Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Johnson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jennifer. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I became a Chef 23 years ago because my son told me amongst the 10 other things he loved about me in his 2nd grade Mother’s Day card that he hated my cooking. After taking a couple days being upset, I had to realize that truth comes from the mouths of babes and while my mom and grandma were awesome in 1B ways – cooking was not one of them. The perfectionist in me came out and I went to culinary school.
At the time, I managed engineering team in North America and my Corporate Career advanced to where I was managing 7 manufacturing facilities around the world which allowed me to learn local cultures and cuisine from many different countries. I love food and cooking was our family team building. My youngest son is also a chef and the other 2 love food, maybe not vegetables but love food. After the kids grew up and moved out I didn’t have anyone to cook for except on holidays. I started doing some catering and private parties for friends and family and my work family my tasters for different menus.
I thought to leave Corporate for a while however anytime anyone asked what I wanted to do I had no clue. I finally figured out what I was put on this earth to do. I am now a full time Eco Conscious Organic Chef with a passion to help people learn Health is Wealth and it is not limited to those who can afford it. I use Distinct Ingredients, Organically Grown, and Cleanly Made in all aspects of my business: Catering, Meal Plans, Food Prep, Cooking and Food Education. My style of cooking is French/Italian Fusion of American Food using her international training to make quick nutritious meals. Good Nutritious Food builds a Healthy Body + Mindset Enables you to Perform at Your Peak!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth? Not unless a smooth road is littered with cobble stones….. As my mother said – “Life is a Bed of Roses – beware of the Thorns Amongst the Nicely Smelling Flowers.”
I went into business for myself in October 2015, thinking I had business experience and knew about food, etc…. Well I have spent 2X the amount of money I thought and it has taken 3X longer to get monthly revenue than I expected. However, the biggest challenge was not my business or customers – it was me. I learned to be an Entrepreneur you have to look first inside yourself and the largest change I have made in my 50+ years has been in the past 2. I had to learn to embrace and promote myself and business through social media (which I’m still learning). I had to learn that the biggest obstacle to everything I did was me (my opinion of things versus how the customer thinks), and I had to learn that when business was the most difficult it is when the biggest wins were around the corner so never give up.
The easiest piece has always been to continue to Focus on the Customer and the Happiness of the Customer – then all else will fall into place.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Witnessing Nature In Food – what should we know?
We have a passion to help people learn Health is Wealth and it is not limited to those who can afford it. We use Distinct Ingredients, Organically Grown, and Cleanly Made in all aspects of our business: Catering, Meal Plans, Food Prep, Cooking and Food Education.
When thinking of a company name, I really struggled with how to incorporate Eco Consciousness into Good Old Fashioned Clean Food. When I grew up it was all organic food every day all day. I do however blame my generation of parenting for how we came to have so many chemically processed things added into our lives – environment, food, etc. We want less fat so we add sugar to make it taste better, we pasteurize so we add more sugar and flavor to it, we want sugar free so we add fake chemicals to make it taste good. The amount of fat free, carb reduction, sugar reduction, rapid growing, GMOs, chemical treatment, fast food, food chemistry for flavor – oh my – STOP THE MADNESS…. or better living through chemistry mentality….
My son (who said I sucked at cooking) and I collaborated on the name – he mentioned that when he was younger and we would camp or backpack or do cub scout activities – I always made them pack out garbage we found, and as we hiked we would take breaks so we could appreciate where we came from, all while enjoying and absorbing the natural environment. Referencing Nature and Witnessing Nature in my business seemed all too relevant. Witnessing Nature In Food was born and here we are.
I am most proud that we at Witnessing Nature in Food are using all Locally Grown and Sourced products. We are a Phoenix Green Business Partner and Green Living Magazine Promoter as well as members of the Arizona Green Chamber. We divert 90% of our waste from the landfill to reuse, recycle, compostable solutions. We have the fantastic opportunity to provide awesome food at its most natural point and even if the customer knows or does not know they are getting and giving their family and friends chemical free, nutritionally dense food.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I don’t think there is enough space for all of the people that have provided and continue to provide support and guidance. I did however have to figure out who was help (those that challenged me with honest feedback) versus those that agreed with me or to protect me, said I should just go get another job. I have learned to give the largest amount of time to those who know I can be better than I am and drive me to do that.
My customers and employees are the biggest reason why we are always working to be better. I love constructive feedback and people on the team that come with solutions.
My mentors have been many – I decided that I needed a couple different types, business mentor Carey Conley with Infinite Nation for my day to day questions on business and process and hard messages with lessons – allowing me to fail. Sandra Yancey from eWomen Network for business, growth, thinking bigger and better, how to think bigger than I could ever imagine and not to stay comfortable.
I also have a mental fitness coach Robyn McKay with Sheology my internal changes have been the most I have made in my 50+ years and I am so thankful for these 3 women that have kept me moving forward no matter how much I may not like it. Focusing on the empowered employees and happy customers has been what brings a great team. I cannot even count the quantity of friends that are my Neon Sign Cheerleaders and always there to help anytime we need!
- Address: 6803 E Main St Unit 3306
- Website: http://witnessingnature.net
- Phone: 480.813.9065
- Email: Jennifer@WitnessingNature.net
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/witnessingnature/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WitnessingNature/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WitnessingNatur
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/witnessing-nature-in-food-scottsdale