The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, in Frederick Maryland has been such a great connection to have as a small business owner. I have never seen such an active chamber like this one before. The engagements, outreach and focus on the business community of Frederick is just outstanding. I have always felt that chambers are a good asset as far as networking but I had no idea the magnitude of business the Frederick Chamber would bring.
This history behind the launch of Hindle’s Catering
I have been a chef, caterer and restaurateur for over 27 years,mostly in the Indianapolis, IN market. My credibility and reputation in that local industry made it rather easy for me and I rarely found myself in need of work.In fact, it was quite the opposite. Work constantly found me and I had a very successful catering company without anything needed more than word of mouth.
I had little need for even a website for my business, when I first created it in 2007. My clients were clients that I had catered to for many years. Pharm Reps, office managers and others that loved my style of healthier cuisine and my ability to create any style of international food they asked for. They rarely had the same menu twice, unless they wanted to, my variety made me the only caterer they ever needed. I could do a big Greek feast, American homestyle, Asian, Italian, any country really. Needless to say, finding business was never an issue.
I moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania area at the end of 2016. My husband to be had purchased a home for us in Fairfield Pennsylvania and we were married there in May of 2017. I acquired a position at the Liberty Mountain Ski Resort and Conference Center. It is a wonderful place to work and I have enjoyed every minute of it.The management and staff are a fun and lively group of true professionals. Liberty Mountain really does exceed most resorts standards. I had the advantage of assisting with everything from weddings, events & conferences. Where I loved the job, I just couldn’t help but feel that I needed more.
I could see a need for my style of catering and the lack of options in catering delivery services in the area. I had been a successful caterer and chef for years and knew I would need to go out on my own to truly excel in my career. My desire to go back into business for myself was strong and so the creation of Hindle’s Catering began. In July of 2018 we were licensed and ready to go. I had a beautiful production kitchen, connections to local vendors and a menu that was sure to appeal to the fresh, healthy market of today’s world. The issue was that I was unknown and had no real way of introducing myself into the market. Being new to the area with no reputation made it harder.
When my relationship with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce began
My husband is a prominent Frederick business owner and member of Chamber Frederick. His SEO and Digital Marketing company is well established within the Frederick, Maryland business community.
In November of 2018, he suggested opening a second location in Frederick Maryland, where the market would be larger. When he first suggested a second location and membership for our catering company into the Frederick Chamber, I did not hesitate. I knew of the value to small businesses that a good chamber could bring. I knew the connections we could make, would help as we continued to establish ourselves with in the Frederick food world and business catering industry. I had, however, no idea how receptive they would be to me as well.
My expectations as a small business owner and member were far exceeded
My greatest fear was the unknown. How would I approach this new market? How would I build a reputation and gain the credibility in this undiscovered (to me) territory? The answer was the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.
Every single function that I have done for them, has been successful and led to more. My first event with them was simply our Fajita and Taco Salad Bar. I tend to structure the menu plans to accommodate all basic dietary concerns for guests already factored in. This group had vegan, vegetarian and gluten free needs. Everyone was pleasantly surprised to say the least! The only item the gluten free guests needed to avoid were the flour tortillas. The vegans were thrilled when they realized the rice and beans were completely vegan,as well. My point is that everyone was stuffed and raving about the food. I even booked two more caters, from the other attendees, that very day. It was more than I could have imagined and I am so grateful to the Chamber for everything they have done to help me along my path to success.
I have received more calls just from my company being listed on their website than on my own. In fact my connection to their website has led to more online traffic being directed to my Hindle’s Catering website. This was certainly not something I even anticipated would happen, but love that it has!
They have really has been such an incredible resource and invaluable connector for me and my little company. The Frederick Chamber has done so much in aiding to the success of my business. Not only in doing caters and functions for them, but also the referral business I have gained as a member, has been tremendous. I have gotten a multitude of calls, booked many caterers and made more contacts through the Frederick Chamber than I ever imagined I would. This has been in such a short time frame, only a few months. Truly remarkable.
As a small business owner and new chef on the Frederick scene it has truly made such a difference. I have been a member of chambers before, yet never felt like a member of a community quite like this one. They are so proactive and multifaceted in their approach of how they connect the Frederick County business community. They make every effort to create fun and inviting events to bring business owners together so they may network. As a result, we in the Frederick business community begin to create new relationships with other companies and have the ability to network with a broader range. They give small businesses the introductions and the connections they need to get established. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
The food and catering market can be very competitive. New up and coming companies can be done before they even get a chance to begin. It does not matter how good you are, with no exposure to the market, no one will find you and get the chance to discover how amazing your company really is. For my little company, the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce has made all the difference. I could not have gotten the type of exposure, connections and recognition I have gained, without them. So you can understand why I felt the need to blog about the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. I think every small business owner in the Frederick County area should know how amazing of a resource and support they are.
For more information on how you can become a member, just look to their website at https://www.frederickchamber.org/
And for more information on Hindle’s Catering and to search through our incredible menu options, you can link in here https://hindlescatering.com/