Today I am celebrating a milestone birthday… forty years! It is amazing to look back on the journey that got me to where I am today.
In my 20’s I graduated from college and headed off to culinary school. Originally, I thought I would be a chef on a cruise ship. That dream quickly changed after having an instructor that had worked on a cruise ship. She and I didn’t get along and that made me question the whole cruise thing. Last year I went on my first (and maybe last) cruise and I have to say I am glad I didn’t pick that route. Then I set my goals higher, I was going to be the head chef of a catering company by the time I was 30. I moved to New York City at the age of 25 to learn from the best chefs in the world and with that came a bit of a reality check. I worked at some great restaurants, db Bistro Moderne and Eleven Madison Park were the big two. I did some catering work on the side and quickly realized maybe the kitchen, or the catering business weren’t for me.
When I turned 30, I was a manager at Bouchon Bakery and Café in the Time Warner Center. Basically, I was doing everything there but cooking. The hours spent at the bakery gave me a lot of exposure to what happens behind the scenes in a food business. I learned a lot and after a few years I was eager to get something of my own started. I was used to working really hard and thought who better to work really hard for than myself. That is when the seeds of Julie’s Beet were started. The concept originally had a prepared meal delivery aspect to it along with all the wonderful artisanal food. Everything changed when my soon-to-be-husband got transferred to London. (I met my husband at 29 and we got engaged when I was 31 and married at 32). We moved to London together less than a month after we were married and stayed there for about two years. I put Julie’s Beet on hold for the time being and explored some opportunities in London. I landed at Rococo Chocolates in the fall of 2012 as their Events Manager. I over saw the chocolate school where I taught chocolate lovers of all ages about making and enjoying chocolate. If that hadn’t happened, I probably would not be working with Rococo Chocolates today. When I returned to New York, I knew my business had to have Rococo Chocolates as part of it.
The rest of my thirties were a bit of a blur. Our family grew from two to five in under four years. But somewhere in there I knew I needed to get Julie’s Beet up and running. I wanted to keep my mind sharp and have something else to talk about outside of poopy diapers and the newest stroller on the block. I officially launched Julie’s Beet at the age of 36. I was finally my own boss. The business is more than I could have imagined. I love working with the amazing artisans we have in our market place. I love telling you all about the wonderful products and working with them in my home kitchen. I also the love the feeling of accomplishment every time an order comes in and is shipped out successfully. We’re a few weeks shy of our fourth anniversary and that makes me smile a lot!
As I look ahead to my forties, it is hard to predict what the future will bring. On a personal level, I hope my boys continue to make me proud in and out of school. On a professional level, I hope that Julie’s Beet continues to grow and mold into an amazing business. I want to continue spreading the stories of amazing artisans and delivering quality gifts to you and your loved ones.