Nancy Preston was assigned to the engineering unit of the 3rd Infantry Brigade and deployed to Iraq for 15 months. Although she was mostly blind to the world of entrepreneurship, she knew that when her deployment was over, she wanted to come home and live her dream of opening her own business. Nancy knew her passions centered around food, having inherited her knack for cooking from her mother. And she knew that if she could handle life in the military, she could take on anything. But she also keenly aware that she had to be realistic and look at things with a critical eye.
Nancy looked into opening up a cafe but acknowledged that in the current economy and with the competition in the market, building and scaling that business would be impossible.
“As I started approaching the cash flow statements and what it would really take to build this thing financially, I realized that that’s crazy,” Nancy says. “There’s no money in food businesses… it is nothing but grind and hustle. And I’m trading one super intense lifestyle — the military — for another super intense lifestyle in food and with no way of ever being able to scale it and with the super high risk of failure.”
Instead, she decided to try to break into the food business in a different way: through using the same analysis that led her away from opening a cafe in the first place.
Milk Money Kitchens was born with a mission to disrupt the food industry by offering services such as business consulting and management and shared kitchen space to food entrepreneurs. Nancy and her team look at the numbers with entrepreneurs and figure out a plan forward that will help them find success.
“We want to anchor their vision in a financial reality,” Nancy says.”We’d go through cost of goods sold, we’d go through all expenses. We really explain to them how their business can be profitable and give them the reasons why.”
On this episode of Find Your Mission, Nancy discusses her journey from the Army to the kitchen, and how at each stop along the way she leaned on her analytical brain to achieve the best possible outcome.
Learn more about Nancy and Milk Money Kitchens here.
Find Your Mission is presented by WeWork in partnership with Dell.
Thank you again to WeWork! Veterans in Residence, a partnership of WeWork and Bunker Labs, is a six-month startup incubator and leadership program that provides veteran and military family members the community, business support, and workspace to help launch and grow their businesses.
To learn more about WeWork and the Veterans in Residence program, visit we.co/veterans.
Also, thank you to our friends at Dell. Dell offers small business advisors to help any small business owner manage and understand all the ins and outs of technology in their small business. To speak with an Advisor today, Call 877-BUY-DELL or click here.
This podcast was created by the team at Mission. If you want to hear more from Mission, be sure to check out Mission.org.