Inspiration Amidst Adversity
In 2017, Cassie Larson's husband's unexpected heart attack became the catalyst for a profound change in their lives. Frustrated by conventional approaches that emphasized medications over nutrition, Cassie delved into the world of plant-based diets. Witnessing her husband's remarkable recovery within a month of transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, Cassie was inspired to share this transformative experience with others. Thus, Cassie’s Plant-Based Kitchen was born on June 1, 2021, marking the beginning of a venture dedicated to whole-food, plant-based culinary excellence.
Key Moments and Achievements
Cassie's journey with her business has been marked by key milestones and exciting developments. A notable initiative is the ongoing development of a comprehensive program designed to guide individuals step by step in transitioning to a plant-based diet. Cassie passionately shares, "I’m working on a program for people to help them, step by step, to transition to a plant-based diet, including a kitchen makeover, personalized plan, and cooking instruction in their own kitchen or virtually."
Additionally, Cassie had the opportunity to showcase her expertise through a cooking demo at the Northwest Food Show, gaining exposure and recognition within the local food and restaurant community. Reflecting on this experience, she enthuses, "Getting myself seen around town led to more confidence and it’s been immensely helpful for me."
Beyond this, Cassie has successfully acquired several new clients and expanded her reach by teaching cooking classes and demos around town. This not only allowed her to share her passion for plant-based eating with a wider audience but also contributed to her growing presence and influence in the local culinary scene.
PCC SBDC Support
Before connecting with the PCC Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Cassie faced common challenges of uncertainty and lacked confidence in her ability to become a successful entrepreneur. Cassie candidly shares, "I didn’t know where to start and I lacked the conviction I could even be the kind of person who started their own business."
The turning point came when she enrolled in the Business Builders training program through PCC SBDC and engaged in the invaluable no-cost advising sessions offered by PCC SBDC. Cassie highlights, "The free mentor sessions were an incredible resource that I’m so grateful for. The best part for me really was the camaraderie of being in the same boat with other entrepreneurs."
The PCC SBDC assistance not only equipped Cassie with essential tools for business development but also provided the support system she needed to overcome self-doubt. Through mentorship and a community of like-minded individuals, Cassie gained the confidence to put herself and her business out into the world. She emphasizes the significance, stating, "Being exposed to so many other people working to make their own businesses succeed helped me feel more confident that I could join the ranks as a successful entrepreneur."
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Reflecting on her own journey, Cassie offers invaluable advice to fellow entrepreneurs considering PCC SBDC assistance: "Don’t be shy to use the free sessions with advisors. It can be isolating and intimidating to be on your own as an entrepreneur. I don’t think it’s something anyone should do without help. The advisors are truly there to help, so use the help! You don’t have to do this on your own, and they are so knowledgeable and understanding."
The Future is Bright
Cassie's success story is not just about plant-based cooking; it's a multifaceted narrative of resilience, education, and community support. Through her business, she is not only changing diets but also changing lives—one delicious, plant-based meal at a time. As Cassie's Plant-Based Kitchen grows, it serves as an inspiring example of the transformative power of embracing one's passion and navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship with the right support.
Ready to Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Journey with the PCC SBDC?
Are you ready to embark on your entrepreneurial journey, or are you seeking support to take your small business to new heights? The PCC SBDC is here to help. Reach out to us, and let your journey begin. Shannon's story is just one example of the countless success stories our clients have created. Embrace the joy of entrepreneurship and create your unique path to success!
Ready to learn more about how the PCC Small Business Development Center can help you start or grow your business?
Programs and services are provided to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please contact us at 971-722-5080 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to request accommodations. Oregon Small Business Development Centers are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Oregon Business Development Department.