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Unbuttoned with TaDa CEO Shelleylyn Brandler

TaDa's Rock N Roll catering queen, Shelleylyn Brandler

Shelleylyn Brandler is the CEO and founder of TaDa, a company specializing in Rock and Roll catering. She's fed everyone form Taylor Swift to Sir Paul McCartney. We're thrilled to share her story for today's Unbuttoned With post.

What sparked your TaDa idea?

It was 1994. I was on tour doing press and box office with Sublime and No Doubt across North America. I noticed that no one was making any special effort to provide tasty and healthy food. I thought…if I start a Rock N Roll Catering company I can take over… I can do this right.

A few years later I launched TaDa…then I got a break from a friend who worked at Golden Voice which became a bigger break with Kevin Lyman owner of The Van's Warped Tour.  While it took a while to established myself, we, TaDa, are now considered to be the premier rock n roll catering company in the nation. We do all the catering for the performers backstage at Coachella going on nine years! We tour with Taylor Swift and spent a week feeding Paul McCartney and his crew on his recent tour.

What obstacles did you have to overcome?

It was a huge learning curve in the beginning. Just the sheer logistics of feeding hundreds of people a variety of delicious dishes on the road, region to region, state to state, three times a day. It’s easy to get stuck in the familiar, and trying to be organic and health conscious in small cities where you can’t even find a farmers market (years ago)... was a HUGE obstacle.

But mostly It was a challenge to push ourselves to expand and deliver a consistent product as we grew. I’m extremely proud of the people we hire and cultivate… we’ve become a supremely talented, cohesive team.

We take people pleasing to another level. At “TaDa!" it’s about making everything special: flavorful food and great presentation, paired with gracious service, yet making it all look effortless! We like to say ..." The answer is YES and then ask, what is the question?"

How did you develop your team?

At some point, if you are lucky, you will get big enough that you can’t do everything yourself, and when that happens, other people won’t do things exactly the way you would do them (particularly in creative endeavors), and you have to figure out how to be okay with that. You have to learn how to let go a little bit. I you don’t, you will never grow and you will also become incredibly unhappy from being constantly disappointed.

You are only as good as the people who work for you and if they aren’t good it’s your fault. So we work hard on training people in the best way to attack a situation, and then give them authority to blossom and make it their own in a special way.

It’s never the answer to take a shortcut or to settle. Lead by example to be not ordinary, rather be extraordinary!

Unbuttoned with Shelleylyn Brandler founder and CEO of TaDa Catering

Style icon:
I was one of the first Punk Ska Skate girls in 1979, I always march to my own drum- But I do have to give it up for Gwen Stafani.

Favorite heroine:
Oprah Winfrey- closes thing I know to a real angel flying low

Dream lunch date:
Julia Childs -That’s why we call it a dream

Favorite cliché:
Blonds have more fun!

Personal motto:
What is your TaDa moment? What are you going to do to create magic in your life today?

Idea that changed your life:
"Turn poison into medicine" - Buddhist monk

Always trying to improve:
Everything. Never settle, always look for how you can approach everything in a better way.

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