This week we had the pleasure of sitting down with long-time Off the Grid creator, Binita “Bini” Pradhan, the owner and chef of Bini’s Kitchen. We caught up with her to discuss the top 7 insights and pieces of advice she’s gained over her 7 seasons with Off the Grid.
1) What advice would you give to an aspiring food entrepreneur?
Put your heart into everything you do! If you know how to cook and have the drive to create the business, all you need to do is add your heart and soul and you will succeed. One thing you must also remember is to be honest and transparent with your clients. Once you break that trust, you may never get it back.
2) How did you decide to open your food venture?
After coming to San Francisco I really missed my native Nepalese home-cooked food. I wasn’t familiar with any Nepalese food in the area, so I decided to start selling my own food. With my son being a strong critic, I knew that he liked my food I could feed my food to anyone.
3) How has Off the Grid changed over your 7 years with us?
A lot has changed over the years. When I started, it was a much smaller group. Every vendor knew each other, and we would realize when someone didn’t show up. Now there are constantly new faces, and I don’t know the vendors who are in my neighboring Cubert. Although it’s sad that I don’t know all the faces, it’s a testament to Off the Grid and how they’re bringing in more people and helping more small companies grow.
4) How have you and your business changed since starting with Off the Grid?
My company has grown vastly since I started at Off the Grid. Since that time, I’ve been brought more market opportunities from joining Off the Grid, and I’ve gained more recognition from being a part of it. Besides growing from all the mentorship that I’ve received from Matt, I’ve also grown financially. My financial growth has helped me support the La Casa de las Madres organization, an organization that provides support to survivors of domestic violence.
5) What do you think the next decade of mobile food will look like?
I think the mobile food landscape will continue to expand and grow even faster than it currently is. Right now, around 45% of mobile food businesses are owned by immigrants and 30% are owned by women. I expect that over the next 10 years those numbers will continue to grow, and we’ll see even more opportunities for women in the mobile food arena.
6) What have you learned from being a part of Off the Grid?
Off the Grid is unlike any other event provider that I have worked with. The staff and other food vendors have become my friends. My staff is self-sufficient and could run an OTG event by themselves, but I still go because I want to socialize and see my friends.
7) What advice would you give someone who is looking to join Off the Grid?
If you are considering joining, then just jump on in and do it. Off the Grid is a vast company that provides a lot of opportunities, whether for catering, public sale or mentorship. With the many opportunities that Off the Grid provides, you might as well just try it out.
Look for Bini’s Kitchen at Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center this coming season! If you are interested in joining the Off the Grid creator community, apply now to be a part of our Fort Mason and Presidio 2020 season.