The Gaufre Gourmet
“It’s very exciting to me. This is kind of the culmination of things. I made this plan five years ago that I wanted to own my own business in the food industry and here I am!”
My Business: The Gaufre Gourmet, LLC
Why I got started: In 2005, I made a five year plan to own my own catering company. I graduated from culinary school in 2007. In 2008 a major incident of domestic violence left me a single mother of three boys. The struggling economy in 2009 led to the loss of my job as a catering chef. My five year plan seemed to come to a halt. I began to look at the food cart movement in Portland as an option to follow my dream in spite of my circumstances. After a good year of recipe development and market research, The Gaufre Gourmet was born!
Greatest Challenges: My greatest challenge is balancing work, family and school. Any startup business requires a lot of time, this proves for difficulty in daily scheduling. It is a great challenge to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time.
Greatest Reward: My biggest reward is the reaction I get when people try a waffle! Their eyebrows rise in a surprised excitement after they take a bite and then all I hear is mmmmmm! It is priceless.
Proudest Moment: My kid’s excitement for my business makes me very proud. I want them to see that through even tough times you can achieve your dreams. Their excitement about my waffle cart keeps me going; I couldn’t do all I do without their support.
Advice for Business Owners: Give yourself time, and be willing to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work. Nothing happens as fast as you want it to – so have patience, and use the time to come up with a solid plan. The hard work is looking at yourself honestly and realistically. Knowing your strengths (how to play to them), and recognizing your weaknesses (so you can ask for help), are key steps to maintaining your sanity while running a business. But my best advice is: “Never give up!” There will be many challenges, obstacles, and opportunities along the way for you to quit…don’t do it.
Just The Facts
Client Name: Charlene Wesler
Client Since: 2010
Participated In: Foundations Business Course
Type of Business: Food Cart
Find Charlene and The Gaufre Gourmet
Food cart located at corner of SW 4th Ave and W Burnside St.