Name: Tomica "Tom" Saul
Business/Location: TomCookery Hospitality Management (THM)/NYC & Virtual
Specialty: Our specialty is helping people run their catering and events operations.
What problem does your business solve?: Our company is for caterers, food truck vendors, restaurants or bakeries who see the value in doing catering and private events but do not have the manpower or expertise (or desire) to execute. We focus on client management — arguably the most time consuming part of a catering operation by managing inquiries, sending out proposals and quotes, invoicing and more.
What makes your business unique?: THM is unique because we provide REAL PEOPLE and not just software solutions. While software is great, you still need someone to manage the high touch world of catering and events. The human connection is key.
What’s your story?: I am actually trained as an attorney! I practiced M&A (mergers and acquisitions) for about two years before I decided to open my catering company, also called TomCookery. After having the time of my life and making a ton of mistakes in the process, I decided to close my company and start a family.
Eventually, I took a position running mentorship and education at a food incubator in Brooklyn. Once that incubator closed, I was faced with the decision to get another job or start another business. I knew I didn't want to run another catering company, but I felt like I could help other food entrepreneurs be great. I narrowed down my services and launched THM in April of 2019.
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Don't try to do everything yourself. Burnout is real. If you get the help you need, you will be a more strategic business owner, and you will work "on" your business and not "in" your business.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: For THM, I wish I had spent less time worrying about getting clients. I went from having zero clients to having a decent amount pretty quickly. There is always a part of you that thinks you will create this business and nobody will ever call, but I should have spent that time worrying about getting prepared.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it?: My biggest challenge is getting the word out. This business is so new and so different, I really have to educate people on what we do and why they need it. I try to be very intentional about my social media as a platform, and I plan to start releasing some video content soon.
What are you most proud of about your business?: I am proud that this is my second company. After I closed the first one, I wasn't sure I would have the courage to put myself out there again.
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur?: I love the community. We are a very supportive bunch of people and everyone brings so much passion to the work they do. It energizes me.