Careers & Education

Natalee Passelle chases her dreams

Sunday, August 31, 2014    

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NATALEE Passelle has always dreamed of being a successful, influential businesswoman. And over the years she has proven her absolute determination to achieve that goal with a long list of ventures that began with her selling tamarind balls at primary school, braiding hair to pay for high school, and starting a cleaning business in Montego Bay.

And although after a string of disappointments many would have given up on their dream completely, Passelle made the best of her experiences, never losing her resolve despite all the stress she endured while trying to achieve her goal.

In 2013, while visiting a local food festival, Passelle stopped at a Bad Dawg cart and became immediately intrigued. She spent the entire afternoon asking about the business.

After learning how to acquire a cart, she decided to take a bold step -- she quit her nine-to-five job and purchased her first Bad Dawg cart.

Challenges soon followed: her initial location, once bustling with customers, soon became an issue, and a misunderstanding with the owner forced her to find a new spot.

"I cried the evening when she told me that I couldn't store my things at her property anymore," recalled Passelle.

"I had to park the cart for three weeks because I had nowhere to go. I started walking around town and that's how I found my current location, right behind the Civic Centre in downtown Montego Bay."

On any given day, the corner of Strand and Market streets is jam-packed with cars and pedestrians, and at the centre of it all, Passelle's Bad Dawg cart is ready to serve a quick, affordable meal.

From 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, the yellow and black mobile kitchen is now a familiar part of the hectic landscape, shifting locations to Parade Street in Sam Sharpe Square until 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm, depending on how business is going.

Earlier this year, Passelle increased her investment in the Bad Dawg brand and purchased a second cart that operates in the city's Transport Centre. The determined entrepreneur has already set her sights on a third cart, which she is hoping to use as a mobile facility in the Freezone and in schools around town later this year.

"If I had followed all my excuses about starting my own business, I would never have done it," she said. "Sometimes you just have to do it; you just have to start. Every day is going to come with its own challenge, but once you have a goal, you make a plan, you embrace it and everything falls into place."

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