Sabrina Moller of platedate of The Power of Flexibility: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help — I had tried to start this business alone- one too many times and failed over and over again. I finally began reaching out to others for help and things started to come together. I had someone help me rebrand my website, hired someone to help with my social media, […]

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help — I had tried to start this business alone- one too many times and failed over and over again. I finally began reaching out to others for help and things started to come together. I had someone help me rebrand my website, hired someone to help with my social media, invoices, etc.

The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sabrina Moller.

Sabrina Moller is a private chef, certified holistic health coach, food stylist and culinary entrepreneur. Her company, platedate, provides in home private chef services including freshly served dinners. weekly meal prep, healthful meals for kids and nutrition guidance for the whole family. Sabrina decided to further build her business mid-pandemic when her fiance lost his job, (they met working together- six years ago) and thought if not now, when?

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Growing up as an only child I was very independent. I took charge from the very beginning. If something had to get done, I was going to make it happen. At two years old, when I didn’t want my parents to go out for the night, I would hide their keys. I once placed their keys in a potted plant and left them there for days. Another time, I locked myself with their keys in the car once I heard they were leaving. They had to call AAA to get me and the keys out of the car. I always knew what I wanted since a young age. Though I had incredible, loving parents, looking back — I really was the parent at times. I always knew that if I really wanted something, it was up to me. Gratefully, I also grew up with my grandmother — who has been a true inspiration ever since I was a little girl. She began her own business 50+ years ago and to this day — still works everyday and reminds me that if you really love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I consider her my second mother, who I hold and value very closely.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do you really love it, if you really love it, go for it, if not forget it and continue to strive, challenge yourself” My grandma had said this to me since I was a little girl. Whether I wanted a new pair of shoes or a big piece of chocolate cake — now over a new job, beginning my career or meeting my fiancé — she has always asked do you really, really love it? If you do, go for it, buy that coat, eat the cake or start your own business, if you love it, it will all be worth it. To this day she still works and LOVES what she does and so do I — together, with a sense of success, whenever we have dinner together, we share a piece of chocolate cake.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

PARTY FOOD by Peter Callahan. Peter Callahan is an award winning caterer based in New York City. I worked for Peter for four years- straight out of college — day and night — Hampton weddings until 4am, I wholeheartedly loved every second of it and would not regret a single minute of it. He has had a pretty big impact on me, mainly because side by side I learned that ANYTHING is possible. He made me realize you can solve any problem even in the worst situations, he made me realize if you’re going to do something, go the extra mile, make it special and do it right. Get creative, you can do anything, you dream up and put your mind to. Having a new york city based business — is intense, but the best idea there ever could be. I worked with Peter on this book and could not be more grateful to watch a work of art come together with an incredible team involved, one being my fiancé, Belal.

Together, we share his work values in our own business everyday.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

Before the pandemic began I had tried to start my own business multiple times, but failed. I really did not have the structure, guidance or time to make it happen. Once I left Peter CalIahan, I needed a break — so I went back to the corporate world and worked as a EA to a CEO of a finance firm, where I never left my desk, besides cooking for him on occasion. He knew I LOVED to cook and was good at it. It came to a point the firm realized I loved to cook more than I did sitting at that desk. So, the company let me go and honestly it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had no idea what I was going to do and never felt so lost in my life. It was the first time I tried to start my own business, but not at all in the right way. I was an artist creating recipes, doing what I loved and trying to make a business out of it — convincing moms I could cook and watch their kids, showing up at nanny agencies to get my name out there. In the meantime, I began nutrition school at IIN because I realized these moms wanted healthy certified meals. Finally, gratefully, I was hired by a big NYC entrepreneur who trusted me to cook for his family five days a week. It was honestly the greatest gift I could have ever asked for and is what truly set me up for success. Through word of mouth, more began to learn about me and I began sharing my meals with many families.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

Through the pandemic after working for this family for three years, they let me go because I physically could not cook in their home due to COVID. They left New York City and so did all my other clients. I felt hopeless for months. Ironically, my fiance also lost his job at this point and it felt like there was a sign. One thing I have learned is through all bad — comes a silver lining and I think, together, we found it. So without any work or business in the near future we got to work. We began playing with business names, I began to design the business, the website, the aesthetic, social media and together we created, platedate, exclusively plated for you. Week after week we sent out newsletters to everyone we knew and in a short amount of time, we we’re officially in business.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

My fiancé and I met working for Peter Callahan Catering — six years ago. I was an account executive, living my dream job and he was working as a waiter for extra cash through college. We spent endless days and nights together, work, work, work , we really never stopped, we were always together. I loved his drive and dedication, he loved my smile entering the kitchen and wittiness to always be silly, laugh and make the most of every event, struggle or situation. When we both left Peter Callahan — he got his own job in the tech world, it never felt right, I never saw that same drive in him as I once did. Losing his job and not having much of an option to find another one — felt like a true silver lining — that we were meant to work together again.

How are things going with this new initiative?

Things are going very well — especially now that people, families are learning to live with COVID. Our business is thriving as people prefer to stay home. We are doing a lot of small intimate dinners, holiday dinners, meal deliveries, gifted chef services and deliveries.

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?

Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and FOUNDER of KIND SNACKS — I had the opportunity to cook for him and he always gave me his true, honest opinion and constructive criticism. He really let me explore the kitchen. I could get so creative with little to no — boundaries. Before this, I assumed everyone wanted basic, simple-spiced, boring, healthy food. From all his feedback and openness to get a taste of the world, I kept going, I taught myself different recipes from every culture, cuisine. I began cooking with so much more spice, flavor, vegetables, herbs, texture — the options were endless and that being said — he made me realize- I LOVE what I do — there is nothing better than seeing someone smile and truly enjoy your healthful, delicious food. His appreciation came a very long way in my career and passion.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

Since we started this new direction — we dreamed up a food truck. We assumed no one would return to New York for months and felt this was a NEED. Long story short — we did not end up purchasing a food truck, but overnight we purchased our very first truck to begin processing all the deliveries we have been doing and using it efficiently to get around to all our clients.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help — I had tried to start this business alone- one too many times and failed over and over again. I finally began reaching out to others for help and things started to come together. I had someone help me rebrand my website, hired someone to help with my social media, invoices, etc.

Keep in contact with your clients, send them thoughtful gifts, newsletters, texts to check in — it all goes a really long way.

Do what feels right. I always get on the phone or meet a client face to face before working for them, I feel that a healthy relationship is really important and this first step goes a long way in building that.

Do what you love — just go for it — quit the day job — don’t waste your time, go for it — start somewhere. Life is too short to not do what YOU love.

Take care of yourself, rest, move your body, remember your family, call your grandma, put the phone away for a good movie night with your lover, don’t get too caught up in the “work” rest and remember to live a little.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

MOVE YOUR BODY + GET OUTSIDE. I could not stress this enough. Oxytocin is a hormone secreted from the brain which mentally brings all good things. Getting outside through COVID has been life changing, whether I was having a bad day or in an argument with a loved one, the vitamin D of the sun and the fresh air has been life changing. Also the release of sweating, moving, even just a simple walk with the dogs every morning, helps tremendously!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Cooking my high-quality, creative and nutritious meals to families across the U.S. Too many here do not have access or knowledge to what eating right really means. The American culture and diet has done this to so many — the rich, the poor and everyone in between. I watched my dad die of an underlying disease caused by diabetes, but really caused from being malnourished. I would love to create a movement where I could deliver my tasteful, creative, healthy meals to all.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why?

Maybe we can tag them and see what happens! Taryn Toomey from the movement THE CLASS. She has changed the way I live my life and I am convinced her practice has helped me find a safe space to think, move, meditate and create.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can find me on instagram @thetastytravelust or @platedateco or WWW.PLATEDATE.CO

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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