Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with Our EDTP Graduate -- Chery Fleet-Hopkins

Posted on 12/18/2023 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News

Cheryl Fleet-Hopkins is the owner and operator of Catering by Cheryl LLC, which is a catering service that specializes in custom and fresh global cuisine and tantalizing seafood offering mobile personal chef services with personal meals and meal prep, as well as craft services and full event catering. We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I decided to choose entrepreneurship because I was tired of giving away my time and talent to other companies and not being fairly compensated or appreciated. I know that working for yourself is hard so in order to have the proper foundation I decided to take the entrepreneurship path and choose the 9 Week Course at LAEDA to learn how to leverage my experience and to learn the best practices in managing a business and to learn all the operations of a business which are essential.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

I am in my industry because I know this is something I love with my more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry and experiences I know that I cannot imagine doing anything else. I wanted to use my talent and skills to make an opportunity for myself for my entrepreneurship journey and to provide exceptional food and service to the individuals, families and communities.

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” Moments? How did the program help you?

I met the most wonderful people from my classmates to my counselor to the generous class instructors. These are lifetime connections. My “Ah-ha” moment during the 9-week class was when I felt like I was losing. Coming to my class was clashing intro my side hustle and little to no money is being made that this time. However, in reality I was reconstructing my business. I was on my way to new levels even to a new name. The EDTP program helped me to organize my business and build onto those lifetime connections that are also my support system as well.

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

What I can say about my journey is that, it was just that a journey. It all started with the decision of joining LAEDA. Then starting and realizing that my income would be deeply impacted. Which made me come to the realization I also knew it was too much of a blessing to quit now. Finally getting my LLC and my EIN was a plus and really motivated me to keep on moving forward with my entrepreneurship journey and meeting my goals. In addition, my business plan, my Foundation got rebuild with more valuable information that I added onto my business and even learned more about the business and my own talents which I can add onto to be even more successful. All of this was possible with the help of resources, knowledge, counseling, meeting different instructors who are experts in their own fields and just with the connections, I made with my classmates (the other entrepreneurs in the room). An essential takeaway was also to learn about the art of patience and how it vital for success. 

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

Today I am the proud and grateful owner and operator of Catering by Cheryl LLC. I have just purchased a food truck trailer to add onto my business.

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs.

My Advice is do not be afraid to ask for help. Be willing to invest in yourself. Move forward daily and stay rested for the rest of your journey!!! Moreover, never, never, ever give up.

More about Catering by Cheryl LLC:

We pride ourselves on using the freshest ingredients and creating unique menus tailored to your specific event. At Catering by Cheryl, we believe that every event deserves exceptional food and service. Our experienced team will work with you to create a one-of-a-kind catering experience that your guests will never forget.

More about Cheryl Fleet-Hopkins:

Catering by Cheryl LLC is owned and operated by the talented and passionate Cheryl Fleet-Hopkins, affectionately known as Momma Cheryl by her family, friends and clients. For thirty years, she has been a part of the hospitality industry, working in both restaurants and hotels, before starting her own catering business. She's had the opportunity to cater for celebrity artists and entertainers, as well as large corporate meetings and weddings. She is also a proud volunteer for several non-profits and truly loves small, intimate events & private catering. Obtaining her food trailer was a long-standing dream, so she is thrilled to bring this new level of service to you. Her passion for cooking is the driving force behind every dish, and she feels honored to be a part of her clients' special moments. With Catering by Cheryl LLC, she strives to make every event memorable and extraordinary.

Where Cheryl Fleet-Hopkins can be reached:

Phone: (609)-416- 1630

Email: info@cateringbycherylllc.com

Website: cateringbycherylllc.com

Facebook: Catering by Cheryl LLC

Instagram: cateringbycheryl

About the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP):

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and continued technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.