You could say Cyndi Sterne’s career has been peppered with perseverance. Through name, location, and concept changes, Sterne has managed to forge ahead. “Every business has challenges, some within our control, such as customer service, quality, and location, and some we can’t control like the economy, competition, and trends,” she explains. “You can’t let the obstacles overcome you. You have to keep going and find different ways to make your business succeed.” And succeed it has. Sterne’s company, Yes, Chef! Culinary Events (formally named Hal’s Kitchen) located in the Belle Isle Square in Sandy Springs, hosts everything from corporate team-building outings and private events, to rentals for television and movie production staff, and visiting chefs. She credits her success to her supportive spouse and children, her employees and her desire to make each customer’s experience exceptional. However, she also notes that maintaining a work-life balance has been a bit of a learning curve that she’s only recently mastered. “It’s a challenge to remind myself to work ‘on’ the business instead of ‘in’ the business. A lot of my time is actually spent hosting the events, teaching classes and working with vendors. I have to remind myself to set aside time every day to make sure that I am continuing to grow the business. Also, setting boundaries. About four years into the business, I stopped answering the phone after 5:30. As Yes, Chef! Culinary Events has boomed, it has been important to set aside time to focus solely on my family.”
Who is your mentor or entrepreneurial role model?
Sara Blakely is amazing! I admire that she talks about her fears, her family, and is supportive of other female artists and business owners.
How do you decompress?
Spin, baby, spin! I love the spin classes at Life Time Athletic, Sandy Springs. I’ve reconnected with old friends, made new friends, and a little bonus is that it has been a great place to network and promote Yes, Chef! Culinary Events. The best part, though, is an hour of time just for me.