Catering to a Higher Cause

Situation:

  • In 2012, Mavis Linnemann-Clark opened The Delish Dish, a catering company in Covington, KY. She obtained a Catering and Personal Chef certificate in 2011, having combined her passion for travel, cooking globally inspired dishes with 12 years of experience in the food service industry.
  • In 2013, she was a finalist for admittance to Bad Girl Ventures, a woman-focused startup accelerator in the region. She also joined the Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen and launched her artisan line of jams and jellies, called Made by Mavis.  
  • In 2015, Mavis became a member of the Kroger Buys Local Campaign through the Kentucky Proud® program for food certified as “raised, grown or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians.”
  • Despite her success, Mavis needed help running the business side of her business.

Solution: How the SBA Helped:

  • Rebecca Volpe, Northern Kentucky University SBDC Director, began working with Mavis in 2014. Since that time, she has received over 155 hours of counseling from Ms. Volpe.  
  • Mavis also received over 200 hours of mentoring from the SCORE Chapter in Northern Kentucky.  
  • Business mentors from the SBDC and SCORE helped her better manage rapid growth in revenue, employees and catering events.
  • The mentors also helped with the strategic plan, new product lines and the generation of a healthy profit that meets industry standards.
  • In 2016, The Delish Dish was notified by the business operating the incubator kitchen that it was leaving due to a foreclosure. This forced The Delish Dish to relocate. With guidance from the SBDC, Mavis was able to negotiate with the new building owners a long-term lease of the incubator kitchen as well as operate the kitchen. 

Successful Impact/Outcome:

  • With financial analysis and guidance from the SBDC and SCORE, The Delish Dish was able to even out cash flow for the business, which has increased three-fold over a four-year period.
  • Space has increased from 500 square feet to over 5,000 square feet during this same time.
  • The Delish Dish employees 48, up from one employee when Mavis started. Revenue and net profit have also seen similar growth patterns.
  • Based on her success, she was recognized as the SBA Kentucky 2018 Woman Owned Small Business of the Year.

Mavis is passionate about helping those in need. The Delish Dish donates meals to two local homeless kitchens. She and her team also volunteer for the Keep Covington Beautiful campaign and the Great American Clean-Up Day.

Company Name: 
The Delish Dish, LLC
Location: 
Covington, KY 41011 (Kenton County)