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Chef Amari Shoto finds her sweet spot in entrepreneurship

Amari Shoto (Photo courtesy of Amari Shoto)

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Amari Shoto found her love for food at an early age. Baking with her grandmother turned into watching the Food Network for hours on end. From those experiences, she taught herself how to bake and in college, Amari got a degree in hospitality management that would turn her hobby to a business.

What was the inspiration behind Amari B’s Catering and Pastries?

I’ve always had a love for food, and after obtaining my degree in hospitality management, I fostered even more love for the industry. I was always cooking and baking for family parties with such great feedback that I thought, “why not make it my job?” Seeing people enjoy my creations is really what keeps me inspired. Being in the kitchen is my peace and being able to do that every day is what keeps me going.

Pastry (Photo courtesy of Amari Shoto)

What inspires you to show up for work every day?

Being a young entrepreneur, I realize that I have a unique opportunity to build an empire for my family. The chance to pass down a legacy to not only my future children, but my children’s children is very important to me. Being able to get up in the morning and have 100 percent creative control of my day and create my own schedule is what inspires me to show up to work every day.

Cake (Photo courtesy of Amari Shoto)

What is one of the biggest challenges you face as a female entrepreneur?

In a male-dominated industry, it is sometimes hard for a woman to make her mark without having to work 10 times harder than her male counterpart. I think just putting my name out there and differentiating myself from my fellow catering companies is the hardest part of this job. I have to wake up every day and remind myself why I chose this career in the first place. Not becoming discouraged by competition in such a saturated industry is one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face thus far.

Cake (Photo courtesy of Amari Shoto)

Identify the skill sets that you think will be essential to future business leaders and innovators?

Being a business leader is not an easy task. Anyone that is contemplating taking on this role should certainly have the trait of perseverance. I am learning that in this industry starting out, you will hear “no” more than you will hear “yes,” but that cannot stop you from living out your dreams. As a leader, you have to be strong-willed and able to stand up for what you believe in even though there will be times when there will be no one but yourself believing in you.