In our current podcast series, I interview the owners of 4 very different personal chef businesses and we dive deep into their marketing.

Today’s episode is second of the series. I interview Monica Lee, originally from Tawain, now based in San Francisco, California.

Monica gives the ultimate gift to her busy clients – beautiful, delicious, seasonal local food. I mean, talk about my dream come true!

In this podcast episode, she shares her journey to becoming a personal chef after starting her career as a costume designer.

Monica explains how her family’s approach to food, specifically dinner, in Tawain embedded a sense of joy and love in her cooking.

And, she explains her non-traditional path in the food industry to starting her own business as a personal chef.

“The greatest advice I have is to have confidence telling people about your services. Be proud of what you do. Don’t just tell your friends, tell strangers, tell everybody. As long as you’re really proud of what you do, that will come through, and people will gravitate towards that.” – Monica Lee


2:40: Who Monica cooks for and her clientele: Farm-to-table personal chef service for families.

4:33: Monica’s Meals: Made with nutrition, quality, and flavor… but she’s too tired to cook for herself!

6:05: Farm-to-Table Asian Fusion: Eat local, seasonal, and classically-cooked Asian meals.

7:46: California Concept: Monica’s clients care about supporting local farms and eating sustainably.

9:20: Monica’s Motto: Why can’t every meal be delicious? Think of new possibilities.

11:37: Healthy Thanksgiving? This is America’s healthiest, from-scratch meal, year-round.

13:05: Culture Fusion: How growing up cooking and eating in Taiwan impacts Monica’s work.

14:41: Bugs to Features: How Monica navigates individual preferences, and how her approach impacts kids’ relationships with food.

17:11: Exposure: You are what you eat. Just try it, and grow to like different cuisines and flavors.

18:09: Audience: Who is a great fit for Monica’s services and when to call her.

19:22: Superwoman: How Monica currently operates as a business of one.

19:57: Embrace the Mess: How starting a business is like making bread.

22:08: Origin Story: How peeling beets and designing costumes led to her current career.

27:10: Lessons Learned: How Monica approaches customer service as a business owner.

28:27: Finding Clients: How Monica has used Thumbtack, Google, Yelp, her website, Instagram, Airbnb, and word of mouth to build a solid client base.

31:10: Mindset: “I’m being paid to learn.”

33:43: Qualifying Leads: Using a 5-minute phone call to make sure clients are a good fit.

36:07: Monica’s Advice: Have confidence and pride in your services, and how they add value to others’ lives.

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