We recently connected with Melanie Kerr and have shared our conversation below.
Melanie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today We’d love to go back in time and hear the story of how you came up with the name of your brand?
The name Chauncey’s came from a YouTube video (VA$HTIE writing a KID CUDI video) from 2008/2009 I had seen in college. Kid Cudi played a character in the video named Chauncy Wilkens McFalon whose sense of humor reminded me of my own. I was and still am to this day a huge fan of Kid Cudi.
This name inspired Chauncey Wilkens McFalcon which I used as my pseudonym and stage name throughout my college career. Eventually the name stuck, and people would begin to address me as Chauncey. The name became such a part of my identity and brand due to the extent that people would meet me and say, “oh you’re not a man?”
Melanie, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
What’s up good people?! I am Melanie Kerr or as I’m more affectionately known Chef Chauncey, owner and Executive Chef of Chauncey’s. I am a native of Baltimore, MD and I really kind of stumbled into my culinary career. In doing so I found my purpose and passion. As a child and throughout most of my teenage years, I actually hated cooking! In fact, when it was time to cook and particularly for large family gatherings, I would RUN to get away from being asked to help out and cook! My first job in high school was for a catering company which helped spark my interest in food and all its fascinating complexities. It wasn’t until I spent a full year as a Civil Engineering major in college that I gave in to the urge to pursue food as a career.
At Chauncey’s we provide: catering/private events, chef instruction, & spice blends. What sets Chauncey’s apart from others is our dedication to service & integrity. For many reasons since the pandemic, clients have been subjected to rising costs, and less than satisfactory customer service as the food industry scrambles to regain balance. We are dedicated to providing exemplary customer service during every stage of the event process from beginning to end. From your initial inquiry, throughout the booking process, during and after your event; we provide a luxury experience and exemplary customer service.
We are most proud of our humble beginnings and the steady growth of our business. Chauncey’s began as a fun way for me to share my colorful, whimsical, culinary art with those open minded enough to try something new. We never did a great deal of advertising or paying for features/mentions. We instead put our heads down and fully immersed ourselves in the work to create quality products and services. With this we’ve seen our business grow steadily through word of mouth and support from our community. It is a truly humbling experience to know that your hard work and dedication are being not only well received but shared through support & recommendation.
We’d really appreciate if you could talk to us about how you figured out the manufacturing process.
When I first started Chauncey’s we only provided catering and private event services. Due to the pandemic gatherings were no longer allowed and people weren’t very open to inviting us in their homes- this brought our business to an abrupt halt. We didn’t have the capacity, manpower, or infrastructure to accommodate a to-go meal program. I was spinning my wheels for ideas on how we could stay relevant while creating something new and exciting for people as they adjusted to being home long term. More people were cooking at home and one day I got the idea to make and bottle my Blackened seasoning. It started as an idea. From there I did some research, ordered bottles, and created labels which allowed me to create the first batch. I did an announcement post on my personal IG account with a picture of my mom (she purchased my first bottle <3) and shortly after I was flooded with DMs asking how people could order and if we could ship them.
I had minimal knowledge prior to beginning this process about manufacturing spice blends. I did a lot of learning on the fly. From the time our Blackened blend dropped we found ourselves overwhelmed with orders and had to strategize and come up with procedures that would help standardize our packaging and shipping processes. Some of these procedures include standardized recipes, consistency in product sourcing, and creating order fulfillment & shipping schedules.
As we are continuing to grow, we have expanded and now have 6 blends and hope to continue growing blend options.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
The best source of new clients for us has been word of mouth and partnerships. We have a social media presence, but our social media activity hasn’t been as frequent as most due to the reality that social media is a job in and of itself. We dedicate ourselves to perfecting every detail of our clients experience from start to finish and that has worked well for us in terms of client loyalty and gaining new clients through referrals.
We also participate in partnerships via pop-ups and collaborations with other businesses and brands through the Baltimore business community.
- Website: www.EatMoreChaunceys.com
- Instagram: @EatMoreChaunceys
- Facebook: Eat More Chaunceys