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New Year's Revolutionary

May 14, 2020

Andrew Wilen is Co-Owner of Chef Alyssa's Kitchen here in Charlotte. My wife and I love Chef Alyssa’s kitchen – the food is amazing, the events are fun, and Andrew and I cover a lot of ground during this episode including business, family… and of course, Festivus.

As a Charlotte local, it's been a pleasure to watch Andrew and Alyssa's business grow - I remember years ago first seeing Alyssa on TV doing a cooking demonstration, then hearing about their expansion into a larger facility, then reading about their new brunch options, then seeing them at the top of all sorts of lists for cooking classes and entrepreneurship, and then stumbling upon their name in a Food & Wine article just this week.

In a word, it's impressive.

But I have to say the thing that impressed me most during this interview was Andrew's relentlessly positive attitude. At a time when many local businesses are struggling, Chef Alyssa's Kitchen has managed to pivot and continue to deliver great products and services through at-home deliveries and virtual cooking classes. Whether he's running a business, giving back to the community, or taking on the responsibilities of being a new dad, Andrew does it all with a smile.

Andrew, thank you so much - this interview was a blast!

Show Notes:

  • Festivus [01:47]
  • Andrew's journey after Elon, and how he met Alyssa [7:10]
  • How Andrew and Alyssa decided to start Chef Alyssa's Kitchen [11:05]
  • Overview of Chef Alyssa's Kitchen (pre-COVID-19) [15:35]
  • How Chef Alyssa's Kitchen grew into new revenue streams, and how that helped position them to pivot in response to COVID-19 through delivery and virtual cooking classes [19:05]
  • Andrew's "community-first" approach to marketing [24:54]
  • How Andrew and Alyssa are enjoying the joys (and challenges) of being new parents and owning a business [29:38]
  • A day in the life, and how Andrew and Alyssa balance responsibilities and try to leave work at the office [36:35]
  • Big question: does Andrew get to have gourmet meals at home all the time? [39:35]
  • Specifics on virtual cooking classes [41:12]
  • How Andrew plans to "Do Better This Year" [44:04]