Chef Remmi Smith is the living embodiment of the Kidpreneurs philosophy, “it’s never too early.” At fourteen years old this dynamic and driven young woman is taking the nation by storm one school cafeteria and teen at a time. Remmi has partnered with Sodexo, a large provider of school lunch programs, to be their student ambassador. As an ambassador Remmi cooks and promotes healthy eating and even has her own brand of salad dressing sold in her local Whole Foods around Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Chef Remmi has always had a passion for cooking from a young age and has parlayed that passion into a full-fledged career. She also hosts her own cooking show, Cook Time With Remmi and has recently authored her first cookbook, Global Cooking for Kids, which is all about healthy cooking from around the globe. Healthy cooking and global cuisine are at the heart of everything Chef Remmi does as they combine her love of cooking with her desire to honor her own roots, being adopted from China.
I recently spoke with Chef Remmi to talk more about all her accomplishments and what she’s working on. When we spoke, she was feeling excited about her recent win of a local business pitch competition, which she had won. The really exciting part? She was pitching a business idea in competition with adults, not teens. Her professionalism, experience and dedication to her vision are clear the moment she speaks. When I ask her what her biggest challenge has been on her journey so far she explains, “Being taken seriously. People see me as a kid and think I don’t take my business seriously. They say, ‘oh that’s cute.’ But I’m very dedicated to my business and work hard at it.”
In fact that challenge is something Remmi explained works in her favor. In the true entrepreneurial spirit she turns a challenge into an opportunity by saying, “in a way being a kid is a great entrepreneurial advantage. I still have all the time ahead of me to fail and all the time I need to work on my business.”
That’s a true statement for someone so serious about their mission of helping educate others on healthy living and eating. Chef Remmi not only cooks healthy and offers a healthy cookbook geared toward parents and teens, she also is an active participant in the Independent Youth Program and the No Child Hungry Programs. It’s hard to image she has spare time for school but somehow Remmi manages it all with great balance and clarity.
What would her advice be for other Kidpreneurs out there? “Start with your passion,” she says. “If you do what you love, you’ll find a way to be successful at it.” That’s good advice for every kidpreneur.