We had the good fortune of connecting with Liza Atkinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liza, is there something you believe many others might not?
I believe you don’t need a written business plan before you start a business. This is not what business schools tell you, but I don’t have one and never have. My entire journey has been led by my intuition, every single decision. Because I launched Nosh and Gather right before the pandemic hit, the business has moved and shifted in so many ways I never could have predicted. And even 3+ years later, I am still listening to my gut and my clients, constantly analyzing my expenses and revenue goals, and continuing to make changes to the business. Business plans look and sound great, but for me have never made sense.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been a creative person. Food and entertaining have always been a passion but looking back I wish I would have pursued it sooner. Then again, I believe the journey is always leading me where I need to be. I love the creative process of planning and making beautiful food that tastes delicious. But really it is about the people who eat it and gather together to experience it that brings me the most joy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Twin Cities is such a fun place to visit any time of year, even in winter. The arboretum is one of my favorite places to take friends—something is always blooming or looking beautiful there year-round. There are tons of gorgeous lakes, parks and trails to explore. And the dining scene here is legit. If you are feeling fancy, sitting at the bar at Spoon and Stable is a must, it has such a vibe and the food is ridic. For a more casual scene, I really like Malcom Yards near the University of Minnesota. It is a food hall with so many great options, and if the weather is nice, sitting outside and listening to live music is so fun. I also recommend swinging into Golden Fig in St. Paul to stock up on all the foodie goodies.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When this business was just a baby kernel of an idea, I asked Stephanie Hansen to join me for coffee. Steph is a local foodie and culinary expert in the Twin Cities. I knew she was a wealth of knowledge, and my intuition told me she would be honest with me about what she thought about my business idea. She could not have been kinder or more encouraging. She loved the idea, gave me so much confidence about pursuing it, and has been a big cheerleader ever since. I think about our conversation often and its impact on me and the eventual creation of Nosh and Gather. I will be forever grateful to her.