We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Odesanya and Cherie Chua and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel Odesanya and Cherie Chua, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We both have very different professional backgrounds. Daniel worked in IT and PR, and Cherie is a former sales director. The idea of starting a charcuterie company might seem unrelated to what we did in our previous jobs. However, we believe that our knowledge and skills in these sectors are one of the main reasons Luxe Bites is so successful. Cherie has always been passionate about all things aesthetics and together with her sisters very often prepared charcuterie boards. A hobby became an idea for a business. LA is the city of opportunities for food companies, especially if you provide catering for events. Of course, we had to think of all the competition, and we thought that what most food businesses in LA lack, is the customization of orders. That became our main focus while creating a business plan. From the very first day, we accepted special requests for different occasions. If you have a look at our website, everything that we have on our menu can be customized for birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, graduations, and even buying a new house. It worked. We started to grow rapidly, way faster than we expected. Our business is very new, it’s been less than a year since we launched Luxe Bites. But it’s already recognizable in LA so we’re happy to say that our strategy worked out.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
It’s probably fair to say that everyone who has ever decided to start their own business is a risk taker. For us, it was definitely a big decision with a lot to risk. The main reason is that charcuterie was our hobby and a thought of making it a business was obviously very exciting but also scary. What if it doesn’t work out? Can charcuterie actually be a good business or is it just one of these unrealistic dreams? What if we lose the money we invest, what if we waste the products we buy? But taking that risk was the best decision of our lives. We do what we love for work, and nothing has ever made us happier. So summarising, taking risks is always scary but for us, it completely changed our lives.
We think that what our customers appreciate the most is that Luxe Bites offers customization with every order. If there are any special requests, we always make sure to do what we can to meet expectations of every customer. Apart from offering vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and other versions of everything we have in our menu, we also customize grazing tables for events. For example, last month we did a grazing table for a funeral reception. In memory of a captain of United Airlines and a boat lover, the grazing table was decorated with little United airplanes, lighthouses and boat steering wheels as well as his favourite food. Some time ago, we did a tropical-themed grazing table for a wedding. It was a special request from a bride who was originally from Indonesia. So listening to our customers, offering customization, always trying to meet their expectations- we think that’s what makes Luxe Bites stand out.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Other than all the touristic stuff, LA has so much more to offer. We would probably take our friends to some food festival/market- there’s so many in LA! We personally love Chinatown Summer Nights. Other than that, a beach picnic somewhere in Malibu is a must. We love outdoor cinemas too, our personal favorite is Cinespia in Hollywood Forever. Maybe a trip to Universal Studios too- we always had so much fun there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Everything started when Cherie and her sisters discovered their passion for charcuterie! So thank you girls for sharing this hobby with me and being so patient with me when all I was talking about was starting a charcuterie company!
Luxe Bites LA