Outstanding Kansas City Woman of the Month
Stephanie Lampton | Owner of Menu Marketing
Sometimes, you just need to take a chance and great things happen, says Stephanie Lampton, of Blue Springs Missouri.
After working in the food service food brokerage industry for several years as a representative, sixteen years ago Lampton felt it was time to try making a go of it on her own. Starting a business is always a risky choice, but starting a woman owned and local brokerage was especially risky.
“It is a highly competitive industry. Most brokerages are national, so they have an out of state office with local representatives. There are also very few woman owned brokerages,” she explained.
Undaunted, she pursued her dream without looking back, and formed Menu Marketing.
“I started the business from my home, and when I outgrew that, leased a small office. That office was quickly outgrown and we are now located in Independence. This location offers a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen and meeting rooms,”
Now, with seven employees, the company has seen growth every year and represents more than 30 food and food service related manufacturers and provides a diverse product mix for her customers.
“I am not looking to become a huge, national company. The company is the perfect size to provide local customers with the personal service their businesses deserve.”
Looking back, she acknowledges she had some apprehension.
“Of course I was scared. I was fortunate though, that I have a very supportive husband, Terry, whose job provides health insurance. He also provided support and encouragement. I figured, it may work out, and if not, I can always go back to work for another brokerage,” she said explaining why she was encouraged to take the risk.
Likening it to jumping off a cliff, she added, “I had an idea and I had to pursue it. If I did not try, I would never know if it were possible.” For others with an idea or dream, she recommends the same.
“Don’t wait too long. Don’t let your idea stay just an idea. Make it happen. You may not have all the skills or resources, but there are others that can play a roll. You can gain skills and resources are available. It takes a person with spark of an idea to put those things together and make something happen, and it may as well be you!”