Job Burns | Busy Day Cooking and Catering
Getting to know our local entrepreneurs
Hi, Job we’re excited to learn more about you and your business. Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Let’s jump into the discussion…
Q: So, tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? Where do you live? What do you love to do?
A: My name is Job Burns, I am a 26-year-old entrepreneur from good ol’ Saint John, New Brunswick. I live in uptown Saint John and was raised on the city’s east side before moving to Norton. Though I lived outside of the city, I was able to go to School in the Uptown. I have lived in Saint John for most of my life, with the exception of a few years when I attended UNB Fredericton for my Bachelor of Business Degree. I have always enjoyed business and fundraising. There is something about leading a group towards a goal that I have always been fascinated with. I love spending my down time with my partner watching scary movies, going bowling, and eating junk food. My favorite hobby is going out for dinner. I love trying new restaurants in Saint John and when we go on vacation.
Q: What is your business? What do you do for your customers?
A: I am the Founder of Busy Day Chefs and Director of The Mahogany Manor Bed &Breakfast. Busy Day Chefs has two main revenue streams: Catered Events and In-home Personal Chef Services. On both sides of the business we provide our clients with exceptional food and a unique chef experience. We pride ourselves in working closely with our clients to develop custom menus and taste profiles based on their vision for food service. In addition, The Mahogany Manor Bed & Breakfast provides our guests with comfortable lodging as their home away from home. We enjoy welcoming guests and acting as an ambassador for our city.
Q: When did you start your business?
A: I started Busy Day Chefs as a hobby in the Summer of 2012 and set my sights on building the business to a point where it could acquire The Mahogany Manor. Throughout the course of my education, I would work as a personal chef over the various school holidays, and act as the Seasonal Inn Keeper at The Mahogany Manor while the previous owners were on vacation.
Over the course of 2012-2015 Busy Day Chefs was a fun pass time for me as I began to grow a clientele of unique individuals who enjoyed hosting parties… but did not enjoy the cooking and cleaning that came along with them—and who could blame them! We began to work with more clients offering our Stress-Free Dinner Parties, and grew organically through word of mouth.
In 2015, I decided to take a year off of school and move back to Saint John. During this year, Busy Day Chefs launched our In-home Personal Chef Service. With this service, we envisioned an easier way for families to eat well-balance homemade meals. We accomplished this by bringing restaurant principles to our clients home. One day a week we prepare four to five meals, lunches, snacks, and breakfast for the work week.
We worked exclusively with one client for 6 months to iron out the kinks in the service to develop some standard operating procedures. In May of 2016 we began accepting new clients. Busy Day Chefs became my full-time employment as I finished my final year of university in Saint John. In March of 2017 Busy Day Chefs became a registered corporation, and in May of 2017 we had enough demand to hire our first full-time employee.
Since then, we have continued to grow the business with support from our clients and EDGE Saint John.
Q: When was the key moment that you decided you were going to be an entrepreneur?
A: Well, this answer kind of has two parts. The first time I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur was in Grade 12. Specifically, I had the realization in Calculus Class. I had set my courses up to take a science degree, and was accepted for a Bachelor of Science, but that particular day in Math Class I realized – I did not want to do sciences and calculations, I wanted to lead.
The idea of being an entrepreneur was really solidified after my first year of university while I was working at a retail store during the week and at a restaurant on the weekends. I was sitting in a flower bed pulling weeds, and thought “I can’t work here for the rest of my life – what do I love to do?” and the answer was cooking. All day long, I sat pulling weeds thinking “what do people need and how can I give it to them?”, That is how Busy Day Chefs was born!
Q: What is the best part of running your own business?
A: The best part of running your own business is seeing your dream come to life. When I built my business plan, I set goals years in advance, with a strategy for accomplishing them. Taking the steps to accomplish these goals, and watching them unfold – and really happen – is very surreal.
Q: What is like to start a business in Saint John?
A: Starting a Business in Saint John is exciting. I found that I had lots of support from our community, both through media and EDGE Saint John. I think that it all depends on the industry you are in, but we have great opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive in Saint John.
Q: What advice would you have for somebody getting ready to start their own business?
A: I would recommend that they network in Saint John, through events, business chambers, and by volunteering in our community. I would not be where I am today without the contacts that I made before starting Busy Day Chefs. Having the support of a diverse network of individuals helps make your business a success. Sometimes, the old saying is true “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Understanding the diverse customer base in Saint John, and having contacts from various industries played a crucial roll in growing my business.
Q: What would you tell someone financing a new business about the Impact Loan?
A: I would say to take advantage of the opportunities that the Impact Loan gives you. When you receive the impact loan, you are getting more than just money. You are connected to a network of people who want you to succeed in Saint John! Make time for the events that they invite you to, ask them questions when you don’t know the answer, and rest assured that you and your business are in good hands!