Learn From An Entrepreneur Whose Rare Disease Didn’t Stop Her From Turning Her Side Hustle Into A Full-Time Career

Darrah Brustein
5 min readFeb 22, 2021
Image courtesy of Pexels

No entrepreneur’s story is without challenges. It’s often their ability to navigate them that demarcates their success or failure. This past year has tested almost every industry, and few more so than for those in catering, food & beverage, and events.

As recently as December 2020, more than 110,000 restaurants had closed permanently or long-term across the U.S., turning a difficult situation into a dire one. From indoor dining bans to full city-wide shutdowns, small independents were hit especially hard as revenues dropped to zero overnight. Coming into 2020, the restaurant industry was thriving, now, we await a future of unknowns and uncertainties. But it’s caterers who are now struggling to pivot even more than restaurants, as party-less holidays and the endless postponement of large-scale events, weddings, and corporate outings have devastated the industry.

Yet, at the core of catering and events is a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners who refuse to quit. And among them, there are some who know pre-pandemic challenges all too well. In fact, in some cases, hardships have come to define and even lead them to their successful adaptation. Allow me to introduce you to Olivia Colt, who is a living example of this.

Olivia Colt, Image courtesy of Salt & Honey Catering

Surviving 3 Strokes And Starting A Business

Colt is an entrepreneur whose passion for cooking started at a very early age, stemming from a beloved tutelage under her great-grandmother who introduced her to traditional Dominican cuisine. These early cooking sessions eventually manifested into a true passion for the art of cooking and an embrace of her Dominican culture. And what started as just a hobby would eventually turn into an impassioned occupation.

“As a little girl, I never watched cartoons or played outside. I always wanted to cook,” says Colt. “I grew up in a household of strong Dominican women who lived and worked through historical hardships. I’m grateful that I learned not only the love of good food, but also the work ethic it takes…



Darrah Brustein

On a mission to debunk "sleep when you're dead" culture + chasing others people's definitions of success to build a life of your own design. www.darrah.co