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Meet Alkyshia Mcdonald of Meals By Mac in Chula Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alkyshia Mcdonald.

Alkyshia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began my culinary experience at the age of 18, when I joined the U.S. Navy. Graduating top of my class, I had plenty of scholarships and schools to choose from. The Navy was my first job and I had no intentions of joining, but a friend of mine needed referrals so that she could join with a higher rank. A job with full benefits, traveling, upfront money and no essay requirement? My only question was, “Where do I sign?”

After boot camp, I went to my first school assignment where I learned so many vital things that played a crucial role in my career and business now. This is where my passion began to grow and where I also graduated top of the class earning a higher pay grade. I had never been on my own before and The Navy really provided that stability and independence I needed as I was still maturing.

My first duty station in Norfolk, Virginia was amazing and insightful. I went on two deployments on board an aircraft carrier, the largest Navy vessel, feeding over 5,000 four meals a day. We traveled to so many places and to experience the food and culture was a remarkable journey. While in Virginia, I also earned more culinary certifications such as pest control, food service manager, sanitation training instructor, etc. 

Once I got selected to be stationed in San Diego, I immediately brainstormed on how I was going to expand my talents and enhance my knowledge. California is the land of opportunity and has the reputation of a good life. I didn’t just want to serve my time without at least trying to make something of myself.

April 15, 2019, Meals By Mac was founded. I knew the California culture was about self improvement and image, so I knew providing meal prep would be the perfect business for me. I already had the funds, certifications and experience. I was completing my degree in environmental science to become a health inspector, so the opportunity was only missing me. With just the shirt amount of time Meals By Mac was operating, we then began catering services. Many people wanted to see what our services were about, so we were vendors for health fairs, open mic nights, grand openings, etc. We have even now expanded to bakery services. Gaining the trust of San Diego residence was easy and well worth it.

Meals By Mac prepare tasty and affordable meals for both customers and catered events. Specializing in keto, vegan and traditional style cooking to accommodate customers on various journeys.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been fairly smooth. The experience and education were there as a reinforcement when I doubted myself. Even when moving to San Diego, I was skeptical of being successful because I was not from here. Many people do not accept people/businesses not born and raised in the area. Also, the stigma of military people and the things that have been done in the past.

Meals By Mac – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Meals By Mac works to prepare tasty and affordable meals for both customers and catered events. We specialize in keto, vegan, and traditional style cooking to accommodate customers on various journeys. Rather you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or simply don’t have the time to cook. We are here to pick up the slack. We have even expanded to offering baking options such as southern desserts, crunch cakes, macarons, and vegan treats. Many customers have embraced the bakery and that is what we are currently most known for. As a company, we are most proud of how the community has embraced us. We haven’t been in business a year and have had the opportunity to work with so many companies and customers. What sets us apart from others is the military background. From customers who had doubts, the military really gave the reassurance that they can trust us and we are professionals.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career so far has to be the Valentine’s Day sale that really put us on the map. The strawberry crunch cakes literally went viral overnight. We had such a success with deliveries and reviews on Facebook. It was amazing.

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