It all started around five years ago when I decided to focus on working in the food industry as a food writer – a great way to combine the three things that I love: writing, travelling and eating. This job was the stepping stone for me to find a way to be creative and share the experience of food. I thought it was my dream job until I had to experience redundancies and wonder what I was going to do. Being jobless led me to start my food business – Jess’ Underground Kitchen – by making extra service of my home-cooked meal for mates, and friends of mates because I love to cook. I never imagined I’d be sitting here at 33 with a food business. I didn’t have a business plan. It was the customers who created Jess’ Underground through word of mouth. I made whatever anyone wanted, and I was flexible.
“You have to be all in when you’re a small business owner. There’s no checking out, no weekends. You live and breathe it and that’s what makes small businesses in New Zealand successful – because there is so much drive.” – Jess Daniell.
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