Jennifer Burns

Jennifer Burns

Owner-Executive Chef


Ms. Groovy's Kitchen Charleston, WV

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
My first job was at Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream. The food service industry was always my back-up job.
I majored in education in college, because I didn't see food service as a serious career.
After college, I got married & became a stay-at-home mom for 6 years.
During that time I worked part-time for a couple of catering companies & started in direct sales.
I liked owning my own business, but my success caused stress on my marriage, so I quit.
When I went back to work full-time I worked in radio sales. One of my clients owned a restaurant.
That client hired me to do their marketing and start a catering division. The restaurant closed.
I had catering business booked for the restaurant when it closed, so I started Ms. Groovy's Kitchen.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
Marshall University

Career

Owner-Executive Chef

I own and operate a catering company.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Entrepreneurship
Food
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

Every day is a little different. I cater business breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as special events. So the day starts with me and my staff preparing the meals of the day. Start time depends on what meal we are preparing. The afternoons typically are spent managing the business and preparing for the next day. I'm very hands-on. Ms. Groovy's is a custom catering company, so the meals we prepare are all different.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Culinary school is not a must, but is very helpful. Again, if you are open and are teachable, the industry itself has a lot of opportunities to learn on the job. Being flexible and having a lot of skills is very helpful. If you can wait tables, bar tend and cook, you are way more employable than someone who can just do one of those skills.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

The food service industry is a trade industry. I have worked in every aspect of the business at this point from bus girl to general manager. My advice is to take advantage of every opportunity to learn every aspect of the business. Take the general business classes in high school if that person wants to own their own business one day. I've seen a lot of restaurants/catering companies come and go and it's usually because the owner does't know what they've gotten themselves into.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Business Administration and Management, General

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You should get a safe job working 9 to 5 in an office or something. Maybe I could get a job teaching. I hear regularly that I work way too hard and she doesn't know how or why I do it."

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Learning Issues