We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emily, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

I think I’ve always been a go-getter and self-starter type, and always knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with working for someone else. The idea of working ‘for the man’ so to speak never appealed to me and while I was actually able to work for some innovative start-ups after college in renewable energy and then food marketing and catering sales, I never felt satisfied or fulfilled with the work or how my efforts were being rewarded.

The biggest driver for me was the need to have creative control over my ideas and the full authority to execute them as I had envisioned. When working for other catering companies, I always felt like they missed the mark on the menus I had created for my clients and was severely disappointed in the quality of food that the kitchens created. I knew I loved to cook but never really had the confidence to branch out on my own until my first ever client gave me an opportunity to meal-prep for him once a week. I really took off from that point a few years later but the whole thing sort of started organically.

I am the type of person who needs constant stimulation so I have multiple endeavors at the moment; I am a music producer and songwriter, and am re-launching my organic palo santo tea business after a brief hiatus during COVID because I am passionate about the product and creating a story around the brand that reflects my creativity and personal aesthetic.

However, I do think gaining experience in those roles was vital to my success later on and I learned a lot from my time working for other companies. I think it’s important for most entrepreneurs (but not all) to get their feet wet in a new industry by working for a company they admire so they can make those inevitable first-timer business mistakes on someone else’s dime.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

I think the most unique thing about my catering company – homegrown kitchen – is my ability to connect with almost anyone and make them feel special, as if their event was the only one on my calendar. I also know the flavors of my food are some of the best in the game, and I have been steadily working to improve some of the other aspects like plating and event decor etc. to offer the most pristine experience possible for my guests.

I am most proud of the fact that a few years ago I was getting divorced, moving from Lake Arrowhead back to Los Angeles with no job or way to make money and about $2500 to my name. This money was then stolen from me by an apartment scammer (yes, all $2500). Literally two days later I got a call from a very important publication and was asked to cater a major 250 person event within a few weeks. I was in Canada visiting family at the time (because I had nowhere to live yet) but didn’t let the client know that and ended up changing my flight so I could make it all happen. That hustler just say yes and get it done attitude was always in my blood but the client had NO IDEA exactly how much I needed this job. From that point on I have become financially independent and haven’t looked back at all. My client list now includes major celebrities, fashion brands, tech companies, and amazing personal clients for weddings and special dinners. I have multiple chefs working under my company and doing jobs when we have multiple events in one day and I’m looking forward to taking more of a creative and sales role so I can continue to grow.

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?

MALIBU for the day with a hike at Solstice Canyon and beach at El Matador and then fish sandwiches at Malibu Seafood (because Nobu is for snobs).

Then back to the east end for pizza and wine at Cosa Buona and drinks and dancing at The Friend.

Cute park picnic for lunch the next day at Vista Hermosa park and then a dinner at Manuela in The Arts District.

Pilates at Lagree 213 downtown for a little ass kicking and vegan ramen at Ramen Hood in Grand Central for lunch. Cara Hotel for dinner for a fancy treat yourself moment.

Bahn Mi at My Dung in Chinatown and a hike through Elysian park then Filipino food at Lasita and a nightcap at General Lee’s.

LA is full of new pockets to discover and I love how each neighborhood is so different. There are good people everywhere, you just have to be open and friendly.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think my parents and friends really have provided the most amazing support system a person could ever hope for and have constantly encouraged me along the way. This can be a long hard road and sometimes it feels like why the ^%^&$%# am I even doing this? But I have also felt completely supported by my nearest and dearest. Also my staff have become like a family and I trust them completely to help me grow my company beyond what I can do alone.

Website: www.homegrown.kitchen

Instagram: homegrownkitchenla

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homegrwn.kitchen

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/homegrown-kitchen-marina-del-rey-2

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