This post, by Hadi Irvani originally appeared in WeWork Magazine.

Growing up in the South with a German mother and a Persian father, I think all of my childhood memories revolved around food. I have a pretty large family, so many of our gatherings happened around the dinner table, eating meals that were as culturally diverse as they were frequent. I carry those traditions with me when I’m hosting dinner parties, cooking bizarre foods, and eating all of it with new friends.

Go with your gut (literally)

I knew I wanted to work with food in some way, but I wasn’t quite sure how. I took a cooking class abroad after high school, but I decided restaurant life wasn’t for me. Cooking was such a social event for me growing up, and I didn’t like being disconnected from the people I was preparing meals for in cooking school. I wasn’t sure where to go with my gut yet, so I put my culinary interest on the professional backburner for a while. But I knew I’d be back.

Don’t just step outside of your comfort zone; stand there for a while

In college, I was studying economics at University of Virginia (and hosting a lot of dinner parties). I was also very drawn to e-commerce and technology. This kept me on the computer for hours, and I found myself avoiding work experiences that would require a lot face-to-face sales or talking on the telephone. To cut the habit, I forced myself to take a couple of positions doing phone sales and customer service. Breaking myself of simple fears like talking on the phone allowed me to focus on bigger ones at hand that I would face when starting my own company.

Know when and how to blend

After holding a couple of sales positions, I moved back to Atlanta to be the head of e-commerce at my family’s shoe company Okabashi. I’m so grateful for that time because I was able to get that in-the-trenches e-commerce experience I needed at an established company before going out on my own. After two years there, I knew it was the right time to leave and start PeachDish. Until then, I haven’t seen a sure-fire way to combine e-commerce with fresh food. With the growing popularity of meal kit delivery services in New York, I knew that it was time to dive in and start it in the South.

I took what I knew about e-commerce and Amazon Web Services and used it as a foundation to turn my love of dinner parties into a deliverable product. It’s important to find that balance of doing things that you love and scaring yourself a bit. Out of a couple of very scattered interests and some really great timing, PeachDish was inevitably born.


Hadi Irvani is the founder of PeachDish, an Atlanta-based startup that helps busy people reconnect to their kitchens. PeachDish mails members all of the fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and instructions needed to cook multi-course meals at home every week.

WeWork Magazine is the publication of WeWork, the community for creators. WeWork transforms buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces and provide infrastructure, services, events and technology for entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers, so they can focus on doing what they love.


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