Sakura Spotlight Series: Kyle Swift
Spotlight Series Q&A for Entrepreneurs
- Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.
I operate a Private Chef service on 30-A in the Panhandle of Florida. We mainly focus on in-home casual fine dining, but we also do custom catering packages for events.
- What made you aspire to be an entrepreneur?
My family didn’t have much money growing up. We had everything we needed and I had a great childhood, but I have always had the push in me to go get more for myself and my family. I had the drive to move up the ladder in every job I worked at. I realized pretty quickly the ladder only goes so high if someone else is signing your check. I switched to sales after a long career in restaurants and during my time selling, I slowly grew my own catering company on the side. Once the business was established, I brought on a partner and we purchased a bakery with the plan to grow both businesses.
- What is the one thing you wish you had known before starting your own business?
I wish I had found more good people to build our team faster. I treated it more like a hobby for the first few years when I really should have gone all in from the beginning.
- What are the aspects of your business that you enjoy the most?
I love feeding people. I always have. For so many years working in the back of a busy restaurant, I was not able to interact or form relationships. People come in to enjoy a well-cooked meal, and you don’t even get to see how much they appreciate the hard work that goes into it. Now I get to cook one-on-one with our guests and create long-lasting memories with them. We have many families that book us every time they visit or multiple times in a year. Each time they do, we get to catch up and share another dining experience together. Forming these connections is what it’s all about for me.
- What do you love doing in your free time to refuel and have fun?
I love hopping on the kayak or the paddleboard and exploring all the beautiful waterways of the Panhandle. It keeps me grounded and gets me ready to go back to work.