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Meet Taylor DeCosta of Taylor Made Cuisine in Newport Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor DeCosta.

Taylor, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to cook. I made my first cake when I was eight or nine years old and was entertaining my friends with appetizers by the time I hit high school. It was always a creative outlet for me and something that came really easily to me, but for some reason, I never saw it as a career when I was younger.

After a few years in community college and a foray into the world of retail fashion, I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do with my life – I was aimless. That’s when I met my now-husband, Mike! I didn’t have much to offer (I had a low-paying job as a nanny, I wasn’t in school, I lived at home, etc.) so I cooked to impress him, and I’d like to think it worked!

I would try new recipes and was generally reviving this love for food that was in me all along. He was the one who suggested I look into culinary school and his suggestion made sense to me – it was like a lightbulb went off. I went to Orange Coast College for Culinary School, and that program was really the foundation for so many things that I’ve been able to do since!

While I was in school, I worked in restaurants, as a private chef, and in catering. Catering really stole my heart because it was the most creative of all those outlets. I found myself doing more and more events, as time went on, and I became really good at it – enough so that I thought I could start my own business.

I started Taylor Made Cuisine as a catering company solely at first. I did events on the weekends and still kept regular jobs to pay the bills. It was invigorating! Today, TMC is also a meal-prep company! We added that service a year and a half ago after a catering contact passed my info along to a friend who was looking to have some healthy meals delivered.

I was interested in what that would be like so I accepted the challenge, and it has really taken off ever since. A lot of the creativity and attention to detail that made me so good at catering really helped to set me apart from the other companies in the meal-prep field as well! In the beginning, right after we started the meal prep service, we had a relatively small offering, and our customer growth was purely word of mouth.

As we slowly expanded, we started to realize there was this huge need for customization in the meal-prep world. A lot of our new customers would say to us “I’ve tried other services in the past, and they won’t do ______.” In hearing these complaints, that is how we decided to differentiate ourselves from the competitors: we build the menu to fit the client versus making the client conform to what our offerings are!

We tout our service and the only fully-customize-able meal-prep service in SoCal that also offers all organic non-GMO produce, hormone-free meats & wild caught seafood. We also currently offer eight different dietary programs and support all allergies/restrictions. What TMC stands for: high-quality ingredients, chef-inspired flavors, and attentive customer service!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When the meal prep side started to grow so quickly, we really found ourselves scrambling to find our own location! We searched for several months, and we’re starting to worry that everything would fall apart because we weren’t going to be able to meet demand in the small kitchen space we started out using, I remember Mike and I in this heated argument while we were out to dinner with our grandmas and Mike’s mom.

I was concerned that if we didn’t find a place really soon, that things were going to get stressful very quickly, so maybe we should increase our budget or look in different areas to rent space in, etc. He was adamant about our budget and said that we couldn’t rush this process and that basically that I was being impatient, lol.

His mom said that she might know someone who can help us – which neither of us took very seriously – and we left that dinner feeling very defeated. The NEXT MORNING Mikes mom, Lynne, had a place for us. An abandoned restaurant right by the airport “that no one wants” and the landlord is willing to give us a deal on it. It sounded too good to be true, but we scheduled a visit.

The place needed some love: broken and outdated equipment was abundant, it was dirty from being empty for so long, and I could see why no one wanted it immediately! We gambled on this place, Mike called IRC, I called in some favors from some culinary school friends, recruited my grandma to help me fix up the dining room, and we all got the place slowly looking better day by day!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Taylor Made Cuisine – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Taylor Made Cuisine is a catering and meal-prep company that focuses on creative flavors, high-quality ingredients, and custom menus. Our meal-prep service offers eight different meal programs as well as supports all dietary restrictions and food allergies. We make it easy to eat clean food, that tastes amazing, using the finest ingredients.

Our unique packaging keeps food fresher and more flavorful for longer, giving each customer a sense that they are eating a home-cooked meal. Our catering service is dedicated to making sure the client’s vision comes to life, that all their guests leave the event full and happy, and that we leave their kitchen or space as clean, if not cleaner, than how we found it. Our custom menus ensure that the client’s guests are getting a truly unique and fun experience.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
This holiday season we hope to venture into a new foray in our expanded space: pop-up dinners! We envision small reservation-only dinners of 30-35 people that are fun, funky, and pop-culture inspired. Another outlet for our creative team to serve our community delicious, high-quality food! Can’t wait to send out the first invites!

My hopes for the future is that we continue to grow and serve our community a great product that makes their lives easier and better. We hope to expand our meal-prep territories to outside states through a shipping option in the near future as well.

Pricing:

  • Meal Plans starting as low as $100
  • Catered Parties starting as low as $15 per person

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Jerrick O’Connor, Alan Leyva

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