Name: Brandice Spencer
Business: My Served Meals
Location: Houston, Texas, U.S.
Industry: Food & Beverage
Reason for starting? When you hear the word TV dinners, you’re probably thinking turkey (two white meat slices and one dark) with lumpy gravy, mashed potatoes with a butter square and corn. Or maybe the salisbury steak patty? These are the meals of my childhood because I am the daughter of a single mom who worked three jobs and just didn’t have time to cook. My company is out to change that. After the birth of my second child, I needed help. We tried ingredient kits and I found myself frustrated because I still had to cook. That’s when My Served Meals was born. My cousin is a chef and we decided to create a business that could provide a hassle-free dinner for busy families. My Served Meals was created to solve the perennial problem of “what’s for dinner?” I honestly believe we found a better way to make dinner.
How do you define success? For me, success is serving and helping others. Whether it’s the busy mom tired of feeding her children fast food every night, the single folks who just don’t have time to cook or the empty nesters who don’t want to cook…we have a solution! When I chose the name Served, it truly embodied my heart’s desire. To serve others is the greatest gift we can give and it’s an honor. I hope our success is measured by the number of families we truly and selflessly serve.
Biggest success: Our biggest success may not be considered a success to most people. One day we received an order from a new customer. Our process was that when you order your meals, they will begin to be delivered the following week. I didn’t make that crystal clear on our website…so my exciting new customer sent me an email the next day telling me that she hadn’t received her meals and requested a refund. I tried to explain the process and sent a refund followed by new website information and ordering procedures. I knew I had to do more. I sent her the box she originally ordered along with a handwritten note apologizing again and telling her thank you for her support. Well she was so surprised she posted a sweet note on Facebook and has been one of my biggest supporters ever since! She also told me she is a mom with a young special needs child and our meals are a huge help during meal time because they’re convenient! To positively impact someone’s life is always a success.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Our biggest challenge is financial. My Served Meals is completely self-funded. In order to grow, we know we will need more capital to scale. We are currently promoting a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money to scale our business. Once the campaign is complete and fully funded, we’ll be able to create a profitable growth strategy and purchase the resources we need to be successful. For me, the most difficult situation in regards to the business is the financial toll it takes on my family. When I decided to start Served LLC, I left my full-time job to focus on the business. Going from a comfortable two income household to just relying on my husband has been tough. It was an adjustment and sacrifice for our entire family. The hardship has more than once left me to consider taking a part-time or full-time position away from the company. But like a new parent, I know that My Served Meals needs my full-time leadership and attention, and I’m committed to its success.
Who is your most important role model? My most important role model is my mom. She was a single mom for years before she married my dad. As a single mom, you have to do what you have to do to make ends meet. Most of the time she had to work two or even three jobs to put dinner on the table. Because of her grueling schedule, she didn’t have time to cook, so we ate “instant” meals, fast food and TV dinners. My mom is amazing. No matter what challenges she faced, she always persevered. She taught me that “discipline is the key to every man’s success” and I continue to apply those same words to my business.
Edited by The Story Exchange