Why this woman quit her 6-figure job to cook even after being offered a raise

Abu Mubarik May 30, 2024
Teyoshe Smith often made charcuterie spreads for family gatherings before she started a side hustle to sell her elaborate creations.Courtesy of Teyoshe Smith

Teyoshe Smith loves bringing family and friends together around great food. Growing up, she watched her grandmother, aunts, and cousins come together to prepare delicious meals.

“I can vividly remember my grandmother lining piles of food in a stunning display down the middle of a table — everything made from scratch and prepared fresh,” she noted on CNBC Make It.

As a result, Smith started making charcuterie boards for her family gatherings. Two years ago, she launched a side hustle to sell elaborate spreads made from exceptional ingredients like fresh herbs and spices, homemade cheeseballs and cheese dips, and pure honey from a local beekeeper.

Smith got complimented on her spreads and she decided to sell them by first posting them on Facebook Marketplace over Mother’s Day Weekend in 2022.

“I posted a sample filled with salami roses, fresh vegetables and fruits, and other treats. I tied the box with twine and topped it with a fresh sunflower and baby’s breath,” she stated.

Smith said in just two days, she sold out of 25 boxes, and the Facebook request never stopped. She subsequently put together charcuterie boxes for new clients from her kitchen every day after work.

This led her to start her business, which she initially called Grazing Crazy but has since been renamed Bite by Bite & Co. She first started her business from her home and migrated to a commercial kitchen to ramp up production.

“I soon added charcuterie workshops to connect with my local community in Richmond, Virginia, an offering that proved so popular it led to my first full-time hire,” she said.

Prior to launching her business, she worked in corporate America, most recently as a project manager at Capital One making a six-figure salary.

“Juggling long hours at my day job with even longer hours building my small business — while also being a full-time mom and wife — became overwhelming. About a year after selling my first charcuterie box, I was offered a new role, and a raise. I’d need to manage more people and shoulder more responsibility,” she said.

She then decided to quit her corporate life and turn her side hustle into a full-time career. In 2023, her business brought in about $379,000 in sales, up from about $84,000 in 2022.

Today, her company has 11 team members. Smith relocated to the Atlanta, Georgia area, and opened a second brick-and-mortar location.

“We now offer nationwide shipping, in-person and virtual workshops, and a corporate product line for larger groups, landing contracts with catering companies and 1-800-Flowers,” she said.

According to Smith, her goal is to see Bite by Bite & Co. locations throughout the country. “So I’m currently focused on developing standard procedures and recipes to lay the groundwork for a franchising model, and am interviewing multiple potential franchisees to make sure I pick the right partners,” she noted.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 30, 2024

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