Brett McDermott: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Brett McDermott, who launched Our Daily Brett Catering Co. to offer what is typically considered a luxury service on a larger scale and to more people. Find out the inspiration behind his business in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
My business has a few different arms. Our Daily Brett Catering Co. offers full-service catering, a weekly whole foods meal delivery service and specializes in out-of-town catering such as yoga or corporate retreats.

My focus for all components of my business is to offer simple, high quality whole foods that taste great.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
During my undergraduate studies I worked in a busy restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After completing my commerce degree, I found myself working in various corporate sales roles. While I enjoyed the challenge and pace of sales, I missed working with food.  I also aspired to be my own boss (I’ve never liked working for other people!) I have always enjoyed cooking for my family and friends and thought I might like to expand this interest into a career.  

In order to further explore this possibility, I began working at a well-established Calgary catering company part-time in the evenings and on weekends when I wasn’t working at my day job. I also began catering parties on my own for family friends and through word of mouth. The word spread and I began receiving more requests than I could satisfy on a part-time basis. I decided to quit my day job and start my own catering company. 

The whole food delivery service component of my business was inspired by my work with one family as their personal chef. I loved preparing good quality meals that were easy for them to assemble and helped to support their busy lifestyles. I realized that most people don’t have access to a personal chef and began to think about how to offer what is typically considered a luxury service on a larger scale and to more people. The best part about having enough volume in business to make this service more accessible has been the rise of young professionals and friends that have been able to sign up. My clients are all busy people that value eating well but that don’t necessarily have the time to prepare those meals for themselves. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a day-to-day basis:
Being creative, developing new recipes, experimenting with new ingredients, meeting local suppliers and feeding people good food.

The most challenging part of what I do on a day-to-day basis:
Trying to do everything by myself (from marketing to e-mails and food preparation to delivery).

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
The fastest growing arm of my business is the whole foods delivery service, which has grown largely due to word of mouth. I am currently refining my brand and looking to increase my online presence with a greater emphasis on the delivery service. I see this growing into retail opportunities in the near future. 

What does success look like to you?
Continuing to enhance my business model in order to serve more clients and expand into new avenues, including retail and product development, while maintaining the same high quality offerings. My ultimate objective is to continue working in a field that I love while carving out a work-life balance that enables me to travel and pursue the other things that I enjoy.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Cooking for a yoga retreat in Maui, Hawaii for two years in a row with Jeff Mah and his team.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Take risks, follow your gut and get comfortable talking about money.

What is Notable to you?
Hosting dinner parties, lazy nights around our backyard table with lots of wine and good friends, fresh food, getting inspired by travel, my soon-to-be wife.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Japanese knives! (iPhone).

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Coffee. I enjoy activity-based exercise (getting outside) over going to the gym. This includes: travel, fishing, gardening, surfing and biking. I also have a great circle of friends that are inspiring and creative. I like to bounce ideas off of them.