Naked Food's owner talks about growing a business and her approach to entrepreneurship
In Making History we are telling the stories of the things happening here in our area that are bringing people to Chattanooga.
Tonight we sit down with a local entrepreneur who opened a restaurant in Chattanooga in January.
We first visited Naked Foods last year months before they opened the doors.
"So the past six months have been very eventful," Alison Oakes said. "Getting ready to open here in December I found out i was pregnant with my first child."
Alison Oakes describes what they do at Naked Foods as healthy meals for busy people.
She started this as a meal delivery business in Knoxville in 2014. They still deliver meals there, but Alison operates everything out of the restaurant on the first floor of the Edney Innovation Center in downtown Chattanooga.
"We really wanted to do a restaurant. I wanted people to be able to eat the meals that we are making hot and fresh and experience that," Alison said.
The life of a business owner can be non-stop.
"Some days I'm busing tables in here, and talking to customers, going to events, setting up booths, trying to educate people," Alison said. "Other days I'm just on the social media all day. I painted the mural on the wall here as we were opening."
Maintaining that pace, and at the same time expecting a child is a lot to manage.
"It's definitely a 24-7 situation. I do find hours in the day to take to myself. I do workout an hour a day," Alison said. "The phone is not with me and that's my time."
Alison says she also takes time for herself every night. She says she has learned a lot through this.
"Just staying positive even when it's really hard to stay positive, and I'm surrounded with people who help me stay positive even when going through tough challenges," Alison said. "The restaurant business is one of the hardest business you know one in three restaurants fail."
The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday they prep food for the week.
But Alison is not alone in this effort she has a team of twelve.
"I always just tell people you're a human. You're not exempt from the rules just because you're an entrepreneur. You have to take some hours of the day for yourself," Alison.
In Chattanooga Naked Foods has a restaurant, a meal prep service, and they are focused on catering for offices and events.