Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Houston.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was raised in a large family, we didn’t have a lot of money, but my dad worked extremely hard in the construction world and my mom stayed home to take care of all of us. She cooked every meal from scratch, gardened, gave food to all the neighborhood, churches, and always welcomed anyone to the table that needed it. We learned very early to be self reliant, earn our own money and cook for ourselves. We all had a job or 3 to do in the house, and we all babysat, did paper routes and helped out neighbors for money. I was taught, if you wanted something, you had to find the way to get it by hard work. We moved every couple of years for my dad’s job, so it was a constant go-go-go and learning to adapt. New school, new life, new friends.
By 15, I had my first job in a local coffee house in Redondo Beach, CA. I was taught to be a barista, clean the restaurant, do the baker’s dishes and peel rosemary for bread. I stayed working in restaurants through my early twenties, then went to Culinary school in San Francisco when I was 24.
I have traveled all over the US, I caught the bug from moving with my family and continued to move all over, living in 11 states. I came to Kansas City in 2011 to reinvent myself after a truly scarring breakup that left me a shell of a person. My family’s farm in Southeast Kansas has always been a place to retreat to for peace of mind and comfort. I found myself there, on gravel roads and big sky country. Anyone who has ever found themselves lost can understand that feeling. We have a cattle ranch with land that goes back over 150 years in our family. The connection to my past is such a huge draw to what has kept me here for the past decade.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After working most of my professional life in restaurants and catering all over the US, I found myself unable to work due to a herniated disk that took away use of my ability to walk. After a long recovery from surgery, I was faced with the fact that my life had been forever changed and I needed to take care of myself and not strain my body through the harsh environment of the restaurant industry. I relearned to trust my own instincts. I wanted to pay attention to the person I was when I was younger. The person that was full of dreams, passion and had a fierce desire to learn and help others. I looked at my own life and challenges I had faced and wanted to prove to myself that I was not defeated. It was a long road back to being physically healed, but I knew that mentally I just needed to allow myself to heal and forgive myself for being so callous with my own personal needs. I just needed to find myself again and true confidence in my life.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I created Green Girl after all the things I wanted in a job. I knew my level of cooking skills and my passion to help others. I knew I loved to consult with people on the foods they were having trouble with, either from allergies, intolerance, or a medical diagnosis. I have always been extremely interested in fad diets and specialty diets. Growing up in LA in the years when all the celebrities were on the Raw diet fascinated me. How you had to plan at least 24 hours in advance to eat a raw pizza was intimidating. I loved to learn why people ate the way they did and why the nutrition wasn’t taught to us throughout our school years. It made no sense that I knew more than my nurses and doctors about diet and nutrition. I wanted to share my knowledge and help others to eat foods they loved but in a way, their body could love it.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
You must love people. You must love what you do. If you wake up in the morning and can’t wait to start your day, you know you’re on the right track. I don’t plan to work myself to death. I plan to help others, teach, learn, and create. It’s definitely a job where you have to be humble, but you have to be very strong. You put yourself out there every day. Not everything goes right, but you pick yourself up and try again. I know in the long run, I have found my calling.
- $200 3 meals, 4 portions
- $225 4 meals, 4 portions
- $225 3 meals, 6 portions
- $200 mixed individual and family meals, 12 portions
- $225 mixed individual and family meals, 16 portions
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.greengirlchefkc.com
- Instagram: @greengirlchefkc
- Facebook: @personalchefkc