Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A passion for cooking to entertain



Damola Adeogun is a caterer whose passion for cooking to entertain is an inborn talent. She shares her motivation for cooking, the business aspects of catering, including some of the challenges that she encounters as a specialty caterer.


A delicious meal served. Picture submitted by Damola's Kitchen
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Damola's KItchen's banner
My name is Damola Adeogun, hence the name Damola’s Kitchen and I am a first generation American with Nigerian roots. I have called Minnesota home for a little over 20 years. I am an alumni of Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Minor in Management Information Systems. I am married and we are proud parents of two beautiful children that rock our world daily.

What informed the idea of Damola's Kitchen?
I have always loved cooking, it’s a passion of mine. I am one of those people that could cook and entertain all day - that’s the definition of happiness to me. Damola’s Kitchen LLC was officially born in 2012 when I got laid off from my corporate job in bank compliance and I wanted to take a break from the corporate scene. Having the skill set of cooking authentic Nigerian cuisine in the Nigerian community is priceless. Making my skill set official just seem to be the way to go. I registered my company with the state of Minnesota and also completed food manager training class and certification. Voila! Damola’s Kitchen was born. 

How long have you been Catering?
I have been catering since 2012.

Picture submitted by Damola's Kitchen
Who are your customers?
I have a diverse customer base, ranging from people that love and seek exotic food, to people that want to maintain their culture in a foreign land through food.

Do you cater special events like weddings?
Yes, there is a huge demand for ethnic foods for weddings. We cater for event and personal catering needs. Whether you are serving a formal dinner or a casual lunch, a meal for one or catering for 300 guests, we do all the work. Our customers just sit back and enjoy the meal. 
Picture submitted by Damola's Kitchen

Do you do pastries or work with partners for pastries orders by your clients?
I personally do not cater pastries but yes I have vendors that do.

What are the challenges you experience as a caterer in the U.S?
The understanding of ethnic foods and its shelf life is a challenge. Many food inspectors do not have a good understanding of how we prep and cook ethnic foods. It sometimes causes confusion in how it is regulated at events and fairs. Also, some authentic ingredients have to be shipped from Nigeria or are only available in specialty stores at higher prices so keeping costs low compared to home grown foods could be quite a challenge.


Picture submitted by Damola's Kitchen
Any word of advice for interested caterers or upcoming caterers?
Catering is a form of entertainment and art in my opinion. I will tell any upcoming caterer to know their art and perform their due diligence before they get started. Catering is much more than knowing how to cook, you also have to understand the business aspects of it.




Do you have any last words?
The business part of catering is as important as the customer service part of it. I am always open to feedback be it positive or negative from my customers, it all helps provide better customer experience and help us improve our services.

How can customers find you?
Damola Adeogun, CEO, Damola's Kitchen
We can be reached by phone as customers can call in to place their orders at 612-239-4884 and also through Facebook @ Damola’s Kitchen.