We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor DeCosta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, you love what you do. It’s clear to anyone who knows you. Why and what about your work do you love so much?
I love what I do because it allows me to explore all the parts of my personality. I get to be creative when I do catering events. I get to nurture and take care of people through my healthy meal delivery service. Through growing this business I’ve been able to be a mentor, give back to my community, provide for my family and so much more. I love that every day my job as a business owner presents something new and exciting.
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 started Taylor Made Cuisine in my home kitchen. An acquaintance of a dear friend of mine needed help meal prepping for a diet she was following. We were connected and I began prepping meals for her, her husband and another couple that lived across the street from them. I started with 4 customers and it was only ever meant to be a side hustle. I had a job working for another meal delivery company and my only interest in taking on this extra job was to make extra money for my wedding dress. 6 weeks after I took on those first customers, I had been referred to so many people that I had to quit my job and hire an assistant. That first year, we only made food for one very specific diet and managed to grow a small but loyal following. Over the years, we’ve added other diets, grown our custom catering service, increased our staffing by 400%, built two kitchens, doubled our revenue 4x and managed to do it all without taking on investors or large amounts of debt. We have encountered the same challenges most businesses face: staffing issues, customer issues, work/life balance issues…we get through it by never giving up. When people walk out on you, you roll up your sleeves and you get to work. When you encounter an unhappy customer, you do your best to compartmentalize the problem, find a solution and not beat yourself up. We all make mistakes, but you have to learn from them to be successful long term. Achieving work/life balance has been by far the hardest struggle but we are closer now than ever because we have such an amazing team. But the team doesn’t start off amazing, it grows into that ease over time through the hard work of everyone on the team and also the trust you give them. What sets my business apart from others is that I never take the easy route. I never allow my staff to take the easy route. Nothing worth having is easy, ever. The best food in the world requires patience, care and attention to detail. It cannot be achieved by cutting corners. I eat my own food all week long, not just because it’s convenient and delicious but also because I need to make sure that the quality of the products that bare my name is something I’m proud of, something that never slips. The only way to achieve this is to be fully present in my business, for my staff to know that no matter what dish it is – there’s a good chance I’m gonna have it and if its not right, they’re gonna hear about it!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I MISS DOING THINGS 🙁 Must-do experiences: wine tasting in temecula, beach day at shaws cove in laguna beach, antiquing at the circle in old towne orange, disneyland, beautiful day at the getty villa (or LACMA), concert at the hollywood bowl Must-eat places: Chaak Kitchen or Gabbi’s, Great Maple, Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza, Sushi Noguchi, TOAST eatery, Roman Cucina (THE FULLERTON LOCATION ONLY), Nicks in Laguna, Republique
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?
My team! I run Taylor Made Cuisine with my husband, Mike, who has been in the trenches with me since the beginning. Countless hours of back-breaking work in the beginning, when him and I did everything by ourselves; all the way through the first and now second expansion of our facility – which has resulted in many long days and sleepless nights. There’s no one else I trust more to be by my side through this process! My kitchen staff who put up with my ridiculously high standards and continue to make me proud by turning out amazing products everyday. My delivery drivers who deliver our food safely to hundreds of customers each week. My son who is my driving force!
Three 16 Photography Alan Leyva Photography