The culinary arts have been Monica Wachira’s passion since she started learning to cook at age 5. She went on to study catering, and has worked in restaurants for more than 10 years. Her love of preparing and sharing healthy food led her to join our Food Business Incubator and launch her own business, Monique’s Hot Kitchen, this spring.
Check out Monique’s Hot Kitchen’s catering menu, and find Monica at FIN’s Taste Around the Globe booth at the Federal Way Farmers Market on July 6, and at our new Tukwila Village Farmers Market on July 3. (Stay tuned for more Taste Around the Globe dates.)
You can also meet Monica at our Food and Fashion Makers Night fundraising event, where FIN food businesses will offer up samples of their delicious cuisine. In the meantime, enjoy our Q&A with Monica!
Tell us about your business.
Monique’s Hot Kitchen is a catering business making authentic Kenyan food.
What inspired you to start Monique’s Hot Kitchen?
Every time people come to my house, I cook for them and serve them as if they’re in a restaurant. They like my hospitality and they are happy about my food. They say, “Wow, I felt like I was in a five-star restaurant! You should open a restaurant!”
They see that this is my passion. When you do something you love, it will come out perfect. I make food with love, and I take pride in what I do in the kitchen.
What makes Monique’s Hot Kitchen different from other food businesses?
I make food from scratch using natural ingredients, and fresh, high-quality spices. I can taste the difference between natural and unnatural food. [Where I grew up] in Kenya you could grow things in the garden and take them straight to the kitchen — no GMOs. That’s what I like, and why I use organic food. I want to feed people healthy food. There is so much disease these days caused by unhealthy food.
What do you like most about your work?
I love it when I know I’ve done the best job, and my customers are satisfied.
What have been the biggest challenges in launching your business? What resources have helped?
The challenges have been figuring out where to start, how to start, choosing my business name, and accessing capital! Connecting with FIN and getting coaching from Kerrie Carbary have been a big help.
What would you say to other aspiring food business owners?
Go for what you believe in, don’t give up, and look for resources around you. FIN is a great resource – you can’t go wrong working with them.