Chef Tonne Khabir has been on the forefront of the Dallas catering scene since 1993, however in early 2009 she realized her lifelong dream of a successful entrepreneur was at stake. In this rocky economy she was also was hit with a separation of her business partner and former husband compounded by a landlord that refuse to renegotiate the lease on her 6000 sqaure foot loft space. She lost clients like Cap Gemini. Southwest Airlines and the list goes one, no one seemed to be in a celebratory mood or feeling like hosting parties; however after talking to her younger soldier brother, he gave her some solid advice, try government contracting.
In a desperate attempt she began her bequest of contracting in May 2009, within 90 days of her beginning she was awarded a bread contract with the Department of Justice in El Reno Oklahoma; although the contract was only 9000.00 it proved to give her company the cash flow it needed to stay afloat until the next contract.
In August of 2009 once again Chef Tonne was awarded a Non appropriated funds contract with the United State Air Force, one problem it was in Washington DC. This challenge would take her from the comforts of the Dallas Texas straight to Washington DC; it was pilot program for the Department of Defense provided fresh organic, healthy comfort foods to the men and women of Bolling AFB, casual dining atmosphere. .
Chef Tonne accepted the contract to gain knowledge of federal contracting, moved to DC for the duration of a year, successfully completed the contract with numerous awards from 3 and 4 star generals, base commanders, etc.
In August 2010 with knowledge under her belt, she returned to comforts of her home in Dallas Texas, settled in and began the bidding process again.
On November 22, 2010 she was awarded once again a contract with Ft. Hood, this time closer to home, shorter in length and twice as much money. Chef Tonne was awarded a contract of $250000 to feed soldiers headed to Iraq, this 24 hour feeding schedule called for a staff of 15 to feed 24 hours a day 22 days.
In February 2011 Chef Tonne decided to pass on the empty promises of Super Bowl set to be held in Cowboy Stadium and pursue defense contracts; Chef Tonne’s decision paid off. She headed to Fort Indian Town Gap as she was awarded a contract of $74K from the Delaware National Guard and watched on television as Dallas caterers struggled with icy weather and loss of business. In addition, Chef Tonne had the honor of serving the unit Major Beau Biden; son of Vice President Joe Biden, they coined her for outstanding service.
In July 2011 Chef Tonne decided to set off again and was awarded a catering contract to cook for the Marine Special Forces (MARSOC), they love her so much, she was asked to return in November 2011.
In February 2012 Chef Tonne was assigned a 45 Day contract to fill in for another contractor due to the contractor lack of sanitation which caused 12 soldiers food poisoning. She was assigned cleaning, sanitation, menu planning while adhering to the new DOD diet restrictions. The great thing about this contract it was located in Grand Prairie, Texas, 17 minutes from her home. The 74K contract was extended twice, which came to a grand total of 773K, by the end of September 2013. The opportunity was amazing and the experience was priceless, there has been numerous challenges for this Dallas entrepreneur, however thru the power of prayer and entrepreneur tenacity she’s proving that you can survive a recession and maintain your love of what you do best!!