· By Carley Sheehy
Foster City native brings food kits to Harvest Festival
A Foster City native is coming home this weekend to participate in the San Mateo Harvest Festival Original Art and Craft Show, hosting a booth of her food startup Global Grub.
Carley Sheehy, 30, will be at the event, at the San Mateo County Event Center Nov. 15-17, sampling and selling her products, do-it-yourself ethnic cooking kits with non-perishable, pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Users then pick up a few fresh and basic items from a provided shopping list.
Sheehy, who started her company in 2012, said the company was born out of her love of cooking. She runs the entire company on her own. It’s fun for her to be back in San Mateo, said Sheehy, who runs her company out of Walnut Creek.
“I got stuck in the routine of cooking the same old things,” said Sheehy, who graduated from San Mateo High School. “I started branching out and it turned out to be intimidating.”
Jerk chicken, red chili tamales and tagine with couscous are some examples of her kits that are aimed at cooking from scratch for the modern day. She said the products range from easy weeknight meals to more interactive ones.
Sheehy went straight into advertising for packaged foods for about seven years after graduating from University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in communications and a minor in writing.
“I always had dreamed of starting my own business,” she said. “So I pulled the trigger and made this my baby.”
What does she like about running the company?
“I like being able to be creative and run with it in whichever direction I think is right,” Sheehy said. “I love the idea of being able to help people be able to experience new cooking experiences.”
In terms of advice to others looking to start a business, she says staying positive is key. Sheehy works about 50 to 60 to 70 hours a week.
“It can be really stressful and intimidating,” she said. “There can be so many road bumps, but you need to keep in mind that you’re trying to do what you really believe in. My lovely family gets pulled in. I’m really lucky to have husband, family and friends to help me.”
She also has a charity aspect to the venture. For every kit that is purchased, she donates a meal to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
In addition to this craft show, Sheehy said she does about a dozen festivals a year. This is her first time participating in the San Mateo event.
“It really is a win-win for everybody,” she said. “It’s a great way to browse for a selection of items. It’s also fun because there’s live music and it’s opportunity for me to connect personally with customers.”
Global Grub kits can be Draeger’s, local specialty stores and her sushi kit is now available nationwide at Sur La Table.