Today we’d like to introduce you to Jerine Campbell.
Jerine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story started completely by accident. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, it’s my favorite pastime. I attended Savannah State University, where I studied Mass Communications, concentrating in journalism. My dream was to be a food critic. In between classes and work, I would cook. The more I cooked, the more other students would come over and it slowly turned into a “thing”. Fast forward to Atlanta, still cooking and now baking. I’m now married to the best man alive and mother of two outstanding sons.
One random day, one of my girlfriends sends me a picture of a chocolate cake with mini Hennessy bottles on top and asks me to recreate it for her husband’s birthday. I declined. I told her, I’m not a cake decorator and I didn’t want to mess up his birthday. She encouraged me and motivated me and made it clear that she didn’t want anyone else to do it for her. She hooked me. As I worked on the cake, I still had a day job as a customer service rep in a call center. One day, I received a call from an upset customer and she took all of her anger out on me. Well, I reciprocated that anger and I lost my job! However, I still had the cake to bake and unemployment to apply for. I finished the cake and delivered it to my girlfriend. At the birthday party, I got a call to bake a cake for another birthday as well as appreciation cupcakes for a cancer survivor.
From there, one cake order after another and I officially had a hustle! That’s when K&D Catering was born. I found another steady job and completed cake orders sporadically for the next two years but I wasn’t fulfilled. You see, baking isn’t my passion, cooking and catering are. I desperately wanted to cook! I had so many recipe ideas and business dreams. So, now it is 2019. I’m working my regular job and I get a phone call from an unsaved number. Naturally, I don’t answer. I got home and listened to the voicemail and it was an inquiry for a catering job! While planning this current job, another inquiry for a bridal shower confirmed! Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. With money now coming in, and referrals for more opportunities, I knew it was time to legitimize my hustle into a business. In June of 2019 Campbell’s Catering LLC, DBA K&D Catering was born!!
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been smooth at all but if it were easy everyone would do it right?
One of my main struggles was my own confidence. I eat my food all the time and so does my family. They’ll constantly tell me that my food is good because they love me but what will the rest of the world think? Should I be doing this? I don’t have to own a business, I could retire from a “regular job” like so many other people, These were troubling thoughts I had all the time but with every event and every new customer, I am reminded that not only is my heart in it, I belong in this industry!
Anything else, I count as a “stepping stone”. Organizing this, preparing that, last-minute changes are all apart of the process.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the K&D Catering story. Tell us more about the business.
K&D Catering is my third baby. I created it, I nurtured it and I am raising it up into its full capacity. K&D stands for Kenneth and Dominic, my two sons. They are two of my most proudest accomplishments. I thought it only fitting to honor them and name my business after them.
I am the owner and sole proprietor. I do everything from writing the recipe, to cooking the food, setting up the table for service and so on. As a true Georgia girl, I specialize in southern cuisine with a hint of “low country”. Not to toot my horn but I make several things well. However, my best dishes would include my grandmother’s cornbread dressing, my shrimp deviled eggs and my stuffed apple crisp. I strive to be known best for a balance of good food and great service at every event I cater.
I am most proud to be a black woman business owner. I feel it is my duty to inspire other little black girls to work hard for something that’s theirs. It’s just as important for my sons to see me succeed at something I worked extremely hard to accomplish. Service is a large part of running a successful catering business. No one wants to give their hard-earned money to a person who doesn’t appreciate their business. I like to be approachable, accommodating, flexible, understanding and most importantly a problem solver. I know first hand what it’s like to be a customer as well as the person providing the service and I always want to provide the best service and experience to anyone who opts to work with K&D Catering.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the food industry, I feel that the possibilities are endless. Every client is in search of “the next best thing”. The days of sherbert punch (aka frappe) and chicken wings are long gone. Cooking is such an innovative form of art and it will continue to expand. It’s one of the few things any cook can do in their own way and make a profit. I predict people will begin to lean towards a business with a more personal touch rather than that of a chain restaurant or grocery store for their catering needs. And trust me, the demand is there. People cater everything these days, gender reveals, vision board parties, divorce parties (yes, there is a demand for that too) and so on. I definitely plan to keep my momentum going, supplying the catering needs of as many people as I can.
- Phone: 470-252-8362
- Email: email@example.com
Lakesha P. Smith
Jerine M. Campbell