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  • 16 April 2015
  • Nicole Cox

United Problem Solvers™: Helping Aspiring Entrepreneurs Fulfill their Dreams

This past March, we unveiled our new campaign, United Problem Solvers™, which celebrates our passion for helping entrepreneurs overcome their business challenges. At The UPS Store, we’re in the problem-solving business. Whether it’s taking a collaborative approach when providing solutions to problems or proactively preempting problems before they occur, we aim to be a true ally for small business owners.

Carly Duke always knew she wanted to open her own restaurant. In fact, you could say her journey to become a chef began at age 12 when she learned to cook at summer vocational school, which was eventually followed by culinary school. While cooking was Carly’s life-long passion, the hours required to work in the restaurant industry did not appeal to her. To have more work-life balance, Carly decided to start her culinary career in the catering business.

I had a very unique business card that I wanted reprinted and Gloriana attended a symposium to learn the technique to recreate it.

“I worked for a number of catering companies but there were always things I thought I could change to make those businesses run better,” said Carly. “When I had my daughter last summer, I decided I wanted to go into business for myself. I needed to live for her; I needed a career that would work for her schedule,” said Carly.

In October 2014, Carly created Lavish Roots Catering with one goal in mind — to change the bad reputation that catering companies receive. This bad rap is due to them often preparing food ahead of time, not using fresh ingredients and not changing out menus frequently. Carly wanted to offer a different style of service by bringing the restaurant experience to the client, calling her business a “five star restaurant on wheels.” Everything she does is chef oriented. Chefs travel to every event, preparing as much of the food on site as possible and overseeing the food onsite. Ingredients are seasonal and fresh. Plus, all of her menus are customized to the client, venue, season, and budget. Whether it’s a wedding, corporate lunch, anniversary or banquet, nothing is cookie cutter.

To get her business off the ground, Carly consulted a lawyer to learn how to incorporate her business. The lawyer said first she needed a business name and address. Carly did not want to use her home address so her lawyer suggested going to a UPS Store to get a business mailbox. Carly went to see Gloriana Morine, manager of her local The UPS Store, to set up her mailbox.

“Carly’s unique challenge was the undertaking of starting a new business as a new mom,” said Gloriana. “She came to us with the experience to run her business but she did not have a marketing/branding background. We gave her the foundation by offering a mailbox with a real street address to use for her billing, mailing, etc… The next step was helping her build her business with the marketing and branding assistance. She knew I was a mom and I had been there so she trusted me.”

Carly didn’t realize what other services The UPS Store provided. When she mentioned needing a banner printed for a last minute wedding expo, Gloriana offered to print it for her overnight. She also offered to help her design and print menus, signs and business cards. She even invited Carly to cater their upcoming grand opening to help her get some exposure to potential customers.

“Gloriana goes way above and beyond — we’re like family,” said Carly. “I had a very unique business card that I wanted reprinted and Gloriana attended a symposium to learn the technique to recreate it. She is so awesome – always offers friendly, quick and professional service.”

Starting a new business and becoming a new mom at the same time was scary for Carly but she knew she had a good shot because she had been in the business and she always liked a challenge. She decided to take a leap of faith and she is so thankful she did.

“It’s awesome because we live in a country where we have an opportunity to start our own business. The pride that comes along with starting something from nothing and making it into something is enormous. Not to mention the good karma that comes back around, getting to do things your own way and maintain a work/life balance,” said Carly.

Carly selected The UPS Store as the home base for all her small business needs. Whether it’s getting her mail and packages, shipping her delicious pastries or printing her exquisite event menus, The UPS Store is there to help small business owners like Carly with unique solutions to all of their small business challenges.

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