Want to know more about our very own Toben Kochman? We were able to take some time and ask him a few questions to better understand what it takes to balance a successful business and home life.
Whats a quick glimpse of a typical ‘day in the life of Toben Kochman?’
"An early wake up with the kids is definitely part of the routine. Usually, I’m showered and making breakfast for the family around 7 a.m. I come into work with both office duties and kitchen obligations. I check in with my kitchen team who are usually busy putting out breakfast/lunch services and make sure there are no issues. I sit down, try and get my ‘creative processes’ done early when there aren’t too many other things that are clouding my mind. This would be menu development, kitchen operations or marketing ideas. Often I sit and try to analyze all the things I can be doing better as both a chef and owner of a bigger company. It’s challenging but very motivating. I try and get into the kitchen for atleast 50% of my day and keep my skill set sharp. I love taking on fish and meat butchery, sauce work and finite knife skills. I often have to squeeze in meetings with some of my lead chefs, event managers, my truck team, or my Facebook team. I leave the office around 6:30-7 p.m. just in time to put my daughter to bed and read her a couple stories. Then I make dinner, usually with my son by my side helping me and asking me lots of questions about what I’m doing. My wife, son and I eat dinner together around 8 p.m. and then we try and get him to bed – a real struggle! I wind down the day watching some Netflix and drinking lots of tea with a light snack and try to get to sleep around 10-10:30 p.m.
What is the biggest struggle being a business owner and father
"The biggest struggle is making sure I have enough time to dedicate myself 100% to both roles. With multiple branches of the business that need my guidance and insight it demands a lot of quick thinking (sometimes on very little sleep!) The kitchen hours are long and very physically demanding. Then, when I get home, I need to make sure I have enough energy left in the tank to be able to care for the kids. They are young and full of energy which is amazing, but, sometimes it’s challenging to bring myself to their ‘level’. Eg. If I’ve been working til 1 or 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, I still need to be up with them at 6 a.m. making them breakfast and keeping them busy!"
What business wisdom do you hope to pass on to your children
"Take risks! Follow your heart and passions and find people who share similar goals. Trust your employees and learn when to step back and let them shine! Constantly learn from your mistakes and wake up each day trying to better yourself and your employees. Stay positive through all the ups and downs and believe in your business! "
What’s your favourite thing to do with your children when you are not working?
"The best is taking them somewhere they’re experiencing for the first time. They are 3 and 1 ½ so this happens often. We go to different zoos, farms for apple picking, amusement parks and I love how their beautiful faces light up when they see all the new amazing things. They both love ice cream so usually that has to be factored in to most of the days we spend. We always have a blast!"