Jacqui started serving up mouth-watering international street food from her food truck, Streatside Cuisine, earlier this year, and she hasn’t looked back since. She has been in the food and hospitality industry for the last 25+ years, working all around the world, in all kinds of culinary settings. Like other entrepreneurs, Jacqui loves to be on the go fulfilling her passion. She wants to be part of a community, building a culture. For her, the young, innovative spirit of Calgary makes it the perfect place to do just that.
A RICH ENTREPRENEURIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM
The idea of Streatside Cuisine began taking form 2 years ago, when Jacqui purchased a truck and built her business from the ground up. As she was launching, she reached out to us at Business Link for guidance with where to go next. We were quick to recognize and understand her challenges, and teamed up with other groups that helped us get Jacqui on the right path. Howard of Design in Motion built her website, and Alberta BoostR’s crowdfunding platform helped her network with other entrepreneurs and support organizations. She quickly realized that there are many other entrepreneurs in the same boat as her, looking for small business help, and that the support available is tremendous.
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF A FOOD TRUCK
Jacqui stresses the importance of planning as it is essential to starting and running a business, but she soon realized that as an entrepreneur, you are always learning new things.
"It’s kind of funny because you always think 'man I’m almost there, I’m almost there', but you realize after a while there is no there, it’s never done." says Jacqui
There are always hurdles to overcome, so she has learned to make friends with them, and over time, they don’t look so daunting. Her business is operational, and that in itself has been a great achievement. An integral part of her business is embracing and creating community, so receiving warm responses from her own community has been the greatest joy.
Jacqui’s biggest challenge lies in mastering social media. As a food truck, social media engagement is a huge component of her business. She likens learning how to tweet and run her website to giving somebody a car who doesn’t know how to drive. Like a true entrepreneur, she is learning as she goes, and doesn’t let these challenges stop her from doing what she loves.
One of Streatside Cuisine's delicious culinary creations
SHARING THE WEALTH: TIPS FOR OTHER ENTREPRENEURS
Throughout the past two years of planning and operations, Jacqui has gathered a wealth of knowledge that can help anyone hoping to start their own business:
- Take the time to do your business plan. Be honest with yourself and review it- critique it. Give the plan to somebody who doesn’t know your business and analyze their opinions or suggestions.
- Go out and network with people.
- Keep your principles and make sure your vision is clear. Recognize what your business is and what it needs.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
Jacqui has done a great job of taking her own advice, and looking at her business to see what it needs to be successful. Streatside Cuisine is already being booked for festivals and markets next year, which is when Jacqui hopes to have a production truck built so she can keep up with the demand. Now that she has a business partner, she expects building the second truck will be a smoother process. While she is currently focusing on providing healthy street food to Calgarians all summer long, she is always thinking up ways to grow the business to be operational throughout the year.
If you’re in Calgary, be sure to visit Jacqui and taste what’s on the menu at Streatside Cuisine! Want to keep updated on her journey? Follow her social media channels below!