Personal Chef Chapter President: Donna Prall Dallas Ft. Worth East Texas & surrounding areas Gulf Coast Texas Personal Chef Chapter President: Sharon Worster Houston area Galveston & surrounding areas I have to tell you now that if you haven't yet met Candy Wallace you should do what you can to be where she is going; SHE IS AWESOME! I am speaking for everyone at our Personal Chef 101 Classes & our meetings to say she is TRULY a great person that will point you in the right direction & cares about you & your personal chef business. She has so much to give & 100% does not describe what she gave this weekend. THANK YOU CANDY!!!!!!!!!!! See you in DC......
Your friend in TX,
Hi Lynn, Terry from Toronto here I watched very closely for over a year, both the APPCA and the USPCA, All I can tell you is what I see. I considered joining the USPCA, for a while, but I finally joined the APPCA for several reasons. 1) The APPCA are a caring knowledgeable group, How could I tell? look at the forums, the people know their stuff and are willing to share info with you even though you are not a member yet. 2) The cost comparison speaks for itself, and remember I paid in Canadian dollars. 3) The kit itself is excellent with everything you need to know. 4) Most of all it is the people and support, I'll give you an example, The day I got my first client interview set up ,I was so Nervous, so I sat down at my computer and chatted with three PC's in the chat room, The guy's (you know who you are) offered me support and suggestions on questions the interview process itself and words of encouragement. Needless to say I landed a Regular client . So all I can say is think long and hard but you already are halfway there!! you are in THE APPCA forum!!
I would like to thank you for the phone call yesterday. You really answered a lot of my questions. It's great to have some support. Starting you own business can be a bit scary, but you have calmed my fears. It's nice to know we're not alone.
Again, I want to thank you for your thoughtfullness and knowledge.
This service business, Personal Cheffing, is here to stay! It is one of the 12 fastest growing home based businesses in the country, according to Entrepreneur Magazine's January 1999 issue.
I have been a Personal Chef since 1993. It was the best career decision I ever made. Prior to that I was a private chef and found it very incomplete, not satisfied with servicing just one family. Expanding my business started off a little slow, but I promoted the HECK out of my business. I was able to get on all three TV network affiliates here in San Diego within 9 a nine month period. Boom, business took off. I continued to promote my business anyway I could get peoples' attention. It worked! Happy, satisfied, well fed clients are your best advertising. Word of mouth promotion is very powerful!
Since starting to work here in the APPCI office in January of this year, I gave away alot of my clients, keeping my favorites, just cooking 1 or 2 X a week. I managed the same 14 clients for almost 2 years, working 3-4 days a week; cooking for them every 2, 4 or 6 weeks. I was not able to take on any additional people. Sometimes one would drop off or various reasons, go into a nursing facility, move, but there was always another one to come along it seems. Once you have a few happy clients, word of mouth takes over, this I know! I always offered a wide range of international cuisine, thus it would be hard to get tired of repeat menu items. The feature of our service is preparing healthful, non chemically enhanced, palate specific dinners. This is a welcome change to the way most people are used to eating. Please don't think of food that has been frozen as a negative. It is a way of preserving the flavor and can be enjoyed by the client at their convenience.
I will be in touch with you by phone and look forward to speaking wiht you personally.
I just closed with my first client last Tuesday! The whole client assesment process was very very easy to me.I felt very comfortable throughout the entire thing.Anyway,I left with a check in hand 7 day's prior to my first cooking date! They(a busy couple) need me to cook for them weekly! what a trip! I'm very pleased.
Enclosed, please find a copy of my flyer which I would like to use as my "new Web-page". .... Candy, Thanks so much for your positive support. It's a great help to have you in there with me .
Hello everyone! I am planning to start my own pc business w/i the next year. In doing my research I am trying to make a decision on which 'start up info. kit' to purchase (APPCI or uspca). I like the personal touch to APPCI and the cost is much nicer. Does anyone have any opinions on this subject. THANKS!!!
Well, When I first read this message I was going to wait and see what responses it recieved. I could not believe the flames from the other association. I didn't even want to respond because I didn't have anything nice to say. But, after reading what I've read, I want to tell you my experience. I purchased the package from the USPCA, and spent all the money I had at the time on it. This left me very little to actually start up my business. After a year of working on my start up (Personal and Financial reasons) I finally got enough money together to actually get off the ground. This is when my USPCA membership expired. I was locked out of their PRIVATE forum and all my support was cut off. At first I could of renewed at $199 per year, but after I missed my renewal date, I was informed I could renew at a special price of $99. Also I could "Update my Package" for the minimum of $75 for additional marketing materials, and different prices for other "Updates" AFTER renewing my membership of course. I also asked them about links off of their website to contact other PC's, or to get some names of other PC's to network with, I GOT NOTHING. You can't even E-mail another member directly, you must go through the association. So, I decided to call some Personal Chefs off of this site, and they were the most helpful giving people I have ever come into contact with. Then I spoke with Candy, What a wonderful person, she has spoke with me several times, helped me with many un-answered questions I had, even after a year with the USPCA. Why, She IS a PERSONAL CHEF, She knows what PERSONALIZED SERVICE means, She is an example of that in everything she does. Then because of Candy and this forum I have had the opportunity to network with all the members of this association with out a cost. Linking to other Chefs web sites, help me with marketing, I networked on the "Recipie for Success" network in which the members supported me so much through my first foodshow, it brought tears to my eyes. I know many Chefs have started up their services without puchasing either package, where can you find them? Off of this site only. Do you need to puchase a package? Yes, I think it is neccesary to get up and running without making many common mistakes and to make sure you are doing it legaly. Do you need to spend a fortune to BELONG to the USPCA. Only if you want to RENEW every year to have that privledge, and you want to talk to a staff that are hired for administrative duties like answering the phone. Or would you like to talk to other "Personal Chefs" Granted the USPCA can tell you how big they are or how they CREATED this industry, but will they HELP YOU or do they HELP themselves? From my experience, the only HELP I recieved was from the APPCI and their members. I am sorry that I had to post anything negative on this site about anyone, It is not my style, but to prevent others from making the same mistake I did, I felt I needed to.
Live with Passion Chef Tracy
Source: Open Forum Archives