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10 questions for a food entrepreneur: Lynn Elliott of Lynn’s Delicious

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This Examiner met Lynn in the winter of 2013, before she’d left her finance job to launch Lynn’s Delicious. We’ve been in and out of each other’s food worlds ever since, recently bumping into each other at jury duty in Lowell, which permitted a lunchtime visit to the flagship Life Alive. Lynn lives and breathes her mission, and so I wanted to share some of her food story here…

This interview is part of the 10 questions for a food entrepreneur series for Examiner.

Q: What was the seed for what is now Lynn’s Delicious?

A: Chef Lagusta Yearwood used to have a vegan meal delivery service that I just I loved. I was so inspired by her business and how much she loves food. I promised myself that if I ever went to culinary school [which she did] I would try to find a way to do it too.

Q: What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

A: Making the leap from one profession to another. Financial services is very steady and secure whereas cooking isn’t either of those things. The transition was hard. After culinary school, I dibbled and dabbled. Then, last August, I went for it.

Q: How do you define success?

A: For me, it’s two-fold. First, having made the leap feels like a success in and of itself because I had wanted it for so long. And second, working with my clients and seeing them enjoy what I’ve made them, helping them in their food journeys. The two really seem to go together: being happy with what I’m doing and seeing my clients happy with the results.

Q: How do you manage failure?

A: I pray. And take time to process. And rely on my support network to help me work through things.

Q: How do you cope with pressure (any secret recipes for taking care of yourself)?

A: I like to exercise and spend a lot of time with my friends just really connecting. That helps me feel centered and gives me perspective. And honestly, cooking. Cooking really relaxes me.

Q: What are you going to do next?

A: I want to get into teaching to help empower people in the kitchen. It’s something I’m researching.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in the past year?

A: “Keep going” is the simple one. And then a friend of mine said something that’s really stuck with me: “Your investment hasn’t been realized yet.” When you start something, you don’t always see the fruits of your labor right away. You’re investing now for a future gain. It’s kind of a finance logic, but it’s really helped me to keep going.

Q: Give us your advice for aspiring food entrepreneurs in 6 words or less.

A: Get advice. Go for it. Persevere.

Q: You win the Academy Award equivalent for your industry (James Beard, Fancy Food, etc.). When you take the stage, who will you thank and for what?

A: My husband, my friends and family for their support and belief in me.

Q: What about Lynn’s Delicious most feeds your soul?

A: The freedom and flexibility to live my life and do what I love. And making an impact with people through food. There’s something so communal and healing about that. It’s really powerful: what it does and brings out… a lot of good.

Personal cheffing is not as scary or unattainable as some might think, and Lynn’s food isn’t fussy or overcomplicated. Be in touch with her if personal cheffing interests you.

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