A woman hitting the proverbial glass ceiling has become the norm in this part of the world, however, very few are seen as the warriors they are. As we celebrate women this month, we take our time with one of the formidable ones in the hospitality industry.
She is a giant that is making waves in her own small way. Maud Lindsay-Gamrat, the queen in the kitchen and the queen on and offshore in the petroleum sector has been providing stellar services in the oil and gas industry with her company, Atlantic Catering and Logistics.
Learning the love of food from days spent in her mother’s kitchen, Maud knew she would work nowhere else then with the colours vegetables and fruits had to offer and yes she did.
Starting in other catering businesses, she carved a distinct flair with her services and knew she wanted to have her own ‘baby’. So she dove headlong in 2014 with her partners and established Atlantic Catering and Logistics. She explains that for an entrepreneur to know the value of team, and having a board is like having a well of wisdom to tap into at any given time.
Discipline, hard work and good food is all there is to make life blissful but the calm foodie says her experiences growing up with a disciplined, Christian home has shaped her appreciation of food and its creation thus making a foodie just like many of us.
The business woman
It is said that the only constant thing in life is change and with this mantra Maud, who believes that growth is the most beautiful change she knows and that’s what catapulted her into her own business, she describes herself as a forward thinker and that her previous job at another catering firm was a learning opportunity for her.
“That job was my gift from God: it was as if he saw my passion and said hey Maud, I will put you at the right place for the right reason to learn the right things.”
Maud Lindsey-Gamrat, holds a Degree in Business Administration from the University of Professional Studies. Armed with this degree, one would think she should be running a business tailored towards the calculations but no, after working in the public sector and experiencing the lackluster treatment of people, she decided to run a business that fills bellies of people and treats them like kings and queens.
Typical of someone who runs a tight ship, Maud reveals why she chose the oil and gas industry. To her, the industry is one of the biggest that needs daily service onshore and offshore due to the nature of their jobs. Her biggest pet peeve in business she notes is competent workers.
“Finding the right staff is always a challenge. It is always hard to find people who share the same passion as you, so most times in this business, there is a lot of incompetence due to lack of passion, most people are simply looking for daily bread and do not necessarily understand your drive which can really slow the growth of the business.”
Interestingly, though these are the pet peeves, you’ll be amazed to find that she goes the extra mile to make sure these things don’t happen in her business to derail her progress and she’s got some crazy certifications just to make sure all the sumptuous meals she provides are up to par with the international specifications.
She has an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System, OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System and ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System. The journey to gets all these to look perfect is what she’ll say glorious in one breath and formidable in the next.
“I have challenged myself to do what it takes to be an outstanding firm. One of my major concerns with the food industry in this part of the world is negligence of the quality of what is produced.
I have taken the step to ensure I get certifications for the standards I have to meet. Getting those certifications require a lot of effort and sacrifice but hey the journey may be tough but who says we’re not strong enough to achieve our goals,” she said with a smile.
Remember the days we used to whisper to each other at parties about the fancy food the hosts had on display? Well, Maud says you need not worry when it comes to her because she works with whatever her clients want and provide the best service irrespective of one’s budget.
Values, Mission, Vision and Goal
The values that underpin her business include creativity, reliability, quality, uniqueness. As though that is not enough, her mission is to provide quality, healthy, nutritious and hygienically prepared meals and excellent services for our partners.
With a vision to be a leading brand in the catering and hospitality industry in Africa and beyond known for quality, reliability, uniqueness and creativity in product and service excellence, Atlantic Catering’s certifications are proof that she is on the right course.
At the end of it all, the goal is to ensure maximum customer satisfaction by focusing on treating every bit of our process to the highest standard in the industry in line with ACLL’s Integrated Management Systems Program.
Some services Atlantic Catering and Logistics render include contract catering, remote site catering, event management and planning, housekeeping, cleaning and janitorial services and facility management and design services.
A day in Maud’s life
Life is seemingly the same everywhere but it is also unique to each person, Maud’s day begins with making sure her family is set for the day, running her office, making her way from one site to the other to make sure things are running smoothly. As one who is constantly innovating, finding and thinking of ways to enhance her business, Maud attends self-development trainings, cooking up a storm and when she’s not doing that she spends her time with her family and loves to travel.
“I am very passionate about food and my environment and I want a lot of people to understand that food safety is essential.”
Maud’s business has been rising steadily but she experiences a couple of draw backs. Some are high electricity tariffs, finding the right staff, and the fact that companies like hers are deemed too small to compete for major government project.
Through it all Maud has smiled, worked hard and held her head high and as we celebrates women this month, she’s inspired by the women that are doing so well inspite of the fact that many have classified them as the weaker sex.
She explains with a fierce understanding that the public is beginning to understand and appreciate the beauty of womanhood however, more can be done to help change the narrative, that women are their own foe; if women unite and support each other it will be worth writing, she says: “the only thing more beautiful than a woman is a group of women.”
It is in this vain that Atlantic Catering and Logistics is creating avenues for their female employees to scale up on their emotional intelligence by providing them with courses on self-development and emotional intelligence as well as giving out gifts to their female customers.
Businesses have many phases and in her dealings, she has come to appreciate diversity in culture by leading by example. On days when they are swamped you can find her serving alongside her waiters. Earning recognition comes with a constant change of attitude, a drive to succeed through pleasing the customer and by so doing Atlantic has earned its spot in the dome of greats as she won an award at the 2017 40under40 awards.
With a staff of almost 50, she has some prominent clients such as Queiroz Galvao; Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Maersk Drilling, SMTC Global, Scania and several others.
In 2015, Maud got awarded the Most Outstanding Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Catering Services in Ghana by Feminine Ghana Achievement Awards. In 2016, Maud got named one of the 100 Most Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs in Ghana by WomanRising and got nominated for the Startup of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year Categories during the Ghana Startup Awards; an award scheme audited by KPMG and organized by The Startup Network; a flagship project of The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE).
With a heart for humanity and a soft spot for disadvantaged children and the elderly, Maud annually spends a considerable amount of time in charities and home for the aged; feeding them, partying with them and making donations to support their upkeep and survival. Maud also provides mentorship and guidance to other young women entrepreneurs and supports initiatives geared towards building the capacity and skills of women and girls.
The mother, wife, sister, friend, aunty sees Atlantic Catering and Logistics being the best firm in Ghana, Africa and beyond and she also says: “What you are passionate about, work hard towards making your dream a reality, stay focused and honest and it will all be worth it.”