We had the good fortune of connecting with Nichole Langford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nichole, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process was pretty simple, I have never liked working for people. We are raised to go to school, get a great education and then find a good job. While I agree with this system to a degree, I do not think that it is for everyone. After graduating culinary school, I worked for several hotels, restaurants, and country clubs but I was never happy. When I began working in the private sector with more creative freedom, and the ability to make more money I knew then that I would eventually began to work for myself. I was given the opportunity to work in beautiful mansions and I fell in love with the beauty of surroundings accompanied with great food. It’s a life style most people will never see up close and personal. I wanted to offer some of that experience to everyone. I wanted to offer gourmet foods, with options and variety, while giving customers a 5 star experience in the comforts of their home, this inspired Gorgeous Green Chef.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Gorgeous Green Chef is a personal chef and catering service that I started to offer people from all walks of life the opportunity to enjoy the foods that they love. What set’s what I do apart from others is my professionalism and my ability to really adapt to many different diets and cuisines. It has always bothered me that when I go out to eat, my options are always pretty limited. If I need to make adjustments to non-dairy, or no meat there is more likely not an option to do so. I offer those options. I bring the restaurant to you, but I allow you to customize your experience to fit your needs, without sacrificing great taste. Sometimes you just don’t want your mashed potatoes cooked in cream or milk, leaving you gassy and bloated.
I am so proud and excited about the future ahead of me. I cannot say where I will be, but I do understand that discipline, gratitude, hard work and genuine effort will lead me to a better place in all areas of my life. I have made is this far mostly by the grace of God honestly. Opportunities have been placed in front of me that I did not seek, was not ready for and some I kinda fumbled along the way due to me not understanding what season I was in. I am where I am also because I have a keen vision to succeed. I will not accept anything less than greatness and that is built inside of me. No matter how small the job or unimportant the position, I have always given everything 100%. In my opinion, that is key to achieving everything, go hard or go home!
This journey has not been easy for me because I have had to make a lot of mistakes through trial and error. I have found it difficult to find support in the culinary and entrepreneur industry because many people see one another as competition. I remember having to walk away from my mentor because he basically started resenting me for making it further in my career and making more money than him at my age. It was very disheartening to me. I guess I grew up kind of naive thinking that when you had something great in you that you wanted to share with the world, the people closest to you would want to support it. This journey gets lonely, especially when you’re the first in your family to tackle it.
One way that I have been able to overcome lack of support is by supporting others and making what I do more meaningful to my clients. It gives me joy to receive 5 star reviews, large tips, and compliments from strangers. This is fulfilling because it let’s me know that I bring value to the market place, even though those I expected to see my value couldn’t. I have learned to never put expectations on anyone. I have learned to trust my intuition about everything. I have learned to always stand up for myself because culinary is a male dominated industry and weakness will leave you trampled on and burnt out.
I want the world to know that success does not come to those who wish for it, but to those who wish and work for it. My path has never been easy, but I know it will be rewarding. Optimism and discipline are key to achieving goals. If you believe you have failed, then a failure you will be. The color green is a symbol of growth, renewal, and it even represents “Go” on the road. We will all face challenges no matter our economic or social status, so go through it, grow through it, and make it beautiful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being an entrepreneur and a full-time mother does not give me the luxury to enjoy the Atlanta life the way I may want however, I think there are some pretty dope locations in Georgia that I may want to take my friends. Georgia is full of fun and interesting people, so I think no matter where we land, we will encounter some interesting and exciting people.
Day 1: It’s hot, we would definitely visit White Waters. I’m a big kid at heart so I think this would be the perfect place to enjoy this hot Ga summer heat.
Day 2: Avalon. This suburban luxury experience would be perfect because there is so much to do. We could do shopping at Sephora, and Chanel along with many other stores. There’s a nail spa, movie theatre, and so many great places to eat, one of my favorites being Rumi’s. This Persian restaurant would be my go to for great tasting fresh foods such as lamb hummus and they serve the best cocktails!
Day 3: An hour drive to the Ga mountains would be great, just to get away from the city life and all it’s traffic. The Blue Ridge Mountains have some beautiful cabins and I’m sure the views will be breath taking.
Day 4: We would head back from the mountains and definitely check out Pepper Boxing for some fitness. These boxing classes are group classes and they are intense but so fun. The energy is always lit, we will definitely break a sweat. After class we could get something healthy to eat from Veganiare. They have delicious plant based foods and since I have dedicated this year to getting healthy and in shape, my friend would definitely need to visit this location with me.
Day 5: Let’s end the week with a little night life action. The Punch Line Comedy Club is an intimate late-night comedy club featuring a full bar, casual eats & regular stand-up performances. I think this would be the perfect ending to a great week, lots of laughs.
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?
I would like to give thanks to all the chef’s and employers I have had the experience to cook for. Every step has been a learning experience for me. I am grateful for everyone who believed in me, and those who didn’t, it all has helped me become who I am. However, I am especially grateful for my children. They are the key to my determination, ambition and drive to never give up. I would not be where I am today without their love, support and constant positive affirmations over my life.
Linkedin: S. Nichole
Yelp: Gorgeous Green Chef
Youtube: The Chef’s Perspective Podcast with Chef S. Nichole
Image Credits: Flex Photography, Gen Entertainment LLC., Gorgeous Green Chef LLC. Veena Bhat