Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Petitto, Founder of Thymeless My Chef SB, located in Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Thymeless, My Chef SB, is a plant-based meal delivery service that is sustainable, local, and organic. We are chef-driven; I create a menu that changes weekly. Your food is cooked on the day of delivery and is ready to heat and serve to your family. We source our produce from local Central Coast farmers. Our customers are busy singles and families who love amazing food, strive to eat more plants in their diets, and appreciate the convenience that Thymeless My Chef provides.

Tell us about yourself

I was a personal celebrity chef, Registered Dietitian, and cookbook author in NYC for 13 years and started to feel the itch to move somewhere that was more of a small town, surrounded by water and sun, and family-friendly. I made a move to Santa Barbara in the Fall of 2017. I continued my personal chef business after the move West and was soon approached by one of my clients to open a plant-based restaurant in town. Throughout the pandemic, our idea of a restaurant morphed into a meal delivery service. I never thought I would want to own a restaurant, but nourishing more people day to day has been an incredible benefit of expanding my business.

My motivation always has been and will always be to nourish individuals with the love that I put into the food I create. I believe in a plant-based lifestyle of my love of animals and need to do my part in reducing my carbon footprint. I think all can benefit from trying to eat more plants!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is seeing my client's faces when they eat my food. When my food is the reason that families get to come together and have that beautiful family dinner with laughter and love, I feel such immense gratitude for what I do.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is being responsible for all of my employees. Managing each personality so that they feel valued and want to come to work each day and give them all that's what has been my challenge.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?


  1. Know your management and communication style.
  2. Know your employee's communication and learning styles.
  3. Understand your demographics and fill the need that is present in your community.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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