Client Success: Claudia's Mesa
MESA CHEF CLAUDIA KREVAT, CLAUDIA’S MESA
Mesa Chef, Claudia Krevat, started Claudia’s Mesa in 2009, after recognizing a great love for her salsas in the community. At the time, Claudia was working as a designer for a local flooring business and she used her salsa to target her construction audience. She would arrive at construction sites dressed in her native Latin-Caribbean attire and offer chips and salsa to construction workers. Claudia along with her salsa quickly became a local favorite and she recognized a greater opportunity for her salsas. Shortly after, she started selling her salsas in local grocery stores and began teaching cooking classes, which helped her develop her brand as a Mesa Chef. Today, Claudia’s Mesa offers a unique line of marinades, chutneys, salsas and dips. She also features pop-up events and cooking classes, which is the most thriving part of her business.
Claudia grew up in Barranquilla, Columbia and spent most of her time in the kitchen helping Mamaesco, the family cook of three generations, prepare delicious meals. She was Claudia’s mentor, teaching her the passion of cooking and storytelling, which she now uses in teaching others. Claudia moved to the U.S. to attend Florida International University, in Miami. She later worked at Doral Resorts of Florida where she met a local nutritionist that she worked alongside to cook for her clients and became specialized in sports nutrition. In 1998, Claudia and her family moved to Bozeman at put her cooking career on hold to work as a designer. Claudia continues to work in sales, while living her dream of cooking and surrounding herself with wonderful people she can inspire with food.
In 2010, Claudia first began working with the Montana Women’s Business Center, shortly after she started her business. At the time she needed to better understand how to position her business and address some of her immediate goals. WBC program director, Amanda Schultz, worked with her on a business and growth planning, marketing and cash flow projections. Claudia adds, “I remember the first time I met with Amanda, some four years ago, and shared the vision I had for my business. While I was still working full time as a designer of interior finishes, she understood my aspirations to be an entrepreneur. Since day one, Amanda has been there to make the vision clear, measurable and doable. I owe so much of where I am today to this wonderful young woman!”
In 2014, Claudia tripled her revenues from previous years, thanks to the great success of her pop-up events and cooking classes, as well as the Farmers’ Markets and various festivals she participates in throughout the year selling her famous tamales to her growing customer-base. In January 2015, she will open her first location which will feature a catering test kitchen, where she can host pop-up events, classes, food to-go and an event space. Claudia will also continue to grow her product lines, which will be manufactured in her new location.
Claudia has written a cookbook, which she hopes to see published in the near future. Her passion for healthy eating has led her to join the Lentil Underground Movement, a group of renegade Montana famers focused on changing the future of food in America by pushing healthy food programs in schools.