We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Moldenhauer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Consistency. For success at almost anything consistency is key, but when it comes to food it is the most important factor. The reason In N’ Out, Panera, Olive Garden, or any chain restaurants are so successful is because you know exactly what you are going to get: no surprises. This has played a big role in how I keep my business successful and why I gain clients almost exclusively by word of mouth. Let your reputation proceed you and you will proceed to grow your business. At this point I would say my personality and work ethic (reputation) is my “brand.” I officially created my LLC in January of 2022 and have been at full capacity with clients for the last few months. When I was a kid helped my dad do AV work he taught me a most valuable lesson: always leave the job site cleaner or better than when you arrived. This advice has stuck with me and I find that by doing that little extra (whether it’s cleaning the fridge, putting away the trash cans, or even organizing their pantry) it shows my clients how much I care.
The energy you put out is the energy you get in return. I cook and work with that sort of intention, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by either the client or the food.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I officially started My Conscious Chef in January of 2022. I have been a chef for almost 14 years and have a background in fine dining and golf clubs. I was fed up of the managerial chef role and wanted to get back into the creative cooking that made being a chef so exciting to me. I was blessed to meet a few clients who wanted weekly meal prep services and from there things just took off. Not long after I was booking private dinner parties and Bachelorette parties on the weekends and really enjoyed the intimate dinners. What sets me apart is my approach to cooking: “food is medicine.” I cook all organic holistic menus with the focus being on proper food combinations and minimalistic preparation.
When you source quality food, and prepare it properly, less is more! I continually hear from my clients that they feel full longer, have more energy and are eating less. This is accomplished by cooking with vitamin and mineral rich foods and preparing them for optimal assimilation.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well as a chef who loves all things food, restaurants would be the number one priority. My favorite restaurant is Rusconi’s American Kitchen. It’s a privately owned restaurant that does upscale fine dining but with a very classy yet relaxed atmosphere. Another one of my favorites is Yutaka Japanese Restaurant.
Whether you want sushi, Ramen or stir fry this is the spot. Always packed always delicious. Other activities would be hiking: piwesta and Camelback mountain have some of the greatest views of Phoenix. Next would be going to Lake Pleasant where we cool off in the summer. Paddlebaording with my dog, fishing and jet skiing just to name a few. Also you can’t visit Arizona without a trip to sedona. The beauty of the mountains and landscape are overwhelming beautiful, not to mention the downtown area has amazing art, food and a decent night life. Last but certainly not least would be going off roading, whether it’s on quads or taking a 4×4, there are so many fun trails all over AZ.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to all the amazing people that have taught me so much in my career. First off my dad, who at a very young age instilled a strong work ethic in me that has helped me grow to my fullest potential. Next would be Erin Press, who was a great mentor both as a FB director and a close friend. She helped coach me through many hard situations in the restaurant. Sharing her knowledge of the food industry and working side by side with her helped build me into the chef I am today. I also owe my success to all the amazing employees I have had the pleasure of working with. Everyone has something to teach us, it’s just a matter of keeping an open perspective.
Youtube: My Conscious Chef
Other: Instagram @myconsciouschef