Emily Eden and Momo’s Market, A Story on Collaboration

“I think my favorite part about being an entrepreneur is to have some peace of mind about how I’m going to be treated by my boss, because my boss is me so I can have more control over that,” said Emily Eden, womanpreneur of Emily’s Home Cooking and Kitchen Space LLC at Momo’s Kitchen. Eden decided to embark on her entrepreneurial journey after working as a prep cook and as a nanny. She realized she could dive head first into the personal chef industry when she saw how her two roles could be combined.  Personal chef services are widely popular and in demand nationwide, but not very popular in Vermont.

Emily’s Home Cooking was started in 2009 as a personal chef service, offering comfort food and customized party menus that are prepared in your home with Vermont ingredients and style. Her original client base included working professionals with kids and older couples who didn’t have enough time on their hands to cook or spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Eden admits it sometimes felt lonely during her first few years of business. “Especially through the first few years of having a business you feel like you get a lot of side eye from people who are not sure if you’re really doing something, or if it’s just a vanity project,” said Eden.

...you get a lot of side eye from people who are not sure if you’re really doing something, or if it’s just a vanity project.

Fast forward nine years later, Eden has grown her business into one that includes a fully functioning website with multiple menu items along with clients that she returns to regularly. One morning in October 2018, Eden decided to broaden her horizons even more by attending a Vermont Womenpreneurs Morning Biz Buzz Coffee Meetup at Nomad.

Vermont Womenpreneurs produces digital content and experiences to support and promote a thriving community of women-owned businesses. “The premise of Womenpreneurs is that women business owners - from solopreneur to small team - are interested in getting together, collaborating, and connecting with one another,” said VTW co-founder Mieko Ozeki. Vermont Womenpreneurs’ intentions are to celebrate the stories of women business owners contributing to the Vermont economy and community. Their mission is to convene, connect, collaborate, and celebrate with local womenpreneurs.

After Eden attended her first coffee meet-up, she realized she had just enough time to purchase a ticket to the Fall 2018 Showcase event. Feeling inspired by the presenters at the Showcase, who spoke about their own entrepreneurial journeys, Eden decided to continue attending VTW events.

“I’ve definitely met some really nice people,” said Eden as she spoke about VTW events. “With Vermont Womenpreneurs, it’s really nice having co-workers and people to bounce ideas off of. Otherwise it does get a little bit lonely as an entrepreneur.”

One of the introductions Eden cherishes the most from a VTW networking event occurred back in December when she met Erin Malone of Momo’s Market, located in Burlington’s Old North End.

“Erin came to a Womenpreneurs Coffee Meetup at New Moon and it was a small enough group that we were still doing an introduction circle. She said that she wanted recommendations for anyone who was a cook looking for a new project. I just went up and introduced myself once it was mingling time and she pretty much hired me on the spot to come in and help,” said Eden.

Eden says ever since she has started working with Kitchen Space LLC at Momo’s Kitchen, it has been beneficial to share momentum and new projects with her original business, Emily’s Home Cooking. Renting kitchen space from Momo’s Market might be on the horizon for Eden, which she looks forward to. Eden has now gained a new client base that consists of commuters going to and from work or to school in the Old North End.

One of Eden’s favorite meals to prepare is the Moho Pork Panini,  which includes seasoned house roasted pork, VT cheddar, and house pickled onion with citrus garlic mayo. It is an original recipe that she came up with. Other popular items include the kale quinoa salad (kale and quinoa tossed with a house made citrus vinaigrette) and breakfast burritos (two eggs, VT cheddar, beans on a local tortilla and your choice of meat).

In the future, Eden hopes to start a crowdfunding campaign to add delivery options to her prepared meals service.. Although this might take a little bit of capital, Eden is hopeful that this will be her next step with the help of her new position at Momo’s Market.

Eden and Malone hope Momo’s Market will become a place for new neighborhood members to not only pick up sandwiches and grocery items for convenience, but also to order delicious meals for picnics and other celebrations in the area. Vermont Womenpreneurs provided a kismet opportunity for Eden and Malone to meet and start off on a new venture together as womenpreneurs in our community.