Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenene Mckay.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jenene. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My mom was a great cook and baker. She would teach me how to make traditional Belizean dishes. I was always eager to help in the kitchen. She allowed me to be creative to come up with new recipes that I would try on my family at age 13. My mom passed away when I was 17, but I remember all of her recipes and I incorporate them in my dishes today.
After graduating high school, I attended Trade-Tech college and I had a choice to either go to Culinary school or Cosmetology, I wanted to do both but because of my financial situation, I decided to pick Cosmetology and I could complete it faster and start making an income sooner. I was a hairstylist Thursday – Sunday and worked part-time at a law office for quite a few years. During this time, I was still cooking and being creative in the kitchen. I stopped being a hairstylist and worked full-time at a law office.
I would have an Annual Christmas party at my home and there would be tons of great food and drinks. Friends and family loved the food and would tell me you cook so good you should do this professionally. So 2015, I was in rut at my 9-5 job and decided one day I’m going to start my own catering company. My sister came up with the name for the business and built my website. I told friends and family to spread the word. I got my first booking in about two months for an engagement party and it took off from there. I was getting booked for small weddings, birthday parties and corporate events. I worked my 9-5 and catered on the weekends.
Since being a wine and food lover in 2018 myself, sister Juliet Sosa and friend Adrienne Galloway started an all-female black-owned wine company Til the Last Sip! It made sense I was already catering private dinners parties pairing wine with food so why not have my own wine! We did everything from the ground up. Purchasing grapes, creating the design for the bottle and cork. We launched our first bottle which is Rose’ of Malbec in January 2020.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been quite a few bumps along the way. Being a female in the food industry can be bit difficult at times, The food business is mostly driven by men. At times we are not taken as serious and we are offered a lower pay. Most people will hire a male chef before they hire a female chef for an event. The male chefs often group together for events and etc. but do not include female chefs.
Please tell us about Til the Last Bite!.
Our catering and private chef business we specialize in custom menu. We do a lot of fusion foods mixing Mexican, Asian, Caribbean with Soul. We also offer traditional southern and Caribbean dishes. We customize the menu according to the type of event you’re having whether you’re having a themed party, set a mood or vibe. I’m known to be one the few chefs that can bake.
I think what sets us apart is that we are all-female crew, we bring so much flavor and passion to our food and we have fun doing what we do, and also that we have our own wine company as well.
I’m proud that we came so far in this short time. It great to see the hard work we put it and to see it come to light, I would have never thought I would own one company and a partner in a second one.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have learned more about California business laws. Also started this journey a while back, but then again I think it happens at the right time.
- Wine $22 a bottle
- Website: tilthelastbite.com
- Phone: 323-719-8303
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tilthelastbite/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tilthelastbite/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/tilthelastbite?lang=en
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/til-the-last-bite-hawthorne