Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Maxey.
Tara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We started with a pasta machine in a back pack and worked in off hours of different friend’s restaurant kitchens to create our signature dish, Lasagna Cupcakes. We now sell thousands and thousands and thousands of them! And we operate a catering company, too.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all!!! We didn’t know any rules of business which helped us a lot because we were unafraid (read: naive) enough to break them. This fearlessness really catapulted our growth but we got knocked down (hard!) with punches in the face we didn’t see coming. We got back up every time and learned moves to not get hit that way again. You have to. Entrepreneurship is a game for people with extremely thick skin (so you heal from all those punches!).
Please tell us about Heirloom LA.
We are a full-service catering company, meaning we bring the restaurant to you, but we also offer our same menu delivered hot and ready to eat as a drop-off without all of the expenses of full-service (like the staff, kitchen rentals, etc). Every catering company these days says that they specialize in farm to table menus, but we actually get direct deliveries from farmers so that our vegetables are covered in dirt and sometimes even ladybugs! We don’t open any cans except coconut milk and California tomatoes. We are lucky to be based in California so we work hard to buy all of our ingredients from our home state. If necessary, we will purchase domestic, but never international. We work to keep our eco-footprint down as much as possible. Additionally, all of our meats are pasture-raised (not just “free-range”) and raised in California. I know all of our farmers personally and have visited their land. These practices make me very proud because we have a lot of buying power to make an impact.
Food is the gateway to inclusion and so we do a lot of work with non-profits that serve foster youth. We’ve employed and mentored youth aging out of foster care and we conduct many cooking classes for children, which is a joy on so many levels. Peers have been joining us in this work and that also makes me proud. This work is the light that makes me inspired to work 14-18 hour days without any days off. People who join us express they’d like more of it. Someday, I will open a non-profit.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
OMG…. almost everything. But then again, nothing. It’s so hard to say because my journey with HLA has been a fever pitch of wins and breaks and joys and anguish. I look hard at mistakes and fails to analyze them thoroughly, to learn from them. Of course this makes me go through the shoulda, coulda, woulda process, but in the end, you have to own your mistakes just like you own your wins. There is a lot of luck involved with successes and that’s an element you can’t really control. It’s critical to look forward, look for the opportunities and luck, and swing into it.
- Drop-Off $15-75/person, depending on the menu
- Full-Service $150-200/person, depending on venue and type of service
- Address: 3232 1/2 North Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
- Website: www.heirloomla.com
- Phone: 855-456-6652
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: heirloomla
- Facebook: heirloomla
- Twitter: heirloomla
- Yelp: Heirloom LA
- Other: Pinterest Heirloom LA