Enjoli Moon's creation of Jaudon Delectables Catering, now in its sixth month of operation, reflects more than just a business plan. It's the product of intuition, inspiration and dedication. "It was one of those overwhelming feelings where your spirit is telling you that you need to do something," Moon says. But when she struck out on her own, she had no idea what that something might be.
Last year at age 30, the lifelong Richmond resident decided that 10 years at Croaker's Spot — four as a waitress and six as general manager — was enough. "The restaurant business is really demanding," Moon says. She wanted to find a path that would allow her to spend more time with her 7-year-old son. After getting a résumé together and applying for a few jobs, inspiration struck — in her closet of all places. "I was cleaning my closet, and I remembered that I made guacamole and everybody really liked it," she recalls.
After first considering a full-fledged catering business, Moon settled on the model for Jaudon Delectables (349-2798 or jaudondelec tables.com), a catering service focused on hors d'oeuvres and dips that she runs out of her home. "Even though I've been in the food industry, this is totally different," she says.
Moon targets customers who don't want overblown catering for an event but are tired of the same old pigs-in-a-blanket to nibble on. With original offerings such as her signature supreme guacamole, crawfish chili, three-cheese crab dip and crawfish bruschetta, she is finding a niche among discriminating snackers.
Next in Moon's sights is bringing her creations to local retail outlets. To prepare for that, she spent six weeks commuting to Asheville, N.C., for classes on specialty food production at Blue Ridge Food Ventures.
"To have to create the vision is really scary," Moon acknowledges, but she remains undaunted. "I feel very happy and at peace with my decision."