We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Samuels and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angela, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance is something MOST of us struggle with these days. Since email, texts and phone calls are literally at the tip of our fingers all day, it is really hard to escape, retreat or have any time for self care. I felt that pressure heavily when I worked for others, but owning my own business really amped up all the strains on my work life balance. In the first few years of my business, work life balance was non-existent. If I didn’t have to decline an invitation because I was working, I had to decline because I just couldn’t afford the smallest of luxuries. Coffee shop lattes, date nights with my husband and time out with friends became NON-EXISTENT. A business is an intense commitment like puppy or a child. In a business’s infancy, there is a lot of sleepless nights and shit hitting the fan. I always knew that jump from an employee to the boss would be a challenge, but nothing can truly prepare you for the reality. Now that we are a few years down the road, and we have experienced client, self and business growth, balance is returning to the work life flow. For me, yoga is a big part of keeping balanced. I turned that passion into a side hustle (teaching others) which always keeps me connected to my mat for at least a few hours a week. If something you love isn’t scheduled into your life, there will ALWAYS be something else to get in the way. I also make sure to not schedule ANYTHING on one day of the week. No appointments, no business, nothing. It gives me an opportunity to regroup. Sure, many days I spend it cleaning or catching up on this or that, but I keep it clear so I can catch up on gardening, friends or just SNOOZING.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I always joke that I am really good at taking on new business hats, but I’m not very good at taking any of them off. Being successful these days is not just about being talented and having a great business. In the midst of a global pandemic, being able to pivot and adjust are highly valuable skills. My husband and I have a catering & dessert business that was lucky enough to not have a brick and mortar location in 2020. When the pandemic hit, we went back to our roots and we IMMEDIATELY pivoted to contact free meal deliveries. We felt like our community really helped to lift us up when all our big events cancelled and my husband lost his full time job at a high end restaurant. The most reassuring part of the experience was their gratitude for our food. We felt like they were supporting us, and they felt like we were supporting them. In a time of complete insanity and uncertainty, community really was EVERYTHING. I own a small business. Feeding people and creating beautiful dinning experiences for clients on some of their most special days gives me true joy. In this moment of global uncertainty, I am measuring success by our businesses ability to pay our bills and employees, continue serving our community and the health and wellness of that community. At the moment, those little successes are so sweet.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When my friends come to town, the trip is always about three things. The outdoors, self care, and LOTS of eating and drinking. Food is our love language so when friends visit, my husband and I always cook many of the meals at home. We love to pack up a bunch of home made goodies and head down south for a day at our favorite surf spot, to the Newport peninsula or to the Newport Back Bay a few blocks from our home. Newport Beach also has quite a few beautiful parks overlooking the water and are perfect with our Hardware House Kitchen picnic baskets. When we dine out, we are die hard for our favorites. Most of our friends coming used to live here so there is always and In N Out stop at some point. We head to Nobu at Lido Marina village or to our local guy Jushin at Fujiyama on PCH & Superior in Newport when we are craving sushi. Lotus Bistro on Old Newport Road has the best Pho I’ve ever had and is great to order in after a long day. Of course friends are always dying for Mexican so stops at Great Mex & El Matador both on Newport Blvd in Costa Mesa are a must. For a great brunch & lunch we got Haute Cakes on Westcliff in Newport, and it’s a real hard choice to chose a coffee shop. My husband is a coffee snob and grinds our beans & does a pour over every morning. Kean who has locations in Newport and Tustin is where we get our beans. We don’t deviate. Wes is always wowing guests with his morning brew. But inevitably an afternoon pick me up is necessary so we head to either Hola Adios Coffee down the street from our place in Costa Mesa if it is before three and if you don’t get whatever food they have that day you are a fool. It’s epic. If it’s after three or we find ourselves on the west side of Costa Mesa we are heading to Daydream surf shop where you can shop for the best artisanal goods you could dream to send your visitors home with while you wait for your bomb latte. You can pick up Rye Goods Bread there or from their new location at Lido Marina Village. Lido Marina Village itself is always a stop with visiting friends for multiple reasons. First, I have been teaching yoga at Curl Fitness for years and friends are usually forced to take my yoga classes on Saturday & Sunday. But I find myself there on my days off to meet friends for brunch at Zinqué, for date night at Lido Bottle Works or to pick up cute candle or party accessories from Wild Child. And if you are at lido, before you leave, fresh flowers from French Buckets who has the cutest stand there and a beautiful shop in Laguna. The final focus of our time together with guests is all about self care. Most of my friends are also yogis so we take class at Curl, Ekam Yoga in Newport or at Home Yoga in Costa Mesa. My favorite self care treat to share with friends and family is massage. My friends Ashley and Gina are amazing massage therapists at Prana Health Chiropractic in Huntington Beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We really are nothing with out the efforts and support of our communities. I was very lucky that my business was really aided by a perfect storm of support early on. My yoga clients, somehow trusted me to cook for them and supported my cakes and meal deliveries long before they probably should have. And unexpectedly, my wedding planner, Marisa of Seven Stems Design in San Juan Capistrano, brought me to the world of wedding creatives the year after we got married and it changed my whole trajectory. The list of photographers, florists, planners, dessert designers and an assortment of other wedding creatives that inspired me is too long to list. They all helped create amazing imagery of my food and recommended me to most of my best clients. A community is really what helps a business thrive and I am so grateful for mine.
Instagram: @newfoodtuesdayz @thehardwarehousekitchen
Ashley Paige Photography