We chat to founder of By Word of Mouth, Karen Short about the catering industry and her new range of ready-made food.five minutes with Karen Short

Tell us about “Frozen For You”

We offer home-style meals to busy South Africans in the comfort of their homes, minus the hassle of preparation. Because our meals are frozen fresh immediately after they have been assembled, we are changing the perception that frozen food is less nutritious or unhealthy. By using ‘nature’s pause button’, we ensure that the nutrient value and quality of our meals remain at their peak from the day of freezing. This guarantees that each handcrafted meal is as fresh and delicious as the day it was made.

5 minutes with Karen Short - frozen for you

You’ve already achieved so much in your career, what further impact do you hope to have on the catering and events industry?

I honestly feel like I just started. I have two main goals for this year and that is to grow Frozen For You and open stores nationally. The second is to grow the catering and eventing side of the By Word of Mouth business by broadening our reach into KZN.

One of my other passions is the décor part of the business so I have invested a lot in the flower and décor side. I cannot wait for my clients to see what new and exciting arrangements we are working on.

What inspires new things in your business?

Passion, passion and passion. I have a real love for food and events so I am always looking for new trends I can localise for the South African market. I also follow international trends as a hobby, and travel extensively, which usually translates into inspiration for some of my creations.

What are the most important things to consider when creating menus?

It’s a creative process, but I think before you can start you need to consider a variety of factors: the client’s personality, the theme and tone of the event, allergies, the season and sourcing seasonal, locally grown ingredients, just to name a few.

How do you make sure that every “BWOM” event is unique?

By making each event specific to the personality of the client, personalisation is key. We like to take our consumers on a journey that is tailored for every event. We pull inspiration from global trends, which you know… are ever changing.

What advice do you have for people who want to start their own businesses in this, and other industries?

You need to create a product or service that is one-of-a-kind. Find your niche and that one thing that will set you apart from the rest. Once you have established what that is, I strongly recommend that you learn about the business. Take a short course or two and find a mentor that understands your vision and someone you can bounce ideas off on a regular basis.

To what do you credit your success?

My husband, Adrian. What I am good at is being creative. Adrian is the business minded person – he left his corporate job 15 years ago to come run the business side of things. I would have never been able to transform By Word of Mouth, and now Frozen For You the way we have, if it had not been for him.