Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Moyer.
Jennifer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Most of my cherished memories stem from food, art, and the garden. My grandmother’s farm outside of Baltimore MD was the backdrop to most of those memories. In the summer months, there was a produce garden full of carrots, asparagus and rhubarb, fields of corn and string beans, fruit tree groves, grape vines and berry brambles. We walked the meadows and small stands of trees beyond the farmhouse yard as my Nana pointed out medicinals and wild mushrooms. We drank homemade wine, ate only homemade jam and put up pickles and pie filling for the winter months.
At 15 I decided I would be a vegetarian after accidentally witnessing one of the farm animals meet the wrong end of my pop’s gun. I grew up in a tourist town by the beach and at 13 was desperate for independence (and name brand clothing). I wanted to work. Lying about my age, I got my first job in a kitchen. Being a vegetarian meant I had to learn to cook for myself or live off french fries and salads. Cooking came natural and an unconventional diet was an accidental culinary exploration! I learned so much about food out of necessity.
Subsequent jobs (I have always had to work) brought me to other restaurants. I ended up far from home after high school at college majoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies. I went out and got a job cooking part-time in a vegetarian restaurant right away. It was the best way I knew how to transition, through food. The kitchen was in the dining room so the customers could watch you cook. I loved it! I was so young, full of confidence and little experience.
Drawn to adventure and learning new things, I collected several more jobs/experiences and eventually found myself at the California School of Herbal Medicine in Northern CA at the age of 20. Here I learned about plants and nutrition, diet and lifestyle, flowers and medicines, organic gardening and my love for a holistic lifestyle.
I followed love to Oceanside by way of Mexico and found myself running a catering company. I always knew I would work for myself. There was never a question in my mind I would run my own business. However, I never knew what that would be or look like. The JennHouse, in a way, happened. It wasn’t planned. All my paths brought me here and the culmination of my life adventures and loves all manifested into a living breathing autonomous being. This field is dynamic and a challenge and nourishing….everything that inspires me. Every event is a blank canvas that evolves differently, yet always a celebration and always full of love. This business is who I am and I love what I do, even when it hurts.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing worth fighting for comes easy. That’s for sure.
I can easily find myself discouraged when I’m buried in paperwork and bookkeeping, bills and banking. The light can be dim some days when the money seems tight. I question what I’ve gotten myself into. “Will we get through this month? Then what?” Those are the hardest moments for me. Remembering to trust my sane self’s decisions after seemingly endless 15 hour days, with no days off in distant memory or future sight, can be a big challenge. Then come the fleeting nuggets of pure joy, the accomplishments of freedom and ownership that are priceless, and I remember why I’m here. I put my head down and give it all I have again the next day. After all, I’m a role model and a provider, a mother, a lover, a friend….an artist. We who thrive in the struggle, it’s what makes us stronger.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the The JennHouse Catering & Events story. Tell us more about the business.
The JennHouse Catering & Events specializes in healthy comfort food with the ability to address and design custom menus for all dietary restrictions. We use only compostable disposable service and delivery items (no single-use plastics).
I am most proud of our family of loyal staff and our overall level of personal service. Inquiries are all answered timely and individually without auto response or cut and paste. We offer custom menus and flexible event designing to work with a budget or within venue requirements. We know we’re n the service industry and it shows.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel fortunate to have been raised without excess. It forced me to be creative with what I had and to make it beautiful! I have the ability to recycle any mistake, failure or problem into the opportunity to grow, learn and evolve. When I find myself face to face with a wall, I always find a way over, under or around. I never turn around and walk away angry.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I am a square peg in a world of round holes. It’s hard to relate and compare my life and progress with the ‘norm’ and I find myself on the opposite side of accepted thinking when it comes to business and society. I would say it’s my blessing and my curse. On one hand, I’m here today by way of my unconventional route, but on the other, it can make things difficult working outside the box when it’s time to apply and work within the system in place.
- Website: thejennhouse.com
- Phone: 707-483-3251
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thejennhouse
- Yelp: thejennhouse
Tristan El Ghorory