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Geneviève Everell is the driving force behind the in-home sushi catering service Sushi à la Maison and its many spinoffs, which include creative sushi and tartare cooking classes, two successful books, a TV show and products sold in stores. This "Miss Sushi" seems in her element with plenty of projects on the go!
You came up with the Sushi à la Maison concept in 2008, and you have been making a living from it since 2011. How did the adventure start?
I didn't set out to make a living from this job. I was a radio host, and making sushi was a student job! Little by little it became a hobby, then a small business to make ends meet. Between 2008 and 2011, I was making sushi for my family, friends and neighbours, but then I realized that the demand was too great. So in 2011, I threw myself into it to see if I could make a living from my passion.
What makes Sushi à la Maison different from other sushi businesses?
It's the biggest in-home creative sushi service business in Quebec. Every week we have 30 Miss Sushis on the road all over Quebec, from Saguenay to Abitibi to the Outaouais. We provide a turnkey service: we arrive with all our own equipment, tableware and fresh ingredients, and we leave your kitchen exactly as we found it! What really sets us apart is our creative and delicious non-traditional sushi, made with a Quebec twist. We use local produce to make some completely crazy concoctions, like the Granny Molly, which is a two-salmon tartare with strawberries, tortillon salé cheese and an apple and lime guacamole.
Did you need financing to launch your business?
No. I reinvested my first profits in the business, and that's still what I do today.
Was it your intention to have an all-female team of chefs?
Not at all! Nothing was planned... It happened naturally. Recruiting often happens by word of mouth. I'm really not opposed to the idea of having a male Miss Sushi, although he would have to get used to that little pet name, because it's so natural to me!
Are you planning to export your concept outside Quebec?
Yes, I've had a lot of requests. In a few years' time, I'm sure that Sushi à la Maison will have expanded overseas. It's just that I'm a little apprehensive about all the paperwork that comes with it!