May 26, 2023

Locally Sourced: Chef Andre Uribe's Recipe for Culinary Success

Locally Sourced: Chef Andre Uribe's Recipe for Culinary Success

In this episode, I speak with Andre Uribe, a personal chef and the co-owner of Sustainable Meals Oregon. We delve into Andre's journey as a chef and his foray into video and storytelling, which now includes his own audio and video podcast, Chef Therapy.

During our conversation, Andre talks about how he crafted his business model, devised a pricing structure, and strategically positioned himself in the market. His culinary enterprise places a strong emphasis on meal prep using locally sourced ingredients, and he explains why collaborating with local purveyors forms the foundation for Sustainable Meals Oregon.


We explore Andre's aspiration to strike a better work-life balance, enabling him to pursue his other passions and spend quality time with his family.

Tune in to gain valuable insights from Chef Andre, as he shares his entrepreneurial journey, and his commitment to sustainable practices.


ANDRE URIBE 

Chef Andre on Instagram
Andre’s website 

Sustainable Meals Oregon 

Sustainable Meals Oregon on Instagram 

The Chef Therapy Podcast on YouTube 

The Chef Therapy Podcast on Apple Podcasts 


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United States Personal Chef Association
Are you a personal chef looking for support and growth opportunities? Look no further than the United States Personal Chef Association! With nearly 1,000 members across the US and Canada, USPCA provides liability insurance, certification, lead generation, and more. Consumers can trust that their meal experience is insured and supported by USPCA.

And now, for a limited time, save $75 on new membership and get your premier listing on Hire a Chef by using the code TaxBreak2023 at USPCA.com. Plus, if you have products or services to sell to chefs and their clients, showcase your business on the Hire a Chef and USPCA websites with our great introductory packages.

To learn more about membership, advertising, or partnership opportunities, call Angela at 800-995-2138 ext. 705 or email aprather@uspca.com.

 

Transcript
Chris Spear:

This week I speak with Chef Andre Uribe. He's a personal chef and the co-owner of sustainable meals Oregon. We delve into Andre’s journey as a chef and his foray into video and storytelling, which now includes his own audio and video podcast called chef therapy.Andre talks about how he crafted his business model, devised a pricing structure, and strategically positioned himself in the market. Stick around because my conversation with Andre will be coming right up.This is Chris spear. And you're listening to Chefs Without Restaurants The show where I speak with culinary entrepreneurs and people working in the food and beverage industry outside of a traditional restaurant setting.Before I dive into this episode,I want to thank all my listeners. If you've been listening for any amount of time, you probably know that I usually release a weekly episode2023 has gotten off to a bit of a rough start for me and my family. I think that everyone in my household has been sick a minimum of two times since the beginning of the year. But recently, both of my in laws who live with us had been hospitalized. My mother in law just came home after 18 days in the hospital with a bout of pneumonia. To be honest, we weren't sure she was actually going to make it out. And while I'm sure you all understand, I want to let you know that right now I'm not necessarily able to release an episode every week.It's been a little rough to stick to a regular release schedule. But if you subscribe to the show, or follow me on social media, you're going to know when the next episode drops. I hope to be back to a regular schedule sometime soon.So back to Chef Andre, his business is centered on meal prep with a strong emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients. I was really interested in how he does meal prep, because he gets all of his families to eat the same meal,which I think is pretty innovative in the meal prep space. It allows him to scale and to cook for everyone all in one day out of a commercial kitchen and get it done. We also talked about how he really wants to work less so that he has time for other pursuits. A lot of chefs make cheffing their whole personality. But Andre has so many other interests. He wants to make sure he has time for them all as well as spending some time with his family. He'd much rather be home doing art with his daughter than out cooking for people. This goes back to that innovative way of doing the personal chef thing because it gives him a lot more time than many personal chefs have. And we also talked about his love of video and storytelling. He's recently launched a YouTube channel and podcast called chef therapy. We actually recorded this conversation a few months ago,so he was actually just starting back then. As always, if you go to the show notes, you can find links to all of his socials YouTube channel and the podcast.And of course, you can also find out how to connect with me online. If you have any questions, comments or feedback,reach out to me on Instagram at Chefs Without Restaurants or send me an email to chefs without restaurants@gmail.com Oh, and something else I'd love for you to do for me this week is to rate and review this podcast especially if you listen on Apple podcasts. Just go into the show player. Once you find my show, scroll down a few episodes until you see the reviews. Underneath you'll be able to both rate and review it and the show is made possible by the support of our sponsors.This week's episode will be coming right up after a message from the United States personal chef Association. Are you a personal chef looking for support and growth opportunities? Look no further than the United States personal chef association with nearly1000 members across the US and Canada, USPCA provides liability insurance, certification, lead generation and more. Consumers can trust that their meal experience is insured and supported by USPCA. And now for Hey, Chef, welcome to the show.Thanks so much for coming on.a limited time save $75 on new membership and get your premier listing on hire chef by using the code taxbreak2023 at uspca.com. Plus, if you have products or services to sell chefs and their clients showcase your business on hire chef and you SPCA websites with our great introductory packages. To learn more about membership advertising or partnership opportunities call Angela at1-800-995-2138. Extension 705 or email aprather@uspca.com

Andre Uribe:

Thanks, man. Yeah,it's awesome movie here.

Chris Spear:

I love talking to all my guests. But you know the ones who kind of work in the personal chef private chef realm, you know, because kind of that's what I do. So it's always something extra special for me when I have one of you guys on the show.

Andre Uribe:

Yes, let's do this,man. I'm excited.

Chris Spear:

So how do you identify I mean, we talk personal chef, private chef,there seems to be like different definitions for those. I don't even know that there's clear and concise definitions. Like what is it that you actually do and what do you call yourself?

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, it really depends. I don't know. There's a lot of confusion with those terms. I think I have been a private chef before because I was in somebody's home all the time and I only cook for them. I do a lot of like going into Airbnbs and cooking at people's homes but it varies. You know the clients change all the time.So I guess that will be more technically a little personal.Jeff. And then what I'm trying to do now in the food space is meal prepping. Like I'm trying to, like put all of my energy into growing that. And so I don't know exactly what that would mean, in terms of, you know, the, I don't know the word that would describe me best. But I do tell my clients when I do meal delivery that they can think of me as their private chef. So I guess that would be.

Chris Spear:

That's an interesting way to look at it.Yeah, I mean, I call myself a personal chef, but I only do dinner parties. Like that's it.And quite often people think personal chef, like I get so many things about meal prep,I've never done meal prep, not a single time. And I'd love to talk to you about meal prep and a little bit. But you know, so but I've always had personal chef, and I've talked to a few people say like, maybe we need to find like new terms or something that kind of clears what you do, because what I do is kind of like catering. But they even tell me like legally,I can't say I'm a caterer because I don't have a catering license. And I don't do like your 200 person weddings and stuff. Yeah. So why the decision to start doing some meal prep,

Andre Uribe:

did like it kind of it started by accident, I had a client, I used to be executive chef at Intel Corporation. So we're feeding like 1000s of people every day. And I left there and one of my clients asked me if I could cook for him meals, because he didn't want to eat the food of the new people that took over. And so I told him that what I would do for me for myself, for my family is that I would cook all of my meals on Sunday. So I have all my meals for my family for the week, ready to go. So if I wasn't pressing, because back then I was working like 24/7. So if I wasn't at home, my wife could have all the food ready to go. And she could just reheat it and it's good. So I asked him if it was okay for me to just do the same thing that I was doing for me, for him? And he said,yes, no, that was fine. So then I just doubled up the portions and started delivering to him.And this is like six years ago.And then he told some friends.And so it's kind of grown from there. And now we have 10families, I think or nine families that kind of goes up and down. But the beauty of it is that we do because of the way that it's set up, we do exactly the same thing for everybody. So we don't necessarily, we don't really cater to allergies, we don't really cater to that. And although we do have one client that's gluten free, but we can easily switch things around, we pretty much make everything gluten free. And it just makes sense for me because we do all the work and one day. And one of the reasons why I became a private chef, where I left, you know, restaurants or corporate dining things, is because I wanted to have more time for my family, so I can spend time with them. And so meal prep is the thing that has allowed me to do that because I can do essentially I do all the shopping and like half a day on Saturday. And I actually now have somebody that does it for me. But when I started I would do all of it Saturday doing all the cooking on Sunday and doing all the delivery and on Monday.And so that would allow me to have four days off.

Chris Spear:

Well, that's an interesting way to do it. I don't know that many chefs kind of do like the, this is the menu for everyone. What I see a lot of is like Monday, I go to this person's house and make a week's worth of meals and Tuesday I go and then seems like it's a full time job. And you're just like hustling and grinding to get all these meals pulled together.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, I did that for a little bit for a family, I would go to their house and cook all their meals for the week.Because that's what she wanted.And he worked for a little bit.And you know, it's a wealthy family, and they were paying enough. But again, my goal with this is really to now work so much like, I'm trying to live my life in a super creative way.And hanging out with my kids really helps with that. So like I want to spend my days like drawing and writing short stories and playing music with my kids. And, you know, and all that I'm hoping that will translate into what I'm doing now what I'm trying to do now,which is to start a YouTube channel kind of learned video and storytelling through video.So I need a lot of free time. So meal prep is the one thing that has allowed me to do that more than anything.

Chris Spear:

Well, I want to get into the whole YouTube and creating thing for sure. Because that sounds really interesting.Like background, you're talking about creative and wanting to be creative. One of my things like not wanting to do meal prep is because it doesn't seem creative to me, right, which is why I only do dinner parties. Where are you feeding your creativity for the culinary side of things?

Andre Uribe:

Well, we are super obsessed. This is like my, like real obsession is that I would love it if everybody ate locally. You know, I see that there's so much power and supporting local farms. Because everybody eats we should lead a in a healthy way be in a way that supports the soil because without soil health, like we're all screwed, and making sure the local economies are strong, you know, and I know that this doesn't apply everywhere. Not everywhere, it's, you know, like this will work to have local farms, but where I live, we could feed everybody here with local farms, it would take,obviously, you know, a big transformation on how we distribute food. But I'm obsessed with that idea. Like, I love local farms. That's what keeps me cooking. And so my creativity comes and the fact that we buy, like I ordered whole animals, and then we have to get creative on how to utilize those for meals for people. So we have 10 families,and we get like a whole goat.Now we got to break this thing down, we got to brace part of it, we're going to try to turn some of it into steaks. So the challenge of just utilizing what we have like right now, veggie wise, there's a limited amount of veggies we can get, you know,so we're playing with a lot of root veggies and a lot of like storage crops. And so getting creative with the I think the way that people used to cook back in the day or, I mean, I guess that's it's a fact that we we just cooked whatever we had.And so I tried to do that and make it really delicious, and take inspiration from all over the world, but still use mostly local ingredients. So

Chris Spear:

well, how hard is it to get all these families to kind of be okay with eating all the same thing like goat, for instance? Like, I don't know that everyone? I mean, I know,everyone I cook for is not going to be cool with that, like, how do you just decide you're going to do goat and all 10 of these families are going to eat that,like do you have exclusively customers who are really open to trying new things and being a little more adventurous? It sounds like you must.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, I think so I,what I when I started this business, and when I started like taking this seriously and wanting to grow it, what I kept telling myself is that I want it to first design my life and then design the business. Because people make the mistake of designing a business because they're chasing money. And then they end up doing a bunch of stuff they don't like doing. And then so then their lifes are not the best, you know. So I for me decided my life man that I wasn't going to cater to everyone's needs, because then that just means that I'm going to work all the time. And so from the very beginning, I just,I let people know, if you want me to cook for you, like you,you don't know what you're gonna get you, I'm gonna send you an email for this business. I just send people an email on Monday.And I say this is what you have,and we deliver, like we deliver and then they get the email that day. So they have no idea what they're getting. And it's worked out that the people that have signed up like that, you know,and I've had a lot of people sign up that then they don't renew, I'm assuming those are the people that are not okay with eating stuff like that. So and I but I'm okay with that.Because I don't, I don't want to like stretch myself too thin, I don't want to have to hire a bunch of people in order to do this. I don't want to work all the time. I'd rather make less money and run it my way, which is the way that makes me happy.And I think people trust me now you know, that it's gonna be delicious, no matter what I make. So

Chris Spear:

Well, I think you just hit on probably what's gonna be some of the most important takeaways from this episode, because that's kind of what I talked to chefs about all the time, as is balanced between cooking what you want, and making the money, right, like, I just got off the phone with a potential customer. And he was very upfront about having a dinner party where, you know,this, the guest of honor is really particular. And pretty much wants, like a beef entree,like does not eat vegetables,you know, doesn't want like any kind of sauce that they're not familiar with. And you have to look and say like, Okay, I have no business this week. This is a party that's going to net me,you know, a decent amount of money, like, do I do this party like I because I can make delicious food, that's meat and potatoes, right? But that's kind of what so many of us go through is like, not feeling creatively fulfilled, because we're kind of dumbing it down for our customers, because we do need the money and that stance of like, how much do you cater to them versus stick to your guns,and I think that's a position many personal and private chefs are in.

Andre Uribe:

I agree, I think you gotta take the good and the bad. You know, sometimes you got to do that, like I do that sometimes I try not to, but sometimes I need money, and I just got to do it. And I'm lucky that I have enough clients that are like, do do whatever. Like I don't care what you make, just make anything you want, like be super creative. And I think it comes with the design of the business from the beginning.Like I think I'm pretty sure I'm the most expensive private chef,or personal chef in Oregon, I'm pretty sure because I've done a lot of research to see what everybody else is doing. And so I think that allows me to be more creative because when people are looking for somebody,and they do some research and then they find the most expensive they assume as the best, then of course, I'm not the best, but I'm really really happy cooking cool stuff, you know, and and I think what separates me with everybody else is that I really do go out of my way to find local things, you know, like to forge things here or you know, whatever, talk and tell a story. You know, I think a lot a lot of what I like to do is this I can really communicate with my client that it's, it's a whole story. It's not just I'm not just cooking for you. And like serving a plate, putting it on the table and walking away.Like I like to tell you like,this is where this meat came from. And this is where these veggies came from. This is like the story of the owner of the farm. And this is why this farm is so special, and you know,stuff like that. And then, like,that's really what they're paying for.

Chris Spear:

Are you communicating that ahead of time? Like is that coming through when you do a menu proposal via email or phone? Or is this You talking to them at the table and explaining all that

Andre Uribe:

hurts both? When people find me, they go through my website and my website,although I haven't updated it in a long time, I think it's pretty clear on what I liked doing,which is that just like sustainable local foods, and so they usually pick me for that reason. And then I in the communication before the event,I let them know that if they're okay with it, I like to kind of tell a story between courses.And they always love it. And so then when I'm presenting when I'm presenting the food, when I'm serving the food, I give them like, you know, a 32nd version of the story for each dish. And then I think that that really helps, you know, like people, for whatever reason that makes it taste better, if you understand that the carrot came from this one spot of, you know,in this farm where the soil is very special, and it produces extra sweet carrots, you know,like things like that, I think make a difference.

Chris Spear:

Oh, definitely, I find that I would say the majority of my customers want that. But, you know, I kind of have to read the room, I did a party just a couple of weeks ago, where they didn't even want me like talking as we brought food, like I was kind of uncomfortable. Like, I hope you all know what you're eating because they would not even stop talking. And they were just like motioning for me to put down the food. So it was like, turn and burn, like go out, put the soup down, you know, reach in front of them in the middle of their conversation, put it down, leave the room, come in and five minutes, clean it and drop the next and like I literally didn't tell anyone anything they were eating and nobody could care. It was just like, its food, its sustenance. And you know, I get some of those parties. But I would much rather take the time to kind of talk about the dishes. Yeah, I get those parties to how did you come up with your pricing structure?Like you say you're the most expensive? Has it changed? Has it evolved? I mean, I'm sure with growing food costs, it's getting more and more expensive.But how did you decide what you were going to charge and, you know, positioning where, you know, you position yourself at the higher end in the market?Like how did you come up with that?

Andre Uribe:

It started because I had a job. And I hated my job.I was like corporate dining chef, I was working, I was executive chef at a university.And it was like super corporate,everything was HR, I wasn't even cooking anymore. I was just, you know, checking emails all day in dealing with HR. So it was a nightmare. So I just want it out. And at the beginning, I took whatever I think I think$50 a person is what I started,started charging when I started.And I was being booked all the time. So I figured maybe I should raise the price. And that's how I started like I was like 75 and 95 and 100 and 150,then 200. And I kept being booked. And in that process, I started learning about photography and videography. And I learned that if I want to charge a lot, I need to present myself as a luxury chef, you know, and so I started working on on that. So I do now a lot of videos of like, cool looking plates and stuff like that.People are very visual, you know, like they want to see what they're going to eat what they're paying for. So that's helped me a lot. And I just continue to push the prices up and up and up and up and up until I started being booked less. But that worked out fine.Because when I do you know party for 10 people, I make the same money that I was making in a month working somewhere else.

Chris Spear:

Oh, yeah, I think I was just talking about this with my last guests. You know, I enjoy doing some small intimate dinner sometimes. But, you know,when I'd rather go work one night doing 10 people or five nights doing two people, right?Like it's a no brainer, if you know if the money is going to be the same. Let's say we're charging $100 ahead. It's like I'd rather go make $1,000 in one shot and $1,000 stretched out over five nights. Exactly. So it sounds like you have a lot of other things that you're interested in not just food and cooking, which I love. I'm a creative person. I find a lot of people in our industry kind of live breathe, eat sleep, food and cooking. And that's okay,but I have other things. What are what are you really interested in? That's not related to food and cooking. I'd love to hear what you got brewing.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, man. I think my problem is that I'm interested in everything. So like, I have a hard time accepting the fact that like I don't like it when people call me a chef. Although I use it for my business, and the name of my business is Chef Andrea but because I compare myself with other chefs like you just mentioned that are actually like legit chefs that are all the time thinking about food and that's what they do. And that's definitely not me like food is one thing that I like I became super excited about it at some point. went in, I started making money and I just kind of got stuck doing it. And that's what I've been doing for money. But I love, man, everything like things done, right. Like, I'm fascinated by people that do things really well. And I used to be a tattoo artist. So I love drawing like growing up, I grew up drawing, I wanted to have a cartoon show, this would I wanted to do when I was a kid. I started playing music, and I've been in bands. And I just love that. So I still do them. So I'm learning I'm trying to teach myself every instrument because I'm trying to teach my kids to play music. My daughter is 11.And she's super into it. So she's learning the guitar and the ukulele. So

Chris Spear:

that's really awesome. My daughter just started doing bass a month ago.So I'm really psyched. We just got our first electric bass that arrived like two days ago. And she's already teaching me I've never played music. So I'm really jazzed and she's going to like one of these School of Rock kind of places. And she jumped right in playing Nirvana and the white stripes from like, day one. So I'm like, you know, they say you get, or they say you learn to do things better by teaching. So I'm like, Well, why don't you teach me guitar? So we're kind of working. I don't know, though, like I kids learn things really well, right. And I'm thinking she's probably going to pick it up faster than I do.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah. I mean, and kids brains are just incredible machines. You know, like, That blows my mind every time that I pay attention to my kids when they're learning, because they pick it up so quickly. And I think they do it because they have a way of turning everything into a game. And it's a lot easier to learn that way. You know, when you're forced to learn something you just don't want to your brain is like, No,I don't want you. But kids are just having fun. And when you have fun, you learn, you know?So when I want to ask myself the question, what do I want to do with my life? Like, how do I want to live my daily life, it's not working. It's not necessarily cooking, either cooking as part of that, because I love eating. And I love eating really, really delicious food.So that's part of it. But for me, it's like, I just want to do a lot of really, really creative things. Like, that's what makes me happy. So we homeschool our kids, and we've right, like my daughter, and I write stories.And that's amazing. You know,like, that's how I want to spend my life. And so I'm trying to marry all those things together to create a business that nobody can compete with, because it's so unique, you know, like, the storytelling like I really think about when I'm presenting a dish that I'm actually telling them something that's short, yet packed full of information and makes people feel really good.And I learned that through writing with my daughter all the time, you know, in my my passion now, like my obsession, my latest obsession is video, Nick,I want to eventually do documentaries, I want to create documentaries and tell stories and tell stories of small businesses like kind of, like, I grew up being like a punk like,an angry kid that was like,super anti the system and very,like, I at some point, I identified as an anarchist. And,you know, I was like that type of high school kid. And then I kind of grew up, and I learned that the best way that I can,you know, stick it to the man is to become really useful, and to help my community, you know, and so video is something that I discovered when COVID started.And I think it's the most powerful tool ever to help communities because, like, I want to tell the story of small businesses, that, you know,there's so much beauty in a small business compared to like a chain restaurant or something like that, where like, there's just no beauty to be found. So I want to seek seek out really beautiful things. And you know,for me, that's like farms or near people that are very artistic, or, you know,literature, whatever, and then just try to tell the story, and tie it together with food, which is the thing that I do for a living so,

Chris Spear:

so is this going to be like a business endeavor where like, people are paying you to create content for them or trailers for them? Or like,is it like, is it just a passion project? Or is there a monetization aspect to it?

Andre Uribe:

I think both I don't want to charge a small business to create something for them. Because they don't have money. Like I'm a small business, I couldn't afford that, you know, and I don't want to work for like, creating videos for Nike or for the big companies like that, I would never do that. Ever. That sounds like a nightmare. Sounds like a job and I don't want to have a job. So that so that part of it like I just want to do it for free. Like I just want to find like farmers that I really love or maybe like a shoemaker that's amazing or somebody that you know, whatever small businesses and then just tell the stories like there's a bookstore in my town that's incredible with that I've been talking to them about creating a little video for them. And so all that will be free because like, you know,maybe I'll trade for some books or for a pair of shoes if the person makes it, whatever. But um, the way that I would like to monetize it eventually is that I would like to actually grow a YouTube channel and try to make money doing that. You know,these are, I think, dreams that everybody has. But I'm discovering that I'm really,really liking that idea, because it's a way of, I think making things better telling stories that are positive, and you know,just pumping like beauty into the space that I think is lacking and, and eventually maybe making money doing that, I don't know,

Chris Spear:

what's the big things you're working on right now.

Andre Uribe:

I have one big goal. At some point, he's here,which is to go to South America and spend three months there.Because I want my kids to learn Spanish I grew up in South America, and, and my kids don't speak any Spanish. So I want to change that. And I want to go there. And I want to volunteer at some school and like, teach whatever music or cooking or whatever, for three months and just fully disconnect, like turn off everything. And so that's my ultimate goal. And to get there is it takes two things, I think one is I need to grow my business, my business is called Sustainable meals, like I want to grow that I want to double it in size, I want to have at least20 families. And if I do that,then I can pull out a very small salary and not have to do anything. So that's my goal with that. Man, I want to grow a YouTube channel, which means that I'm going to be filming every week, I'm trying to do one or two videos per week, which is seems crazy. So maybe not, maybe it'll be every other week. But I want to put a lot of energy into that. And because that's something that I could do anywhere I could travel and do a video wherever I go. So I think that there's potential in that.And then the other part is remodeling my house. What I wanted to do originally is I wanted to do an Airbnb. So I would that's what I was doing.But now I'm thinking that I'm not going to do that. And instead, I'm just going to turn it into YouTube studio.

Chris Spear:

The YouTube studio definitely makes sense if that's something you want to push hard on for sure. Yeah. We're in South America. Like are you looking at one particular country right now?

Andre Uribe:

Yeah. Colombia is where I grew up.

Chris Spear:

Have you talked to the kids about this yet? Yes. I

Andre Uribe:

actually just took my son there for the first time,like a month ago or something like that a month and a half ago. We were there for 10 days.And it was the best. It was amazing. He loved it. Colombia is crazy. It's just super chaotic, but beautiful country.So you can do you can get away with doing a lot of crazy things. And everything is super cheap. Like, check this out. We hired two private Chefs for the whole time that we were there.And they did breakfast, lunch,dinner and snacks. Like they would like slice fruit for us and make it look cheap bladder and make coffee for us every couple of hours, like 24/7service for eight days. And then at the end, they gave me the bill. It was $100

Chris Spear:

Like, what

Andre Uribe:

were everything,everything food included, and every single thing was $100. I charge

Chris Spear:

$100 a person for like one dinner like a four course dinner starting at?

Andre Uribe:

Yes, exactly. So it's crazy how cheap it is. We went to a private island, we rented this boat. We did like all these crazy things for super cheap. So I'm trying to have these dream that I can create a very small salary up here without having to do anything.And then I can just spend time there. Because everything is so cheap.

Chris Spear:

Is it cost of goods? Is it labor? Like why is everything so cheap down there?

Andre Uribe:

I don't think it's just dollar conversion.Yeah, I mean $1 is almost 5000pesos and for 5000 pesos. Like you can have a nice lunch at a nice restaurant. So for $1 You can eat well you know,everything is crazy cheap.

Chris Spear:

Sounds like I need to travel down there. I've never been to Central or South America like I've done Mexico a couple times. But that's it

Andre Uribe:

did Colombia is amazing. Colombia is such a beautiful place people are so nice. And it's just it's a magical place. I love it.

Chris Spear:

Well, I'll put it on my list of places I need to see before I die for sure. Going back to the business how many people work for you because like I work by myself except for when I hire staff for some events but what's your team look like? So there's just

Andre Uribe:

one guy he's he's my business partner. He the deal that we have is like he does a lot of the physical work so like i He now he goes shopping and then he delivers and we cook together on one day so right now I work one day a week just work Sundays and he works Saturdays shopping and Mondays delivering so just him I've had other employees in the past that I keep for like a few months at a time like summers for me are super crazy. So I'll bring in people to help me prep so usually like one or two extra people but right now with a meal delivery is just Patrick and I and that's in

Chris Spear:

there are you guys using like a big commercial kitchen you have to rent to get all these dinners banged out.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, we have a commercial kitchen that is really close to my house is like four blocks away from my house.And it's brand new. And I actually I was the one to buy all the equipment for it. The city contacted me and they're like, Hey, you're the chef guy.We want to have a Commissary Kitchen, but we have no idea what we're doing. Can we just give you the money, and then you buy whatever. And I was like,yeah, so it's a dream. So I essentially build a kitchen perfectly, like, dreamy for my business. And it's a Commissary Kitchen, so other people rent it too. And we're only there one day a week.

Chris Spear:

I guess that's like, the nice thing about doing the one day a week thing because it gets costly. Like a lot of people who do the meal prep are doing it in customers homes, so they don't have to have the Commissary Kitchen. And once you get into you know a lot of these places, I don't know what the standard rate is around here.It's kind of like $25 An hour plus a couple 100 bucks a month.Like that adds up if you're in there all the time.

Andre Uribe:

It does add up. But it's it's a numbers game, you know? Because if you're thinking like, Okay, well, I can save that money and then go to the client's home and cook for them there, then yeah, I'm saving 100bucks, 200 bucks or whatever.But now I'm having to work an extra day. So it's my day worth100 bucks, or 200 bucks. Yes,I'd rather pay 200 bucks, and have a free day, then do that.And I

Chris Spear:

still haven't figured out how people who do this make the math were like looking at what I do and what I charge for a nice dinner as opposed to like meal prep like these people who meal prep every day. Yeah, I still don't see the business model. Like how much are you charging these people for dinner, like you cook for a family of four, even if they're getting you like all the dinners from you, you'd have to like trade on volume and do a ton like I would just rather go out and charge like 200 bucks for a dinner for you know, five people.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, I know, two people that are very successful doing that model of going into people's homes. And she does.She works. I forget how she called it. But it was something like that 555 Or something like that. And so she worked five days a week, it takes her about five hours a day, and she had five different families. And each family pays her. I mean,these are wealthy families. And so she would go and work. She works 25 hours a week. And I don't know how much they are charging, but they're charging a pretty penny. And they're making a good living doing that. I just don't want to work five days a week, that seems that seems crazy. And I'm also trying to like, do less of the physical work and more of the creative work.

Chris Spear:

Well, it sounds like you've really started to get some of that figured out,you're it sounds like you're at a good point that a lot of us want to be at is working less.That's what I'm doing. Like I'm doing more of these big parties,higher dollar parties. So I have more time to work on the podcast and other creative endeavors like food writing,

Andre Uribe:

does the trick, you know, and I think the key for that is a learning as much as you possibly can about money,like how to manage money, and how to make money. Because I think the the biggest mistake that people make all the time is that they're they're stuck doing the work. And so you're gonna get paid what your for what you're doing, you know, so like,if if all I'm doing is cooking,like, I'm not gonna make very much money because cooking doesn't pay a lot of money. But if what I'm doing is, for example, creating a course that teaches people how to meal prep,potentially, I can sell that course to a million people. So potentially, I can make a million dollars. So managing my time, like what am I doing? Am I stuck cooking all the time? Or am I investing in good camera equipment and learning how to do that properly and learning how to do marketing? You know what I mean? Like, I think it's a long term game. But learning how to actually make money like how do you utilize your time to actually create wealth as opposed to just barely pay the bills is what I'm what I'm trying to learn. I mean, I'm at that super early stage of that,but I think hiring somebody to do a lot of the work is a good idea for the most part.

Chris Spear:

Well, how are you learning to do this? Because it sounds easy to say like you need to learn about how to make money, but what are like, How are you learning to make money?Is there been anything that's been really helpful? Like a person books? A course?

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, a lot of books. I, I've read every book that I can get my hands on, on,on how to make money. Like I'm like, I'm one of those people that follows all the, the huge entrepreneurs that make crazy amounts of money, which is not what I want, like I don't want to make a lot of money because one of the books I think the first book that I recommend people reading is thing is called your money, your your life or your money, or vice versa. And Vicky, something I forget her name, but it's an incredible book because it teaches you to have a different relationship with money. Like it teaches you what really money has, like, she starts the book saying what is money? And you know, it goes pretty deep into what how people interpret, you know, money. And ultimately what it really means is life energy.So how much life energy are you willing to trade in order to have this money? You know, and then you can start running numbers? Well, I want to my life energy is worth more than money like I would much rather make what I make now and work one day than to make $10 million a year and work on that time, you know,so that book is really good because he really, really puts things in perspective. And then you start to maybe spend less on things that you don't care about. And spend more. There's a lot of people there's this other guy, he's Ramit Sethi

Chris Spear:

love him. If you didn't mention it, I was gonna bring up I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Yes,

Andre Uribe:

exactly. So that's a really good one. And all the classics, you know, like Robert Kiyosaki, the Rich Dad, Poor Dad, these are all books that you can pull some something out of, you know, like, they're not all 100% gospel, but they're,they're good. You learn stuff,like in that book, it says,everything you buy can be either a liability or an asset. So like, when I got into video production, I wanted to have a really nice camera, which was really dumb, in a way because I shouldn't be spending crazy amounts of money because that stuff is super expensive. But I see it as as an acid, like, this thing will make me money. Like I had a contract with the USDA.And I made a total US two contracts, and I made a total of like, $40,000, making videos for them. That's huge. Yeah, it was a Farm to School project. So it was, it was education for, for schools for school districts in Washington State, on how to source locally, and how to cook it, and how to get the kids to actually enjoy it. And like all these different things, and most of it because of COVID ended up being me making videos as opposed to doing a conference,which was the original idea. And I was only able to make those 40grand, because I spend 15 grand in camera equipment, you know,so like, thinking about how you spend your money. It's tricky,but I would say just like, get your hands on 10 books on how to make money and read them all three times, and then pull the information you think is useful.That's what I've been doing. And I don't I don't make a lot of money. But I'm making enough so I can just work one day, you know?

Chris Spear:

Yeah, you know, I'm a big fan of navall Raava. Khan,I don't know if you've followed him. And you know, he's got so many things on this. But the thing that I think, for me resonated the most is like,trading time for money, right?And he talks about like, having an aspirational, like, how much is your time worth? And if something like if you can go make videos and make $40,000 on that? Is it worth your time to clean your house? Or should you pay someone $100 To clean your house? Because the time that they're doing that you're gonna be making a video that can make$40,000 You know, and like getting yourself in that mindset, like, where's your time best spent? And I think you said that before, it's like, it makes sense to just have someone do this.

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, it makes perfect sense. I mean, when I started my chef business, I was doing all the bookkeeping, I was doing like everything, and he was a mess, like a disaster. And then I learned I should hire a bookkeeper. And I pay her 280bucks a month, which seems like a lot. But ultimately, she saved me like, last year in taxes alone, she saved me like 40 or$50,000. You know, just definitely worth it. And all those things like what you said,like I have now a lady that helps me cleaning the house. You know, it's like, that makes sense. Because now I'm spending my time in a smarter way. You know, I'm doing the things that actually generate more money than if I stayed at home saving whatever money that I'm paying somebody to clean it, and doing it myself, you know. So it's like, it's a paradigm shift,that takes a long time. But you do it through just reading a lot and trying to adopt the mentality of people that make money. Because, you know, if you think about, if you take the money away from somebody super wealthy, what they would do, the first thing that would do if they have to start from scratch,is they would assemble a team and to work together because they know that if like there,they know that if they want to make money, they don't make money by working, they make money by organizing a team. So it means that you just have to hire people in order to actually grow, you know.

Chris Spear:

So we need to learn how to make money and hire a team. What else would you tell people who are looking to start a business like going back to when you started? If you could say like, Man, I should have done this? I mean, it sounds like those are two pretty big ones. But anything else that you would recommend for people who are looking to maybe start especially something like a personal chef, private chef business?

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, I mean, I would say that you've got to really ask yourself the questions of why you want to even start it, you know, like you got to have your motivations very clear. So you can design the business. Like I said at the beginning, I tell people all the time, like design your life first. So ask you a question.Ask yourself questions like, do you want to wear shoes every day? Or would you rather just wear flip flops? You know, seems like a silly question. But if the answer is you want to wear flip flops every day, then that rules out a lot of things. And so now you know that maybe you need to move to Hawaii or something. You know like what time do you want to get up every day? How many hours you want to work do you want a family do you want to stay anytime with your kids, you know, like, do you want to write a book like your life first, you know, and once you have those answers very clear, then that's going to rule out all the possible businesses that are not going to work for you. Because the reason why you started in the business,ultimately, I think, is because you want to be happier, like,you don't want to have to work for somebody else and ask permission to take a weekend off. Like, you know, I mean,like, you want to own your life.And so you have to be super careful about how you start growing it, because I think what happens a lot is that people start businesses, and then they become slaves to their, to their businesses, they're working all the time. And that's not why we do it, you know, so, we do it, I think, just to make enough money, to have enough time,right? And it's keeping our balance. So think about how you want your life and then figure out if, if it's for you or not.

Chris Spear:

And we have no idea how much time we're gonna have,right? Like tomorrow, you could be in an accident and find out,you're gonna have a couple of weeks, like, how were those days leading up to that? Right?

Andre Uribe:

Exactly, exactly.That's, I mean, that's huge motivation to live a better life is that, you know, shit happens,man, like, you never know,what's gonna happen tomorrow. So I've been really grateful for what we have today. And for our families and spending times with them, I think that's my biggest,like, motivation is playing with my kids as much as possible,like, I there will be no regret,if I do that a lot, you know,but there will be regret, if I tried to do, I don't know, grow a huge business, like my business sustainable meals is I could grow it a lot, I could hire people. And I can deliver in like plastic containers, and like, I can cut a lot of corners, you know, I can just buy food from Cisco. And like, I could do all those things and potentially make a lot more money. But I would hate myself.And instead, I deliver in glass.Because to me that makes sense.Instead, I buy whole animals and I break them down myself, that makes more sense. So it's not,it's not a scalable business,I'm not doing it for the money I'm doing it for, I think the legitimacy of doing something very difficult. And being able to tell people like, look, we are a sustainable business, like this thing actually works, we're not harming the environment,we're not doing anything that we shouldn't be doing. We're not cutting corners to make more money, even though we are obviously for profit, but we'd rather have little profit, and and do things the right way. And I think that long term data is what is going to be successful.Now, as opposed to just trying to make a quick Penny today, you know, and then eventually,people are going to realize what you're doing, and then they're not going to support you. So I think thinking long term is very important for people that are trying to start a business,what's the long

Chris Spear:

term? How long? How long do you think people should be thinking ahead?

Andre Uribe:

Um, well, I think at least at least five years, or10 years, or even your entire life, you know, like when I,when I started my business, I want kinda to leave a legacy. So I think about my the rest of my life, like, I want to be known as a chef that tried to make things better through food. So that's a forever thing. You know, I think financial goals,you should have a very good idea of what you're going to be making you know that in the next two years, think about that. But ultimately, I think it's about reputation, like your business will succeed. If people really love you, you know. And so you have to think about it. Like every every choice that you make every day is going to make it so people have respect for you or not, you know,

Chris Spear:

what do you have that you want to share? Before we get out of here today? Is there any last words for our audience?

Andre Uribe:

Man, I don't know,I think something that I that I think about all the time is that the fact that every choice that we make, can make the world better or worse. And that's my motivation for supporting local is because I think that if I was to buy, for example, you know, a piece of meat from cash and carry or something like that, I know that animal wasn't treated properly. And so I go down that rabbit hole of believing that it's my fault that there was suffering, because I did that,you know, like I was part of that chain. And so I think that we don't give ourselves enough credit as to the power that we have to make things better. And I'm really obsessed with that idea. i It drives me nuts to see so much negativity in the world and social media, and it's really heartbreaking. So I think that what we can do is whatever it is that we do, like if we chefs, one way to make things better is you know staying positive telling stories to your clients about the beauty of food, kind of, you know,romanticizing what that means the whole process of eating and,and cooking makes things better and supporting local farms and people doing things the right way makes things better. So just trying to be as positive as we possibly can in being influential and making our communities happier places, you know, for our kids and for for the future. And so

Chris Spear:

do you see food and cooking as more of an art or more of a craft?

Andre Uribe:

I think it's both,you know, when I, when I'm fermenting things, I think of it as a science when I'm just throwing things together,because I'm really hungry, and I just kind of find stuff in my fridge, then I think of it as a game. You know, when I'm trying to like discover a flavor that's really exciting. By mixing things then that could be seen as art almost because your, your ultimate goal is to wow people.And I think that's what art is supposed to do. So I think it's both or everything, actually,depending on how you approach it.

Chris Spear:

Okay, it's a good one. Well, I appreciate having you on the show today. Thanks so much for coming on.

Andre Uribe:

Yes, man. Thank you. It was awesome.

Chris Spear:

Is there anywhere you want to direct our listeners to and social media website anything? Where should people check you out?

Andre Uribe:

Yeah, sure. I mean,starting this YouTube channel that I'm going to put a lot of love into. And I think the easiest way is just I think it's just add Andre, or add chef,Andre PDX. If you just search for that, I think you'll find it.

Chris Spear:

Okay. And as always, I link everything up in the show notes. So I'll have that all there ready for everyone when this episode releases. Awesome, dude. Thank you. Thank you. And to all of our listeners. This has been Chris with the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. Thanks so much and have a great week. Go to chefs without restaurants.org To find our Facebook group,mailing list and check database.The community is free to join.You'll get gig opportunities,advice on building and growing your business and you'll never miss an episode of our podcast.Have a great week.