"My dad always told me, 'If you find a job that you love you will never work another day in your life', and I believe that through and through."
I have always wanted to run my own business and had been nursing the idea of starting a food company for a while. By chance, I saw a tweet about the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and applied straight away. Having searched high and low for a programme that helps aspiring entrepreneurs learn the skills needed to get going, I’d finally found it.
After attending the induction day, I was sold – I felt instantly inspired. As soon as I walked through the doors, I knew the tutors and the course content was perfect for what I wanted to achieve. I had already been running a Caribbean takeaway from my home and wanted to understand how a business works; the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy helped me do that.
What stood out most for me on the course was the calibre of the business owners who gave up their time to speak to us and tutor us. Improving my confidence was also key. Because of my surname, I was always the last to give presentations at school and I had a stammer, so public speaking frightened me to death. The Academy taught me to control pitch and communicate my ideas in a concise manner.
Since graduating, I have continued with my Caribbean street food business, Ren’s Kitchen, offering authentic Caribbean meals made to order using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. I have attended over 250 events where people have been able to sample my food, and it has always done quite well. I’m constantly being invited to more events and this has inspired me to try and upscale the business.
In the last 12 months, I have catered for the following: a horror film production, food festivals, Slough Borough Council events, Chesham street market and street food markets across the UK. I have also organised my own events. I have always been interested in cooking and have been inspired by the fabulous women in my family. My first big break was securing three seasons delivering my Caribbean cookery classes at Tummies Cookery School.
I hope to open a restaurant in the new year.