Eleissa, owner of Pick Your Dish, was born and raised in Las Vegas, but moved to Oregon to attend OSU and stayed in Oregon after leaving school. “My husband and I have two tremendous girls, who keep us busy and laughing every day. I am happiest when friends and family are gathered, enjoying meals we have thoughtfully created together,” she says.
She was inspired to begin Pick Your Dish as a way enable families and busy people to sit down, enjoy time together, and savor a freshly-prepared meal. Before opening her business, she worked full time at Nike and knows the struggles that arise from balancing family, work, and meals. She says, “Working full time with two small children and a husband who was out of town one to three nights per week caused significant anxiety in the dinner department. I was torn between wanting to spend time with the little ones I’d missed all day, and wanting to provide them with a solid dinner.”
Eventually Eleissa found a level of planning and preparation that helped her meet her goals of dinners together. She now applies those skills, as well as her love of cooking, to give other families the chance to alleviate stress around meal times.
Pick Your Dish meals are created in a commissary kitchen and can be picked up at several locations around Portland. They are a good option for busy professionals, empty-nesters, families, meal trains for new babies/medical conditions, and people who don’t like to cook.
One of her biggest business challenges is shutting it all off at the end of the day. “Around six months after leaving Nike, I remember looking at my husband and saying ‘I think I’m going crazy, I thought I was going to be able to keep up more with stuff around the house.’ He looked at me like I was, in fact, crazy and said ‘I don’t know why you thought that – you went from having 1 job to having like 17.’ It’s true…we have to wear so many different hats as entrepreneurs and yet I still struggle with asking for help and letting things go,” she says.
She advises new business owners to be pragmatic and realistic as they follow their passion. “If you don’t truly believe in your business and yourself, you won’t be able to sell it. As a proud mom, she loves that her girls see their mom doing something she loves every day. “They are witness to all the hard work that goes into it…it really is a family affair,” she explains.
Eleissa loves being a MOB NW member because of the support and camaraderie she has found. “I was probably close to two years into the business and while I felt supported and understood by many around me, the women in the MOB NW – including ladies I’ve never met except through the Facebook pages – have been amazingly encouraging. I love so much the appreciation for what I’m going through because these women are going (or have gone) through similar trials. I’m also thrilled when I have the chance to collaborate and introduce my customers, friends and family to another talented and driven MOB!”
You can find Eleissa online at: