E.80 How she came from Sweden and created a dream restaurant in the celebrity capital of the world with Malibu Farm Founder Helene Henderson
This week on the show, Helene Henderson, the creator of Malibu Farm, joins us to share her journey about how she started her restaurant in the celebrity capital of the world.
Helene was born in a small town in Northern Sweden. After graduating high school, Helene decided to travel to California with only $500 in her pocket. After working at restaurants in Sweden, she never imagined her future as a chef with a restaurant located in Malibu, California.
What started as a fun hobby and inviting friends over for dinner. Helene then moved to become a personal cook for her friends. It evolved into her creating a one-woman catering company right out of her home. Before Malibu Farm was even an idea, Helene had created a catering company, Lavender Farms Catering. It was only a matter of time before her business boomed and started catering for celebrities, studios, and corporate events.
After moving to Malibu with her husband, she left her catering business behind and transitioned into giving cooking classes from her home. With that success, she started to sell tickets for people to enjoy a backyard farm dinner at her farm home.
After a while, Helene’s husband saw a vacant space on the Malibu Pier where a 6-month pop-up turned into a successful restaurant. Having two successful years with great reviews, Malibu Farm expanded to the front Restaurant & Bar on the Pier and now has both counter service and full table service.
With her success, Malibu Farm has many locations starting from Malibu Pier to Newport Beach, California, at the Lido Marina Village. With their raging success, they opened multiple locations at the Four Seasons hotel in Lanai, Hawaii, at the Eden Roc/Nobu Hotel in Miami, FL, and at the Rosewood Miramar Beach with more seeds sprouting. Growing across the country, and are now looking to open Malibu Farm Seaport Village, which will be opening at Pier 17 in Manhattan this summer.
Their locations are only on the waterfront, as locale and setting are very important to Helene that they remain the same throughout all their sites. With their growing success, Malibu Farm is still a locally owned small business based out of Malibu Farm, California, and they do not accept any investors.
Growing up in Northern Sweden, Helene often went fishing with her uncle. It led to her love and history with seafood becoming incorporated into Malibu Farm. Not only that, they strive to offer only sustainable seafood. Even though their food is simply-prepared, they hide none of their ingredients. They use many natural ingredients such as whole wheat flour, whole grains with many veggies and fruits.
In this episode, Helene chats with Dr. S about how her restaurant on the Malibu Pier has taken off and what attracts people to visit.
In this episode, you are going to learn:
1. How to create an inclusive restaurant.
2. The importance of self-doubt is to push yourself for something greater.
3. A business is always a work in progress and can always grow.
4. When food is simply-prepared with no secret ingredients is successful.