JillMarcus_TSEYour Name: Jill Marcus

Business Name: The Mother Earth Group, a professional food catering company

Type of Business: Food & Beverage

Business Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Website www.somethingclassic.com
Twitter @somethingclassicclt
Facebook Something Classic

Reason for starting
We started catering out of our home kitchen for friends because of the joy it brought us to cook for others and see their faces at an interestingly displayed plate. The challenge of succeeding in the food business was daunting as so many have tried and failed. It is very hard work and requires tenacity as well as a desire to refine and reinvent yourself and your product every few years.

How do you define success?
Success for me is defined by the time and freedom that I have to travel and create memorable experiences for my family. Success is also freedom and flexibility to create new restaurants and dining experiences for our guests. It has taken me a few years not to work “in” my business; now I work “on” my business. That is success!

Biggest Success
Catering the 2012 DNC National Convention’s Opening Media Party for 15,000 guests. And then, celebrating in NYC right after and reading the New York Times in a bagel shop the following Sunday. I opened the Style Section and there we were on the front page with two pictures! Prior to that in June of 2012, we were invited to do a Southern Heritage dinner at the James Beard House in NYC to a sold out crowd.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My biggest challenge is running my business and raising my family. There have been many times when I needed to work on a client proposal or complete a task promised to my team and I have had to leave and be “Mom.” My husband is luckily on board with taking on many Mom tasks, but I do wake up early early and work late into the evening to make my business a success. My family does not deserve to take a backseat and have an absent Mom.

Who is your most important role model?
Alice Waters most certainly is my role model. She has created a restaurant experience that is clearly defined and maintains its high integrity with the quality of its organic ingredients. In addition, she has created a great concept of the edible schoolyard across our country where children learn to grow and touch what they eat. Within my restaurants, I strive for this integrity. Within our Community Cafe at Discovery Place, we teach the same concepts to our children diners and families. I was honored to work with Ms. Waters on a menu for the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte. That was an event I will never forget.