Feb 13, 2023 3:23:13 PM Maggie Pearson

Starting a business is always a risky endeavor, the odds are stacked against you, but if you never take the risk you will never reap the reward. Here at Feast & Fettle this mantra is ingrained into our very existence. We strive to push the limits of what we believe we are capable of, and feel that if we aren’t failing at least a little bit, we aren’t doing enough. With each mistake, we learn new coping mechanisms and new ways to work things out and that is often the key to success.

Here are a few examples over the years of how we have overcome failures to eventually succeed:

When Feast & Fettle launched, I knew menu rotation was critical for our success, however we lacked sufficient staff and resources to thoroughly test new menu items. This left me without certainty of the outcomes and resorting to estimations for appropriate portion sizes. Although the scale was much smaller than where we are today, it was definitely risky! During that period, I was determined to offer members a rotating weekly menu even if it meant embracing the possibility of failure. Fortunately we had lots of success, but also some truly unforgettable failures like the time we severely overcooked every order of seared ahi tuna, which was especially disheartening given the strain on our resources at the time. Despite the setback, we quickly regrouped to source and remake the entire dish before delivery, which felt like a true test of our commitment to always provide the best quality product to our members. As the business grew we were able to build a dedicated test kitchen and assemble an incredible team to support the product. This team is now able to properly test new recipes at scale prior to releasing them as new menu items. Our earlier struggles taught us the importance of this process, and we are super grateful for the valuable lessons learned.

F&F Test Kitchen

During the pandemic, Carlos, Nikki and I would often have brainstorming meetings where we would throw out ideas for new revenue streams for Feast & Fettle. No idea was off limits, I mean we even talked about how to get Feast & Fettle deliveries on private yachts at one point! One of these meetings resulted in us creating a series of special menus composed of date night worthy meals delivered on Fridays, we called Select. The menus pushed the boundaries of what was available to order for delivery at the time. Some of the menu items were Japanese charcoal grilled asparagus with lemon caper sauce and fresh chive blossoms and seared duck breast w/ local sweet potato puree, roasted hakurei turnips with cherry port sauce. Although we received positive feedback from members and non members alike the menus were incredibly difficult to create and execute at scale. We ultimately decided to stop the Select menus after only 3 short weeks. With that said, this experience was truly a learning opportunity for us. Not only did we gain an understanding of our menu limitations, but we also discovered how to incorporate some more advanced cooking techniques into our established recipe repertoire. Eventually we repurposed Select into the outstanding Select membership that we offer to our members today.

If there is anything I have learned in the years since founding Feast & Fettle, it’s that failures and the lessons we learn from them ultimately help us better appreciate success.