Andrew Fisk has been involved in culinary for over 13 years. Although his career took him in other directions over the years, he always knew he wanted to pursue his own business at some point, but it never felt like the right time. Then the pandemic hit, and while things around the world were constantly changing, Andrew’s mind was finally set. Now was the time to start a culinary business.
“I wanted to be able to create my own future and my own path and I didn’t want anything to shut me down,” says Andrew. “And as crazy as it sounds, during COVID-19 was the absolute right time to start my business.” So in January 2021, Andrew started À La Cuisine, a catering company based out of Abrams Village.
Though he’s based in the West he wanted to make sure people know he serves the whole Island.
“Our tagline is various venues, various menus, we’re available to cater to anyone, anywhere Island-wide,” says Andrew.
Despite knowing that starting his own business was his next step, he also knew it would be a risk. This led him to the Rural Action Centre in Wellington.
“I had never started a business before and I didn’t want to just dive in with both feet without knowing anything,” says Andrew. “So I came in to the Rural Action Centre and started the process with their help.”
A big smile spreads across Andrew’s face when he is asked how the Rural Action Centre Wellington helped his business.
“In what way did they not help?” he says. “Honestly, they helped me find and secure a building, they helped me to network and become knowledgeable about a bunch of different government programs that I never knew existed. They connected the dots, and were like the switchboard between me and all a lot of other supports that would help the business out. And anytime I wasn’t too sure of something, they were a phone call away.”
At times it was the RAC Wellington staff taking the initiative to give Andrew a call when they discovered something that could help his business. Through the RAC Wellington Andrew was connected to the CBDC.
“Right up there on my list with Rural Action Centre would be CBDC, they were a phenomenal support.”
Not only did they connect Andrew to valuable resources, the RAC Wellington staff also gave him the confidence to start a business.
“Going into it you always have those doubts. No matter how confident of a person you are, no matter how much coin is in the bank, there are always those doubts.
When you have people like the staff of the RAC Wellington helping you out like the way they help you – they give you that little push to keep on going, like “you got this,” he says.
Rural Action Centres are essential for the small business owner in rural communities, says Andrew.
“They are the ones that help connect all of the people in small communities together because they know every small business in the area and who’s doing what and they can get everyone else connected,” he says. “Once they have an idea what you want to do, they start plugging in the rest and point you in the right direction.”