Chef Natasha Ford: They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway with Candice Georgiadis

I would inspire the movement of small business owners working together to assist in rebuilding and expanding our communities versus competing with each other. I think it is so important that people bring their ideas and businesses together and work as one force. There is so much power in teamwork and collaboration. As a part […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

I would inspire the movement of small business owners working together to assist in rebuilding and expanding our communities versus competing with each other. I think it is so important that people bring their ideas and businesses together and work as one force. There is so much power in teamwork and collaboration.

As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natasha Ford.

Born in the lovely country of Barbados, Natasha Ford always had a passion for food, health and business. She enjoyed preparing meals as a child with her grandmother, while learning about the benefits of fitness and nutrition from her father. It was from that moment Natasha knew she was destined for a career and business in Food and Health.

At the age of eight Natasha had her first business selling mini pizzas at school to help raise money for her class trip to Disney World. Little did she realize this was her first step into being an Entrepreneur. As a teenager Natasha joined the Junior Achievers program where she learned the basics of building a business, which continue to ignite her passion to one day become an entrepreneur.

Once Natasha graduated from High School she was bound for the U.S. where she hoped to pursue her dreams and goals. On the road to greatness, there are many turns and Natasha to overcome several challenges before she was able to pursue the desires. From the immigration to trying to please everyone it was not until her mid-thirties and final position in Human Resources that her dream would finally begin to unfold. During the 2008–2010 recession, Natasha was laid off and received a severance payout, it was with this money she began her business in NYC. She knew it was time to plunge into her quest in the Food Industry and there was no turning back. This was the first step into her pursuit of greatness.

This decision has paid off significantly as Natasha has consistently been recognized as a Food and Health expert through different television appearance including competing on the Food Network, ABC-the Taste and performing several cooking demonstrations on the local television stations like the CBS-Good Morning Show and Fox News 8. Natasha proactively promotes her business visibility, branding, and client loyalty, through fostering and strengthening strategic partnerships throughout the years with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Cancer Society at Columbia Presbyterian, St. Jude’s Cancer Researcher Center Fundraiser, the March of Dimes and other charitable groups. Natasha has also used her platform to bring awareness around the issues of immigration and domestic violence. She became a catalyst for years for Sanctuary for Families, including speaking at on panels on the subject matter.

Currently residing in North Carolina, Natasha just recently completed her two-year role with the Community College, where she had the honor of building an innovative program that prepares adults with disabilities for adequate roles in the Food Industry. Her motivation was in the memory of her son, whom if would of have been disabled if he had lived past birth. Natasha believes that through collaborative work and effort we will achieve the sustainable success and satisfaction we all deeply desire. One of her she believes in is “There is more Power in Collaboration as opposed to Competition”.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?

Yes, I moved to the U.S. at the age of sixteen where I resided in NYC for major part of my younger adult years. I had always wanted to go into the Food Industry from a small child however, the twist and turns of life did not afford me this dream until my mid-thirties. When I was laid off, I knew it was time to seize the moment and pursue my dreams once and for all. The rest has been history and I never looked back. I had the opportunity to learn under the guidance of the late great Dr Anne-Marie Colbin at the Natural Gourmet Institute. I was a part of her last Food Therapy class before her retirement then passing. It was through that program I learned how to marry my passion for Food, health and business. Additionally, it birthed my inspiration to become a teacher versus working in a restaurant. After Graduation I have been able to achieve several great accomplishments. This includes:

THE TASTE Contestant, Season 3 — ABC Network; 2014–2015

ART OF CATERING, Food Award — Cater Source; 2014

CUT THROAT KITCHEN — The Food Network; 2013

Awarded Membership — International Caterers Association; 2012

Food and Wine Enthusiast and International Scholarship Award — James Beard Foundation; 2010

Advocate and Philanthropist- Domestic Violence, Disadvantaged Adults and Adults with Disabilities

Featured Guest, regarding Adult Education Program — Fox News

Featured Guest, Cooking Demonstrations — CBS 2; Good Morning Show., Fox News 8

Additionally, I had the opportunity to teach at several colleges passing on my knowledge and passion as a Food Industry expert. I was able to help budding minds understand the fundamentals of building a solid business or professional career. It is important that I share the nuggets of wisdom I gained over the years with others to aid in their success. Recently, I had the privilege to work with the Community College to successfully launch a program aimed at assisting the adult with disabilities population. All these opportunities have allowed the puzzle to come together on my next major project.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I certainly am- Currently I am working on a two-part project as I am building a school for business and recreational classes. First our interactive online cooking classes will give people the opportunity to reignite their passion and love for cooking together while social distancing. These classes are focused on traditional yet healthy techniques that have taken a back burner in recent times. For example, our classes teach techniques for making fresh homemade pasta, seasonings and marinades with fresh herbs and spices. We also teach how to use kitchen ingredients to cure ailments and improve overall health. This is primarily done through our online exclusive membership club.

Secondly, I decided to create a couple of bootcamps with other business experts that gives these women the tools necessary to not only start a business, but to effectively grow, hire employees and expand in a sustainable manner. I believe it is time for minority businesswomen to be given the same opportunities I received with less of the struggle. Women sometimes tend to delay or give up on pursuing their dreams as entrepreneurs due to socio-economic, emotional, mental health, physical and other challenges that they believe have become barriers in reaching specific goals. Often this population starts an entrepreneurial project ill-advised or with limited knowledge. As a result, many of these women entrepreneurs stunt their business growth or close their doors due to not adequately setting up their small business models effectively. In return I want these women to help the disable population by hiring, mentoring and guiding them so they win-win relationship. Adults with disabilities have a difficult time securing positions and adequate employment. due to several limitations. 75% of this population is currently out of work or are incapable of landing suitable positions with growth opportunities. I believe it is time to reinvent the wheel on how business in being done.

In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?

I believe my ability to build and expand beyond the scope of myself makes my business stand out in the crowd. Despite what we have learned for years as a society, I believe the idea of competition in business is a myth. There is enough for everyone and all the lovely sparks of genius each individual business owner brings to the table works. I believe that a collection of entrepreneurs and experts can bring a complete idea together as each of us holds a part of the bigger picture.

Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?

There were so many times, I had different ideas, and someone said it was not possible. I remember building my previous business in NYC and different folks always stating it would not expand beyond a small one man show. In less than 3 years, my business expanded to sixteen employees total, and I served several major clients in the city. Besides that, I was able to provide extended services to clients who wanted a personal chef in their homes. Right up to closing that business, I achieved lots of success including being offered a grant by the City of Yonkers to build a venue space in the area. The naysayers were shocked and believe it I hired one of them to decorate at an event as a client. That was a sweet victory for me and highlight of the entire journey. I work diligently each day to believe in myself through prayers, reading scriptures, focused intention and meditation. Also from early on as an entrepreneurs, I recognized the benefits of having business and life coaches/mentors.

In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? 🙂

The naysayers were proven wrong, as my business grew beyond myself and I was recognized publicly for several of those achievements, including becoming a Food Ambassador for my place of birth Barbados. I believe that once you put your mind to it and speak it into existence the universe will conspire to make it appear, and when it does you have to believe and align yourself to receive it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are so many people that I am so grateful for who have assisted me along the journey. Currently, my biggest motivation comes from my Life Coach Rev Sharron Medley. She has been such an inspiration and ally to the woman I am today. I met her one Sunday when I visited the Unity Church in Greensboro. She was in town as a guest speaker, I really needed some inspiration that day as I was going through some pretty challenging moments. It was a divine intervention that day and after the sermon, she shared about her coaching services. I knew at that moment that was the missing piece in my life. I needed to have clarity in both my personal and professional life and working with her has provided just that.

I also must highlight one more person, my cousin who has cancer. The fact that she cared for her sister dying with the same disease showed me what courage and strength looks like. It was her tenacity and resilience that helped me to keep pushing even when I felt like giving up. These two women have been an integral part of my new chapter.

It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?

Growing up in an extended family, had its share of trials. I remember being constantly compared to other family members and feeling like I was not good enough. From a young age I knew there was something different about me and I did not quite understand it. It was always hard for me to just be the fly on the wall. I dared to be different from a young child, as there was something that just burned inside of my being. In school, I was teased and picked on but knew I had to stand up for myself. I lost my fair share of fights but won the battle as I realized that people who tease and bully others tend to not like themselves. Going through experiences like these pushed me to always want better for myself and never give up.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Five strategies I believe that others can use to harness their sense of tenacity are:

  1. Think positively and shut the world out. There is a lot of noise in this world and everyone has an opinion. You have to be deliberate and filter out the noise in our world today in order to remain focused.
  2. Take time for stillness and silence- Meditation, sitting still and turning the tv and other devices off for about 20 mins a day is important. Find time for yourself and reset otherwise you will burn out
  3. Make peace with your past, forgive yourself and others who have hurt you then let it go. Singing the song of your past over and over will do you no good. It is a distraction, when you forgive yourself first, it makes it easier to forgive others- afterwards drop it and focus on something wonderful like the sun shining outside. Holding onto the stuff of yesterday robs you of the beautiful gifts today gives you.
  4. Humble yourself and get guidance-none of us can do this alone. It is important to seek help even professionally. Our family and friends are not our therapist as they are a biased in their advice (it is just that way as they love you). I believe a good mentor, coach or therapist is worth their weight in gold. But it must be someone who can practices what they preach and tell you the hard things you need to hear.
  5. It is one thing when the world or naysayers say means things about you, it is another thing when you believe it. This goes back to my first point, shut the noise out. Get up each day and count your blessing just 3–5 things each morning as you rise and each night before you retire. I guarantee that this will help you to dispel the negative nonsense that others say to you and about you.

What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?

I ALWAYS REMEMBER the Same energy that made the Sun, the Moon and Stars made me. I have that same energy running through every fiber of my existence.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would inspire the movement of small business owners working together to assist in rebuilding and expanding our communities versus competing with each other. I think it is so important that people bring their ideas and businesses together and work as one force. There is so much power in teamwork and collaboration.

Can our readers follow you on social media?

Yes, I can be found at:






Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!

You might also like...


Natasha Ford: “The race is not for the swift or the strong but for those who persevere”

by Phil La Duke

Linda Nedelcoff On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work

by Karen Mangia

Kate Hix On How To Leave a Lasting Legacy With a Successful & Effective Nonprofit Organization

by Karen Mangia
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.