Name: Julie Hartigan
Business: Juliemar Productions Consulting and the blog “Cooking w Julie”
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey
What’s your specialty: I’m a natural-born teacher, who loves to share what she knows with others. I spend much of my time consulting brands that need creative content around cooking and entertaining. This includes developing and testing recipes, writing blog posts and articles, scripting and appearing in videos, and doing live appearances. My biggest clients are Weight Watchers and Bed Bath and Beyond. So I have extensive experience lightening up recipes and healthy eating, while also [helping] people learn how to entertain with ease!
What problem does your business solve: My recipes, videos and posts help people enjoy cooking, eat healthier and feel more confident hosting parties. I assist my corporate clients with reaching and retaining their audience, while on my blog I share the clever cooking and entertaining tips that I’ve gleaned from projects with a broader audience.
What makes your business unique: As a former engineer and tech consultant who went to culinary school and became a chef, I bring a high level of professionalism and passion to what I do. I’m diligent about research and writing the smartest, most efficient recipes, and making sure they work! Nobody wants to follow a recipe and wind up with a “Pinterest Fail!”
How you got your start: From a very young age I loved food and cooking. I was the kid who would try every new thing and grilled every grandma she met for her best ethnic recipes. In school, I excelled in math, so I followed my head over my heart and earned a B.S. & M.S. in Industrial Engineering. While I had a successful career in technology, the entire time I dreamed of a career in the culinary world. After having my daughters, I decided to go for it, enrolled in culinary school, and haven’t looked back! I studied Culinary Arts and Culinary Management at ICE in NYC, was a personal chef to families in Hoboken, taught cooking classes, led culinary walking tours and worked in the Saveur Magazine Test Kitchen and at Food Network. Since starting my consulting business, I’ve developed and tested thousands of recipes for Weight Watchers, filmed videos for Bed Bath Beyond and other clients, written about cooking and entertaining for everyone from Real Simple Magazine to Fit Pregnancy, helped launch new food brands and hosted live cooking events. I LOVE what I do, and feel like it reflects the real “me”.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Always have a positive, can-do attitude when working with clients. Seek to make their lives easier in everything you do and look for other opportunities to help them. They’ll love you and happily refer to you other clients.
One thing you wish you knew before you started your business: Not to be afraid of striking out on your own to do something you truly love! I felt like I needed to stick with a corporate gig for way too long
Your greatest challenge in your business and how you’re overcoming it: I spend so much time working on client projects that my own self-branding sometimes falls by the wayside. I’m working to build my own name recognition and a bigger social media following around my work, so I can share my cooking and entertaining tips with more people. (PS: You can find me at CookingwJulie on FB, Instagram, and Twitter and my blog is at CookingwJulie.com.)
What you’re most proud of about your business: I’m proud of how much my clients value me and my work, and that they count on me to help them solve business problems. I also love nothing more than hearing that one of my recipes, cooking tips or entertaining ideas made someone’s life better or easier!
What’s yummy about being a food entrepreneur: I love getting to set my own hours and doing work that I love. Plus my projects feel more like play than “work,” so I don’t mind doing them at night or on weekends and skipping the 9-5 grind. I have an incredible work-life balance and get to spend tons of quality time with my daughters and boyfriend, and I enjoy plenty of travel and culinary adventures. I have zero regrets about my career change!
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