You know them as the dynamic duo at Clean Eats Kitchen. Undergoing a rebrand, mother-son kitchen wizards Joey and Jodee Soltes share what’s it’s been like getting their new business off the ground in Palm Coast as they hit the three year milestone, and what’s ahead for the future.
It’s been a wild ride and you are one of Palm Coast’s great success stories in many ways, starting with getting support from the former Business Assistance Center to building great relationships in the community. Talk about opening the doors for the first time and what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Michael Oppenheim from the Small Business Assistance Center was so instrumental in us being able to open Clean Eats Kitchen (now Redefined Food Co). We opened our business March 2, 2019 and hit the ground running. We are not really sure what defines a successful business owner as we are always striving for more and looking to find the proper work/life balance. To make it in the restaurant industry you have to be willing to put in the hours and do the work yourself. A good mental state is also key to success – one slow week is enough to stress the normal person out, so you have to be mentally tough.
Marking your 3 year anniversary last week, has it flown by and when you look back to the beginning, are you surprised to be here today (as successful as you are)?
Statistics show that 20 % of start-ups fail in the 1st year and and half fail within the first 5 years but we are determined and love what we are doing so we don’t plan on becoming that statistic. We survived Covid-19 and are looking forward to being able to grow our business into much more than it currently is.
You recently went through a rebrand. Why and what’s changed?
The rebrand was brought on by many different factors. We plan on expanding and doing other concepts that dont always fall into “Healthy Convenience” so we want to have a brand and a logo that supports all things food that we will do! As far as what’s changed – we plan to launch a new Ghost – Restaurant concept very soon! Stay tuned on our social media for that.
You talked in the beginning about the desire to have your own food plot to grow farm to table under your own brand. Is that still on the wish list and if so, how’s it going?
We were a little too ambitious with starting the farm. With Covid, supplies to build the barn etc were too high to follow through with it. We hope one day to be able to get a smaller plot of land and still use a similar concept. As we continue to learn – timing is EVERYTHING!
You come up with some recipes and offerings that are unexpectedly delicious. What are some of your customers’ favorites and is there a dish you love to make/eat?
A lot of recipes come from inspiration of foods I’ve eaten at other restaurants. I tend to vibe off of other people’s love for food. I love supporting other restaurants and will gladly eat out a couple times a week. Some of my favorite dishes to make lately are some of the vegan dishes we have been cranking out – Our Vegan Lasagna or Lentil Shepherd’s pie are two of my favorites, but also anytime I have an excuse to make a good Salsa Verde I will!