We had the good fortune of connecting with Darilyn May and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darilyn, how do you think about risk?
I see taking a risk as walking into the unknown despite everything going on around you. Taking a risk can be scary, but the lessons you learn along the way are unmeasurable. And it doesn’t matter if that risk was successful or a failure. Three years ago, I took a risk by leaving my leadership position at my job. Since I have taken that risk, I’ve gone from a 4th story apartment to a basement, working multiple side hustles, and financial mishaps. I say that to say I don’t ever regret taking the risk to leave.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own a personal chef service business – PlanCookHost. I offer meal prep, private dinners, and small catering services. I love to curate menus around seasonal ingredients. I think sometimes we forget about all the other vegetables and fruits that are available to us, so we eat the same ones over and over again. I decided to start curating menus when I began gardening and understanding what it takes for food to grow. I enjoy introducing my client’s to foods they’ve never eaten before or changing their minds on foods they disliked before. I initially started my business in 2013 and didn’t have any direction or even knew what I was doing. So that led me to go back to working as an engineer after about a year. I tried to maintain running my business and my job, but that didn’t work out. That changed in 2017 when I decided to take that leap and go full steam ahead with my business. I didn’t come out the gate with a lot of clients, so I had to take side jobs like Lyft and Shipt to help supplement my income. I had to downgrade my living expenses, like giving up my 4th story apartment. The sacrifice has been worth it. I am not where I am want to be with my business but, the peace of mind and freedom make it worth it. There are times I want to give up, but, I look back on what I have overcome and that keeps me going to conquer whatever other obstacles may come my way. I have been able to build most of my business from referrals. Word of mouth has been really good to me. I am looking forward to expanding my business with other services and products like my seasoning blend line.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This would def be week long foodie trip. I would def hit up a few coffee spots like Rev Coffee, Ponce City Market + Krog Street would be a must. A big ride down the Atlanta Beltline. A nice hike up the Kennesaw mountain with a stroll along the Chattahoochee. Brunch would def be a must with places like the Atlanta Breakfast Club, West Egg, Another Broken Egg, Le Petit Marche. We would check out the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, High Museum, Trap Museum. Food places like Slim + Husky’s, Sublime Doughnuts, or Slutty Vegan. Chilling at Truist Park for drinks and late night eats.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Kristin Hemingway – She may not know it but at times when I was doubting myself as I was building my business, she was yelling loud for me on the sidelines. And by that I mean – always telling people about my business, using my services, and just overall being supportive.
Marc Bibanga (chef pic)