In 1988 Marie-Claire Kundu left Canada to come here where in two years she founded the Garden Kitchen Restaurant with a passionate desire to “try out her venture in America."
Known for its soups, salads, sandwiches, home baked breads and pies, the Garden Kitchen Restaurant is a quaint and successful business in Historical Occoquan. The restaurant also has steaks, chicken, pork and desserts on the menu. While patrons will certainly enjoy the décor in the restaurant, there is certainly a story behind the “walls” of this restaurant.
Patch had an opportunity to speak with Kundu about her restaurant and what compelled her to become an entrepreneur. Excerpts from the interview are below:
Patch: What distinguishes your business from others?
The Garden Kitchen Restaurant provides a high quality of food and service to its customers, and 90 percent of the people that dine at the restaurant become regular customers.
Patch: What is the most enjoyable part of being an entrepreneur?
The most enjoyable part of my business is being with other people, customers and associates. I also enjoy cooking, baking and serving patrons.
Patch: What is the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
I believe the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur is the total responsibility of management, paying bills on time and getting good help.
Patch: What motivates you to run your business?
I am motivated by seeing my business run well and getting the appreciation from customers
Patch: What do you feel is the most important skill that entrepreneurs need?
The most important skill for any business is to be consistent day in and day out and be there all the time.
Patch: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs to start small and grow with your business. Also remember to do your homework (e.g. business plan) before and learn every day. Participate in seminars and join professional organizations. Most importantly, remember you have to sacrifice before you succeed.