This is one story from Huff/Post50’s new series “This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015.” We’ll be following 15 remarkable ladies throughout the year as they make a radical change in their lives, whether it’s embarking on a 500-mile hike, starting a new career or attempting to find love on the Internet. Start from the beginning here.
Vivi Griffin, 54, is starting her own catering business this year.
“We’ve been pretty slow until recently, but this month is really busy. I have two catering events lined up for the weekend.
The thing that’s coming up this weekend is going to be a big meal for a nonprofit group. I’m going to make chicken breast stuffed with spinach and goat cheese. Then I’m making rice pilaf from scratch — my aunt’s recipe — and sauteed string beans, Caesar salad and a couple desserts, probably red velvet cupcakes and a lemon cake.
It really is rewarding to see people enjoy your food. I also like at the end when I’m done cooking and I get there and do the set up. It makes it feel worth it after spending all of that time in the kitchen. I like to decorate a little bit, so for me, if I can decorate the table and make it pretty, that’s just another thing I like to do.
I really didn’t plan on getting busy until the summertime. I knew it wasn’t going to move fast, because I’m working two other jobs. I work full-time at the airport as a cook and then I work part-time at law libraries to update law books. I have to set aside time for catering. The only time I can do it is on a Saturday unless I take a day off from work. As things pick up, hopefully I can let go of one of the jobs. That’s the goal: to have more time to devote to the catering so I can get corporate clients and do stuff for offices and things like that.
Every night, I’m working on menus. I spend a lot of time developing recipes. I’ll bring things into my current jobs to get people’s opinions on them, too. I recently took a chocolate chocolate cupcake in to ask people, ‘What do you think? How much would you pay for this?’ I’m trying to come up with prices for my baked goods, because it’s really competitive here — they have so many cupcake and cake places. I’m trying to get where I’m giving people a good product but not pricing myself out of the market.
I’m feeling a little stressed. Because of my two jobs, my only off day is Saturday. So this month, all of my Saturdays are booked. I’m a little tired, but I’ve been taking my iron. People tell me that when you start a business, you have to put the time in and you’re just going to be tired. I’m expecting that, but I’m really, really tired right now [laughs].
But it’s going to be worth it. It’s going to happen. Somebody told me this years ago, and it makes sense now: At some point in your life, you have to find your way to do what you love. If you don’t you’ll be just doing something for the money and that will drain you. This is something I really love to do, and so I’m going to make it work.”
Vivi in the kitchen:
One of Vivi’s dessert spreads: