This story is about…
Female Entrepreneur: Kimber Hoang
Company: Magenta Restaurant & Catering, Inc.
She started her business because: there was no one in town serving the kind of food she wanted to serve.
Age range: 40s
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business…
Without any restaurant background, and very little money, coming from a corporate work place, I started my first restaurant back in June 18, 1998. I have been known in town for my food, excellent designer, developer of my beautiful restaurants, and have motivated many folks around town. My first restaurant is Magenta Restaurant, shortly later added “& Catering”. It is a Fusion restaurant, made with only my own recipes. I don’t believe in copying recipes! Since I didn’t have much money to begin with, I had to do most of the developing myself. I had never worked in a professional kitchen prior to my restaurant, yet I was not afraid to start my own and do everything the way I thought should be done. It turns out that, because I was not following others, I came up with some very profitable ways that others don’t do. I truly believe in my own taste!
What was your main motivation behind starting your business?
There was nothing in town, at the time, with the style of flavors and cuisine I was after. I brought in the freshness of ingredients and all the fresh martinis into town. I wanted to show off my newly created dishes that change every season. These were always different and never have been done anywhere.
What’s a day in the life of you like?
I am awake as early as the first phone call around 7am, not officially up, sometimes working on my computer until I am up and out of bed. I am building another restaurant at my second building of downtown Corvallis. It is at the alley entrance of the Vietnamese Baguette shop I have developed almost 5 years now, and is called Alley Gyros. This portion of the building was gutted and has absolutely nothing. I am busy talking to vendors, contractors, meetings, along with running my other restaurants. At night, I am full on in the kitchen on a daily basis at Magenta Restaurant. I also handle all the private parties at my SNUGbar as well as private caterings for Magenta. I am asleep by around 2-3am nightly.
What challenges have you faced?
Finding the perfect employee! There’s no such thing! No one will treat your “baby” like you would yourself! I just have to appreciate what I can find, and treat them the very best I can be or how I would want to be treated at work. Other than that, just remember as well, you can’t please every single customer out there!
How have you overcome the challenges?
Yes, I have to find an answer to everything, as I do see also that there’s an answer to everything! It’s never the end of the world, and I will just have to figure out the answer! Trying a different method to see which works better, it is fun to see the outcome immediately.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Following through with my goals, making them all happen as planned. Buying my two buildings downtown so I didn’t have to rent and will be paid off in less than 6 years! I am planning on buying more! I own two nice rental homes and are due to be paid off in less than 10 years. My retirement plan has been made. The biggest one is the people in town know that I have the very best places and I do show them that I also appreciate my customers and friends.
How have you raised the awareness of your business?
Only through excellent deliveries, and never through ads. Slowly and very surely! Did it through the tummies :)
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Keeping busy and developing other things, such as kitchen equipment or supplies that I love to design and have produced by a local metal company. I help out others which makes me feel very good. I also make time to play tennis, my very favorite sport!
Who inspires you?
My Mom and Dad. They have always been the hard workers and they were so creative…just like me :)
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
You are never too big to scrub a toilet! Only get in it if your heart is truly there, and know that you will not give up! There’s always a way! To be the very best, you must know every square inch of your business! ….and a whole lot more.
What’s your favourite quote?
Too busy to quote others, I usually make my own. No time to read as I use that time to meditate and create my own stories or ideas for my business!
Do you have a business philosophy?
We are here to serve, treat them all like kings and queens!
What’s your goal for the next year?
Vacation at the beginning of each year. Relax and then bust my behind with new ventures such as remodeling/change-outs interior of restaurants. Or, as they say in this town, it will not be my last restaurant! Well, it is not a plan, though I have so many ideas that just work very well… I actually would love to continue with patenting my designs of which I have already produced as mentioned above. I am currently using some of these equipment pieces at my restaurant.
Get in touch:
Web site: http://magentarestaurant.com/