Today we’d like to introduce you to Traci Weintraub.
Traci, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a food lover and have always love to cook, throw dinner parties and try new recipes. In 2014 I was diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia) and then Lyme Disease. The doctors basically told me to cut out everything, sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol and on top of this, I had developed a nut allergy.
I actually stopped cooking because I was too tired to formulate recipes or figure out what to make. I lost an incredible amount of weight. My mom actually flew out to LA and force-fed me and started to try recipes substituting your basic things, flour for gluten-free flour, pasta for lentil pasta, etc…
Sure enough, I started to feel better and began prepping my meals for work and rediscovered my love for the kitchen. I would bring over soups or whatever salads I was making to a friends house when we caught up on our reality shows and she asked me if I can cook for her. She started to tell her clients about my cooking and the business took off…
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been a smooth road which in turn has been fantastic. You learn so much when you are starting out and I am still learning. It’s a matter of trial and error.
What kitchen should we cook at, what containers freeze well, what soups people like, what meals people hate. Just registering and getting insurance and permits was all a bit interesting. Setting up a website, delivery, it has all had its own challenges because you really are feeling out what works and you never know for sure until it’s all in place.
Gracefully Fed – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
So we are a small catering company. We put out weekly menus and our clients can choose from a variety of soups, two meals and a treat, weekly. All of our food is organic, gluten and dairy free. I also don’t cook with nuts as I’m allergic myself and we just try to keep it healthy but filling. Our specialty is soups. Soups are great for anyone but more specifically as someone who was chronically ill, they also give you the nutrients your body needs when you can’t get into the kitchen and cook full meals.
I think I’m proud of this company in more ways than one. I’m proud that I was able to take something that negatively affected my life and turn it into something that is incredibly fulfilling. I’m proud of the people who work with me and keep this business running. And it always makes me happy when we get good feedback from a client. That’s the best!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Aw man! I was super proud when we finally got into our shared commercial kitchen and starting cooking for real. It was something that I didn’t think was going to happen and when it finally did, I was kind of blown away.
But… I think my proudest moment was when I had a client reach out telling me my story hit home for her and was wondering if I could ship soups. She is in the thick of her journey with Lyme (which I’m super familiar with) and wanted to see if I could help her. Since our correspondence, I have been working on shipping options. For me, this would take the cake.
- Soups – $10 – $12
- Meals – $10 – $14
- Treats – generally 3 for $3
- Website: www.gracefullyfed.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @gracefully_fed
Blvd Kitchen, Jorge Bautista Mendivil & Jenna Kir