Young mum serves success on a platter

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Young mum serves success on a platter

A young Northland mum, with a taste for entrepreneurship, says that becoming a businesswoman under 30, with her own catering business, has given her a taste for success.

Whangarei’s Sarah Gillum (22) established her Luvplatters in December and now provides a region-wide service, with grazing tables and platters for groups.

After struggling to find suitable employment for herself when her daughter Ava Marie was just one year old, Sarah decided to turn her passion into a business.

She is also in the last year of her diploma in business at NorthTec and plans to continue to the bachelor level.

“My business lets me be with my daughter on a daily basis, and study full time.”

Sarah runs the business herself, but she has a little help from her mum Fiona.
She caters for groups of four to 200 people and weddings, birthdays, business functions, anniversaries, picnics, date nights, gifts and “pretty much any time you want a platter or grazing table”. The service also offers gluten free, dairy free and allergy-free options.

Sarah says she hopes to have a full-time income from the business, “and possibly a number of staff” in the next two years.
She says one of the challenges of being in business and under 30 years old, was that some people don’t take her seriously.

“People my own age don’t always take me seriously…they don’t see the benefits of me working so hard. I’ve always had people believe that people the same age as me are not mature or can’t be.
“I think sometimes people don’t’ give me the opportunity to show them.”

She says some of her peers think it’s “crazy” to run a business in her early twenties.
“That creating your own business takes you away from doing fun things and that it restricts you from a lot of things, which I don’t think it does.
“Running my own business has given me the ability to work around my family and allows my day to be flexible.”
Sarah says being young does have its advantages.

“My knowledge of social media and having a large variety of marketing knowledge. My focus is always on trying to move forward and always improve with the ability to accept change.”

She realised she had made the right move when she worked on her first wedding –  a two-metre grazing table for 100 people in January, a one-metre table and bridal platters.
“I received huge compliments about how great it was.”

She says, however, that taking on an extra job did push her to her limits.
“I’ve had to remind myself to have my me time and ask for help if you need it.
“Asking for days of if you need to because you will be no good at your job if you’re exhausted.”