An interview with young entrepreneur Matthew DeMille. Head photo by Johnny CY Lam.
Describe your business.
Eat With Matt DeMille is a boutique private chef and catering service that also offers an instructional element where guests can learn new techniques and build their cooking confidence.
What brought you to the region?
The BoQ was always home. Both sides of our family are from here so after the big city grind became old we returned home. That and the fact that it has everything to offer not only for a small family but a growing business. Parks, restaurants, child programs, shopping and convenient access to the highway makes it a great place to land.
What makes the Bay of Quinte a good fit for your business?
The BoQ is an amazing jump off point for any small business. It’s located conveniently between Toronto and Ottawa/Montreal, it’s affordable and the food/drink scene just keeps getting better and better.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
Knowing your worth. Pricing your goods and services is hard and new businesses err on the side of undercharging.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Keep plugging away and be consistent. I feel like a lot of people get frustrated when sales don’t immediately roll in but be patient and don’t be afraid to network and sell yourself a bit.
What surprised you about starting a business in a smaller community?
We were surprised how many other small businesses supported us, and in turn we support them. Our peers and fellow business owners supported us even if they were in the same niche market.
Describe your perfect day off in the BoQ.
Up early, go for a run by Belleville’s beautiful waterfront or a little hike at Potter’s Creek. I love going for lunch so maybe some Thai or sushi.
What’s your secret to surviving winter?
Embrace it. The last few years have been tough for us all but you have to make the most of it if you don’t want to go crazy. At first glance [it might seem like] there’s not much to do but there’s tons. Snowshoe, mountain bike, movies, The Rhino to name a few. Or take up a new hobby like cooking!
If you had to have one word tattooed on you, what would it be?
I have a couple of tattoos already and I’ve always shied away from words because intentions shift and tattoos are for life BUT I do have my kids names on each arm. They’re a huge reason why I work so hard and I’m so proud to have them in my life (and on my arms 🙂 ).