Creating Deliciously Edible & Memorable Events – John Silva of Culinary Eye Catering and Events

John Silva, Founder of Culinary Eye Catering and Events

John Silva, the Founder of Culinary Eye Catering and Events, grew his company’s revenue from $1.3 million in 2014 to $2.9 million in 2017, a 123% increase, and to around $3.9 million in 2018.  

Culinary Eye Catering and Events hosts everything from intimate dinners, wedding receptions, corporate holiday parties, and more.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, John shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:  

  • Building relationships and collaborating with other companies in the catering and events industry.  
  • Providing clients with unique offerings, such an interactive and edible wall that as it’s consumed, reveals the client company’s logo underneath.  
  • Building a diverse and creative team focused on providing clients with a memorable experience.   

Computer generated transcript - Culinary Eye Catering and Events Interview (transcribed by Sonix)

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Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with John Silva, the Founder of Culinary Eye Catering & Events, a company that hosts everything from intimate dinners, wedding receptions, corporate holiday parties, and more. Welcome to the show John.

John Silva: Malcolm thanks for having me.

Malcolm Lui: John, you grew your company's revenue from $1.3 million in 2014 to $2.9 million in 2017, a 123% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $3.9 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?

John Silva: Yeah absolutely. It's always crazy hearing the numbers so they feel like I live in it more than think about where the dollar is driving us but culinary ie catering has become sort of this weird entity where we take clients we talked to them about food and commonalities and hopes they have some type of event and whether that's a wedding or a corporate holiday party or a fiftieth anniversary party or whatever it is it's gathering people together and we try to create some sort of moment where they're sharing food and an experience that people can take away and talk about afterwards. I think that's really sort of the heart is trying to create these unique moments that have food as the underlying base to them.

Malcolm Lui: So how would you differ from a Catering company and how would you differ from event planning company. Is it kind of doing both.

John Silva: Yeah you know we are. We're sort of spanning both of those fields. When I started the business we were really focused just on doing cool menus and stuff that came from our farmers and we could get onto a play anything was that whole idea of the fort to play movement in our passion about it. I'm still passionate about the food. But what I really liked about the catering idea of it was that you could take this food and you could go into somebody else's world and watch them experience it and then the next phase for me is since I think my background is in art is I was going to figure out how to expand on it and how to make it so that it wasn't just about that dish that we were enjoying but it was about this whole experience and whether was completely immersive or just some sort of visual display during it that they could take away. So started folding in the ideas of these memorable moments with delicious food and at the end of the day I think the idea that client was that we could help them plan and execute something that was more than just an interesting menu

Malcolm Lui: Can you give an example of a typical event or maybe a recent event

John Silva: Yeah. I think I think December is still a little fresh or maybe a little raw depending on where you think of the workload for it. So I think we're lucky enough in a sense now where clients will find us and whether that's through word of mouth or venue association or some other form and they know that we have bandwidth to take on a full project for them. So corporations recently reach out and they'll say we have a date minds we need you to come up with something unique. And so what we'll do is we'll help them find a venue we'll help them structure what that party is going to be based on their clients expectations. We'll do the full menu and all the service and all the bar programs they're needed for it and then we start designing all this specific. So maybe these are things like character artists that come in and sketch people as they walk across a runway or interactive edible walls that people can use for a backdrop and also savory snack or walk into this space. And at the end of the day we've worked with his clients to create something that is completely tailored to their branding to their guests expectation. I think in most case also sort of making sure that their boss is happy happy before the day is over.

Malcolm Lui: Right now. I don't think I've ever been to a event like that. The event I've been to. He might have been my own wedding. And I don't it. It sounds like what you describe are the events you do people call them over the top or or. Not so much over top but just so unique and people go wow.

John Silva: Well first I wanted to tell your wife that the wedding wasn't the most memorable party you've been

Malcolm Lui: Hi.

John Silva: To

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I might be and

John Silva: But

Malcolm Lui: You

John Silva: A

Malcolm Lui: Might need to edit that out now.

John Silva: That I think what I would say is we're doing events in the bay area specifically where our platform is that food is good. And if you're not doing good food and you're not cooking seasonal and you're not taking care of your purveyors you're probably not doing something right. So all in all I mean realistically in all cases everybody are doing those things. What we're doing is you're trying to bring some sort of artistic expression to the bad and it may sound like it's over the top. But what it is. I think it's just different and unique and asked that it's allowing us to sort of thrive in the environment.

Malcolm Lui: Are each of your events different. Or do you find that oftentimes some overlap to some degree between events in your area maybe repurpose some ideas you've done in the past as well.

John Silva: Yet sometimes when an idea is really shocking or sticking our clients want us to do it again so we might apply the basic concept to it but we usually try to tailor it at least a little bit so that it's unique to them. You know food services food service so doing stations and past appetizers those are the backbone of what we do. The next thing is trying to figure out how to do it in a way that's just a little bit different and a little bit more appealing to the next client.

Malcolm Lui: Okay. What sort of ideas have you had that have really been the harshest that have staying power are the ones that clients say I want that too I want to do it again.

John Silva: Yeah. Know I think that something that's really been catching in for clients eyes recently has been these interactive stations. So we started this idea where you could walk into a space and there would be some sort of static image and as you got closer to it and we've been doing these on walls that work as partitions throughout this space you realize that that wall is actually all edible. It's just this sort of fun and Willy Wonka moment. And the first thing we did it was actually this whole cascade of assorted donuts and as you got closer in you realize that there were doughnuts. But from further way it just looked like a large logo of the company that were doing the party for. And then that sort of mutated over the last couple of years now it's moments where you can walk up and you see all of these canvases hanging and you realize that the canvases are crackers and there's paint stations around and all the paints are made out of naturally pigmented sauces and spreads that you can do your own al fresco painting or a little mural of the space and then eat it as a snack as you walk through the space. So we see that people are liking this option of being able to provide food but also have a be sort of this build your own experience moment.

Malcolm Lui: Very cool to what degree are those stations eaten during the course of the event.

John Silva: Yeah you know they're usually edited three hours and by editing. I mean they start as a fully populated food station and as the people come up over the course of a couple hours they're taking bites or taking small vessels off of these stations and then usually we're trying to create some sort of reveal whether it's a logo hidden behind the food or as things are removed or reveal as some sort of image. It adds to a little bit of the intrigue of the party.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah definitely sounds pretty interesting I've never seen something like that. I have to get myself invited to some of these events and check it out

John Silva: Yeah come on out. I'm always looking for somebody to help

Malcolm Lui: All right. So in regards to your revenue growth one point three million in 2014 to almost 4 million in 2018. So over the those four years what were the three biggest drivers of your growth.

John Silva: You know I think that in 2014 what I did is I realized that there was an opportunity for me to get a little more exposure by joining the associations and I've realized that there's something quirky about me or I don't just join a group. I usually try to join and get some position whether I'm leading it or sitting on the board. So I took a position with a national association. I was the regional and chapter president of a group called Meese which is the National Association of catering and events and was able to push myself into a place where I wasn't just another person in the industry I was somebody in the industry that had some influence on what we should all be doing and that I think helped culinary ie to leverage where we were going and also leverage businesses around me so that we could all pull each other up in what we do which is this event's world. Now a lot of the collaboration leads to the next event and the more casual collaboration the better the events get

Malcolm Lui: Right. So the biggest driver was your involvement with the industry associations

John Silva: Yeah yeah. And then following that well we try to do really was to start creating some sort of unique offering and make sure that we're showing it to the right people and so the following years were about growing the team making sure that we had people that had and have either an aesthetic that's about moments and unique experience or a tie and love of food and creating design components to this world of food.

Malcolm Lui: So the three drivers in if I got it straight I won. Your involvement with the industry association at a leadership level to coming up with a unique offer or unique offerings in three growing a team with diverse background I can deliver on those offering sound about right

John Silva: Yeah yeah exactly. We said better than my ramble

Malcolm Lui: Now. I'm just taking note of what you said. It's easy for me to recall what other people say in regards to joining the association. Talk a little bit more about how that's helped grow your business. Jack my collaboration with other vendors now are they are they also other caterers talking about other event planners or other people in different sub niches

John Silva: Yeah. You know there's something about surround yourself with peers which I think is definitely warranted. So I've got a small group of catering owners that we meet and collaborate with when I join an association I tend to think of it more as a well-rounded group that I'm trying to interact with and realistically other businesses that I can support with my own. So we connect ourselves on the floor as an event planners and venue coordinators and we connect ourselves with photographers and all of these people were both able to fold into our own events to make our clients experience better that also stimulate their businesses at the same time. And I keep saying this to my team and I keep saying it's everybody they work with that friends tend to work best with friends and people like to work with people that they enjoy spending time with. So relationships really set a good momentum to promoting your own business and you can do that usually best by promoting somebody else's

Malcolm Lui: Right. Definitely. So as I imagine there's a lot of a quid pro quo as well. I mean the florist remembers how you gave them a job and they have an opening for you I'm sure they think of you as well

John Silva: Yeah absolutely.

Malcolm Lui: Awesome. How about in terms of your unique offerings and you meant that are you talking about a unique offering for each individual client or are you thinking about a unique offering in general

John Silva: I think our ability to not have set menus and not have set offerings and always be based around maybe a hard line of where our profitability on events is a sweet spot for us it allows us to look at some need from a client and be able to expand outside of that box of just a number and say All right well how do we make this just a little more exceptional for them and a little more interesting for them and a little more creative and not necessarily about worry about where the dollar lies on that but really think about what the end goal is in the experience for Our client

Malcolm Lui: Right. And then once you figure that out see what you can do to make it fit within the client's budget.

John Silva: Yeah absolutely. Yeah. And talk them through. You know I think sometimes the hardest part of clients experience is trying to figure out what their budget is. And I think there's a lot of misinformation out there. And whether it's through past experience and different businesses or working outside of certain regions. A lot of the times you just need to see it. They need to see what all of the pieces are of the puzzle so that they can justify having this exceptional experience

Malcolm Lui: Right now can you give me a sample menu here. I imagine it can be a lot more than than the typical menu that you get or at a restaurant

John Silva: Yeah we just did an event and the theme of the party was spring painting. So it was a launch party for a company they were showcasing a new product that they were coming out and their theme was all about painting and environment. So it was sort of right up our alley. So what we did is the interactive component for this was a large wall. We put the client's logo onto it as a final print and then on top of that we put all these edible canvases that guests can come up and remove a large five inch by five inch cracker go paint it and eat it throughout the space and over the course of the party it revealed the client's logo. We also had a station that we built out and it was a play on colors. So we did small petri dishes and in those we did shaved and marinated beets. We did a gelatin which was the vinaigrette and little micro greens to make it look like a pop of color but also like Kaleidoscope. And we did a dark purple team all of our planet Somalia which had a vibrant bright red brushstroke which was a roasted pepper rim Esko and then was garnished with some House made really vibrant yellow corn chips. So these are all things that guests could come up and eat and then we had this whole assortment of appetizers were being passed throughout the space so pastel color and beauty shares which were done with B pigments and cauliflowers and these are a little miniature Angus sliders that we passed and why a tree branches. We did our in Cheyney which is an Italian street food but we had those blessed in different colors and we're passing these on lifesavers which were glowing. And so just a lot of I kind of said you know it kind of kept going. We did Pantone cookies that were being passed through this phase which are all colors of blue. And it was fun. Yeah. You'll enjoy

Malcolm Lui: Yet

John Silva: It.

Malcolm Lui: Though all the things he just mentioned was this for one event

John Silva: That was one of.

Malcolm Lui: Wow.

John Silva: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: Quite quite a wide menu there

John Silva: Yeah absolutely.

Malcolm Lui: Now. Now do you have a bit of a chef training in you as well.

John Silva: Yeah. I started working in kitchens when I was 15 and a half. So

Malcolm Lui: Okay

John Silva: I was working and the mechanics and I look across history and I saw that there was a catering company and kids coming back from it and they all look like they're having the best time. And I looked down on my hands and I was covered in Greece and

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

John Silva: I love my job. I sort of love the idea of trying to work in a professional kitchen. I grew up cooking with family and I spent summers in Oklahoma growing produce my grandparents feeling really connected to that whole process.

Malcolm Lui: Okay.

John Silva: But I wanted to try out a professional kitchen. So 15 and a half I walked over to this catering company and I showed them a work permit and started just doing these hilarious menial tasks of popping the tops off cherry tomatoes and battering ram cans and doing just weird kitchen tasks and I stayed with that company for a few years and each time I left we were doing full production the kitchen. I was helping to design events and stayed in kitchens for a long time. And a lot of different ways after that. And so I finally started culinary I

Malcolm Lui: And you're cooking up the dishes as well.

John Silva: Yeah we're cooking or developing many is. And I took that onto a bunch of food related jobs after that.

Malcolm Lui: But I always wonder about people who are highly skilled in the kitchen cranium creating menus creating new dishes and so on when you're at home and you whip something up for yourself or your family or friends. How fancy do ego or artistic. The basics.

John Silva: Yeah it depends. You know there's absolutely days where when I get home the last thing I want to do is have anything to do with food. I've got a couple of kids I've got a very supporting wife who is home with them in the days so sometimes it's a matter of getting the energy up to cook. And sometimes it's just enough of the energy needed to make a phone call and get something delivered. So it depends. You know. We hope too much of Buddy's tonight We're having steak night. So I've got a big age to New York and there we're gonna cut down and I'm cooking for them for all the sides. But no joke coming to have them cook their own steaks and you know this is going to be a get together. But I love it. I love food and I like making it fancy. And when it's needed but sometimes the really good bowl of mac and cheese is totally fine.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I mean keeping it simple it is can be fantastic. I never had a barbecue for my co-workers and friends one day and if you're saying wow this talk is delicious. What did how do you cook it. I got nothing. It's a salt and pepper that's

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: That's all it takes sometimes.

John Silva: Yeah that's what I love about food as it is the it's almost the easiest thing to talk about with a group of people because everybody does it. You know everybody eats and everybody has an opinion and everybody's got something unique that they can bring to the table. So it's just easier. Their work offers it's a platform for conversation

Malcolm Lui: Yeah definitely. I mean well I haven't made a roast apples on the barbecue grill right after the main main was done. I'm thinking I might

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Need to do that. It's been a while since we've done that is there always. Always good having a Carmelite

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Apple munch on

John Silva: That sounds fantastic.

Malcolm Lui: So the third driver growing your team. You talk a little bit about that. So from from when I checked out your Web site and all. You don't hire traditionally

John Silva: I do not hire traditionally. No. And you know for better or worse I think my most successful hires come from interviewing outside of a room. I usually take people for a walk and I ask them all the questions that I'm legally allowed to ask and then I hope that people can expand onto those and tell me a little bit about who they are. Because if you can impress and inspire me to have a conversation with you I feel like you do the same thing to the clients you're working with. And at the end of the day I want the experience of working with culinary eye not just being about me and and being about this artistic expression that we're trying to push out into the food world. I wanted to be about a couple looking back and saying you know it was fantastic working with Kelly from culinary eye on planning our wedding and it was amazing working with Allison in Madison on the design for our events and having this this friendship that comes from it. And so I've always looked at people that have a story about them. Have they traveled. Do they have something that they're looking for after they leave culinary. And how can I help them get to that point. So we find good people. You know it's hard. It's definitely not the easiest thing to do. But I have a really exceptional team

Malcolm Lui: Right. Do you find any profile of your employees to be exceptionally good fits for Cullen area.

John Silva: I think you have to be willing to join a cult that might be the best. That's profile at this point. Or realistically you have to be able to embrace an environment where people are actively looking out for you. So the expectation is that you're also looking out for that

Malcolm Lui: Right. How did your company grow employee wise over the past four years.

John Silva: Yeah. When I started it I mean I was talking to five stares and trying to figure out what cleaner I was going to be. And in 2014 I had an all team of three and we were hiring a lot of hourly employees to events and then I made a justification at one point where there was something really good about bringing people into this that had passion to it. And you know if I could support them that would support the business. So today we have full full time salaried employees which isn't huge. And then we have a staff which are onsite and at that production focusing which is about one hundred and twenty three on top of that twelve

Malcolm Lui: Twenty three are hourly or as needed

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: Folks

John Silva: Yeah. All hourly. No contractors at this point. So people that are vetted within the culinary eye world and

Malcolm Lui: In

John Silva: Help us do a myriad of things whether they're cooking or serving in our building or designing or installing

Malcolm Lui: Right. But I joined three aren't necessary working with full time all

John Silva: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: The time

John Silva: That's correct.

Malcolm Lui: Right.

John Silva: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: Okay got it. Do you find it bringing on people is a constraint for on your business. Know you can't find people fast enough in order to meet the demand. We are a service

John Silva: I. I do. Yeah. You know we're looking we're trying to fill three positions right now and just haven't found the right fit yet but definitely actively looking.

Malcolm Lui: Right. Well we have three positions that you're looking for. What are they. Maybe someone's listening here and we say hey it was me

John Silva: Yeah. You have anybody out there that's interested and we're looking for somebody to work in the front of our house so which is client and focusing to lead teams of six to 100 staff on site. This is gonna be an on site event manager full time salary position. I'm looking for one business development role which I think at this point would be a benefit. Who are doing active outbound sales and connectedness with vendors venues and potential clients. And I'm also looking for another sales role that will be in-house helping to take our clients dreams and execute on them and make sure that they're supported throughout the whole build of their party or their event.

Malcolm Lui: Right. More of an account manager.

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: I can I can imagine how the first one might be the hardest. Finding the the onsite event manager who is capable of running a team of six or up to 100. That's quite a wide range.

John Silva: Yeah. Yeah it is probably six to 10 is not too hard and so you need that right person they can think of it. You know 10 groups of ten not a hundred people staring at you waiting for

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

John Silva: The roll

Malcolm Lui: That's me.

John Silva: Call

Malcolm Lui: Let me handle a bid for 2019. Imagine it. You and I are having a conversation a year from now and you're looking back over the past one year. What has happened in your business for you to feel happy with your company's progress. In particular what problems you have now that need to be eliminated. What opportunities do you see that need to be captured and what strengths you have that need to be maximized

John Silva: Yeah. You know I never thought that I was going to be the founder or CEO or president or chief creative director of a catering company. I always thought that I was gonna be a cook. So I don't have an MBA. I think I have some street smarts and luckily I've been able to figure out how to get where we are today. You know some of our systems we're still working on streamlining and luckily the team is helping out and being proactive on all of that. I think if you were to talk to me next year and I have done my job right I will have hired those three positions and efficiently set goals for sales for them. We'd have systems in place to take you from what an initial phone call or coffee meeting with somebody a culinary guy is throughout the whole party and then collecting the last payment of their event and it would be something that we could easily train new staff on. It doesn't quite exist like that is streamline as I want it to be but it's where we're looking to go over the next year a little bit more systems that are defined

Malcolm Lui: Right.

John Silva: For the group.

Malcolm Lui: So sir would you say that's the biggest obstacle you have in terms of achieving what you want get done those. The hiring of the three people and

John Silva: I

Malcolm Lui: As

John Silva: Think

Malcolm Lui: Was

John Silva: That yeah I think hiring the three people is probably the biggest challenge. You know I'd like to say the biggest challenge is competition and exposure rates and all that. But I think those three positions help solve a lot of the other problems that I am looking at. Or challenges that I see in the growth of

Malcolm Lui: Right. So are you finding in terms of hiring that that you're just not getting enough candidates through the door who are interested or are you finding that you're getting plenty of people interested but they're just not the right fit. You speak of them

John Silva: I mean I might be self sabotaging us a little bit on this. I think that I'm looking for a unicorn and I just haven't quite found it yet. So there's people that I think that'll work. And we've hired in the last couple of years some people that have seemed really good on paper and then it's meshing them with the group and making sure that it fits. And sometimes it's not a good fit. And so when it's not you have to start over again. And I tend to be a little gun shy when you go through the process of hiring and having it not work out. So

Malcolm Lui: Yet

John Silva: I might have to you know I have to put my foot down on some of the things that I constantly read about hiring efficiently and fast and firing and even quicker as needed. But I tend to fall in love with people.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

John Silva: So the firing part never happens as fast as

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. It cuts both ways too in the sense that you know people know that you have their back. They're willing to go the extra mile for you as well.

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: All right. So the biggest challenge in hiring three people. Number two it sounds like is that building up the systems for you to train your staff on which also is similar to the first when you make about streamlining your systems. Any particular opportunity EEC business wise that you want to capture over next year

John Silva: I do. You know a lot of what we're doing under these visual moments that people see. And they're very easily photographed and they're these wow kind of like quick snapshot moments. And so recently people have been asking us to expand on that offering rather than just all the full catering. So I've been trying to figure out what that is. You know is it is a design that's just an installation for food. Is it some interactive food experience. That's definitely something that the Internet rounds more often than not. And I think in the next month will be something that we start doing a little more development into.

Malcolm Lui: Right. Yeah there's a lot of different ways you can take that

John Silva: Yeah I agree.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. How about on the hearing side. Oral. Sound inside the sound side is s to my D you have the might make food interesting from a sound perspective.

John Silva: Yeah. You know we've we've messed around a little bit with some pitches to clients about experience an event with some of the technologies out things like silent discos and head setting and through our and creating different ambient noises and parties. It almost feels like it might just be a little further out in people's imagination than we're able to capture. But I like to throw these things out to the people and see what the reaction is we haven't got anybody to bite on it yet but I feel like we're getting closer to that moment

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. How about in terms of business opportunities is there a particular niche that you see really attractive that you would like to go into.

John Silva: Yeah. You know we're I think we're diversified enough in the types of events we do. Now what I'm looking for is probably the exposure to that client that really does want to do something really outside of the box. You know who this person is I still don't know how to reach them but I do sort of in an offering and have an idea of what we want to show them.

Malcolm Lui: Right now you're talking about a corporate type events or are you talking about more of the personal type events right. I mean corporate events like the annual Christmas party or personal events like wedding receptions

John Silva: I think it's both you know it might just be a caliber of client. That's one step above who we're dealing with right now. Somebody that has a budget and understands that you need certain resources and now able to really do it to the full extent we work with a lot of companies that are large and we work with a lot of really amazing couples on their weddings. I think some of it is just finding the marketing to get to that next client who has the ability to help us create a new moment for them.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah and at same time a new moment for yourself as well. Sounds like you're interested in and come up with new ideas as opposed to just redoing what you've done in the past.

John Silva: Yeah yeah absolutely.

Malcolm Lui: Now you mentioned marketing. I took a look at your online presence. With the tools that I have. I didn't see any paper campaigns that you're running currently and your SGA presence is pretty light. What's your take on that. On paper click and SEO from generating leads. We

John Silva: Yeah. The I'm up in the air about it. Recently I hired somebody to help us do adware ad campaigns and to build SEO into our Web site. And I like the idea of more traction but my sort of inherent worry is whether or not having more people come to our front door is really going to garner US the type of business we want. I'd almost rather spend a budget working directly with the planner or venue or an affiliate that I could convert quicker than throwing a bunch of darts out on the Internet. So

Malcolm Lui: Write

John Silva: I go back and forth. I know we're trying this to pay per click and AdWords surge and FCO now and I'd love to see how it goes. And I'm hoping that it works well but in the past it's always been more freedom for working directly with people rather than working through our Web site an online course

Malcolm Lui: Right hand. Have your has your specialist gone live yet with their ad campaigns to have results to show or show you just yet.

John Silva: I think that I think my problem might be that I might not have the right specialist yet so you know we talk a lot about strategy and have some campaigns running and they're either paused or they're being revised so sometimes I feel like you need to pull the trigger and this person just might not be pulling the right trigger at this point.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah yeah definitely it's. You're kind of in an interesting space because he needs kind of figure out what people will be searching for. Right. To have these visual moments memorable moments for their event. And that's the key thing is figuring that out. And once you get that out and then it can work really well.

John Silva: Yeah I completely agree.

Malcolm Lui: So right now your marketing is primarily through word of mouth or do you do some advertising and other sorts of outreach as well.

John Silva: Yeah primarily through word of mouth. We host a lot of clients and potential partners we show them our food we let them see our designs and experience some of what we're putting together and then extrapolate on what we can do for their clients and let them know the value of behind working with us. We've done things like ad campaigns and magazines and we've done showcases in the past and sometimes that exposure it's good. But circulation on magazine hasn't really bore that much fruit for us. Sometimes if you're in a showcase and there's a ton of competitors in the industry you sort of become white noise in the spaces and haven't really tried much more besides

Malcolm Lui: Right.

John Silva: That. Sometimes I'm just thinking about the next creation not so much about the actual marketing of it

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Are there competitions you can enter

John Silva: Hard

Malcolm Lui: That get

John Silva: Yeah.

Malcolm Lui: The most imaginative

John Silva: Dark projects

Malcolm Lui: Edible display or something like that.

John Silva: Yeah and we're in a we're in a baking competition coming up in April. So that one should be fun. I think we're doing that as a team just because it gets us a lift or our headspace for it. But

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

John Silva: I've got a group around me that loves competitions and I enjoyed them as well so I'm pretty much bent on us to win that one

Malcolm Lui: That's the theme of that competition.

John Silva: Bacon and beer

Malcolm Lui: Oh great. Next

John Silva: Oh yeah.

Malcolm Lui: You have a of fun with that one so In my opinion darkens the well depends if you're a if you're a believer in in the low carb idea. But baking is really the best food because it's high in fat high in protein and not much carbs right. If it doesn't have that much sugar in it

John Silva: Yeah and a high end flavor. I

Malcolm Lui: And

John Silva: Mean the full

Malcolm Lui: I

John Silva: Ad

Malcolm Lui: Labor

John Silva: We can just about bacon and anything

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I agree. I mean bacon donuts are her Good mix in my opinion. So that's three final questions for you. If you were to have a billboard along one of the freeways that are moving fast along one to one not there rush hour but one perhaps on weekends and evenings and people have six seconds to see a billboard before they drive by. What is your six second billboard message for culinary I

John Silva: Would say creating something uniquely yours. And then our Web site and below it.

Malcolm Lui: Right. Imagine you have a summer. What would your picture be on the billboard.

John Silva: Yeah maybe somebody eating a edible nest out of in forest

Malcolm Lui: Pretty good. You know you don't eat next that offense. I'll be very unique.

John Silva: Yeah. Hopefully not. All right.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. And my final two questions for you. Who are your ideal clients and what's the best way for them to reach you.

John Silva: Our new clients are people that want to be part of building something and experiencing something that isn't just food on a table. So if you're looking for a company or a crew of individuals that are creative who can support you in doing that you should be reaching out to culinary AI. The best place to get us is either over phone numbers our office line as it's always ready to be picked up and through our email. We divide our inquiries out to the team based on the need of your event. So you have somebody specifically designated to helping you produce what you're looking for.

Malcolm Lui: All right. Would you like to share your phone number and email.

John Silva: Yeah absolutely. Our phone number is 4 1 5 8 2 4 1 2 2 5 4 1 5 8 2 4 1 2 2 5 and you can get us and our email at events evey e n t s at culinary I dot com that's C you l I n a r y e y e dot com

Malcolm Lui: What's the story behind your company name. Culinary I

John Silva: Yeah you know it's become a tagline of ours I love food and I've always loved seeing our clients experience the food that we cook for them. So when it started it was about seeing life through great food and it was about having this eye for these moments and hence the name culinary I came into existence.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah it's a good name it's a it's different and it's memorable.

John Silva: Yeah. Thank you so much.

Malcolm Lui: I like it. John it's been awesome having you on my show today. I really enjoyed hearing how you grew your company so fast.

John Silva: Yeah madam I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you so much.

Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with John Silva, the Founder of Culinary Eye Catering & Events, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit

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