From a young age she has been spending most of her time in the kitchen, even if it is just to observe.
It is then no surprise that today, Sherida Reid, 27, is the proud owner of the food business, Shere Indulgence Catering, serving up a variety of scrumptious, high-quality, home-cooked style meals to individuals and groups.
While she has been in operation for the past eight years “on and off”, Reid told Barbados TODAY it was in February last year that she officially started her home-based business.
“I started it because I saw the need to have it, as I was approached by Barbados Rugby to do a few catering jobs for overseas teams coming into Barbados for tournaments over the years,” she recalled. “Also, there weren’t any nearby shops in my district that sell food, and the guys in the neighbourhood always had to go to [the fast-food restaurants],” she said.
The Oxnards, St James, resident said it was also her passion to have her own business, adding that from as far back as she could remember she has always wanted to be a chef.
“I always wanted to be a chef and have my own business. I was always in the kitchen with my Mum Mum – my grandmother – even if she didn’t let me do anything besides watch her, because that was her space. I grew up watching her and learning from her, so some things came naturally to me.
“I always did well in food and nutrition at school, so it was only natural for me to be in that field,” said the Hospitality Institute graduate.
Reid, who over the years continued to sharpen her pastry and cake decorating skills, said what she enjoys most about her journey as an entrepreneur is her flexible work hours. “I also love getting feedback from my customers, hearing how they enjoyed the food or treats, and so I can improve my business where needed,” she said.
The most challenging part of her journey was not having transportation to deliver orders to her customers who craved her meals. “I had to turn them down, and I lost a lot of customers and money that way,” she recalled.
However, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reid was forced to quickly adjust in an effort to remain relevant, continue to satisfy her existing customers and gain new ones.
“So far, it has been really good, especially throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic where I did delivery services for persons who were scared to leave home or just didn’t feel like cooking,” she said.
Like other businesses, Shere Indulgence Catering started offering WhatsApp ordering and curbside pickup and is taking full advantage of social media marketing.
The former Coleridge and Parry Secondary School student said her wish is to see small firms uniting to help each other grow and prosper.
“Help each other by referring people to other businesses and not to cry down each other, and if you can’t provide a service, recommend another business that would be able to do so,” she said.
She also has some simple advice to potential entrepreneurs: “Be patient and be constant in the service you provide. Always interact with your customers and get feedback and constructive criticism. Do not take it in the wrong way as it will help you to improve your standards, work and your presentation,” she advised.