• Chef Lisa featured in Westminster City Edition October, 2008
  • Chef Lisa to present at White House Black Chef’s Event – June 8, 2013
  • Chef Lisa wins the title of 2005 Top Home Chef in Denver
  • A Gourmet A-Way is Born
  • A Biz Make-Over story (a new brand is born)
  • Chef Lisa Featured In Denver Life Magazine



Contact Person: Lisa M. Givens
Company Name: A Gourmet A-Way Personal Chef Service
Telephone Number: 303.255.7664
Fax Number: 303.255.7664,


Local Personal Chef, Lisa Givens, wins honor of Top Home Chef in Denver Denver , CO July 27, 2005 — Recently turned Personal Chef Lisa Givens battled and won the title of Top Home Chef in Denver during the 18 th Annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation benefit held on July 17, 2005 at the Colorado Convention Center .

Personal Chef Lisa, because of her love for cooking, was intrigued by the e-mail that she received about the contest to name the Top Home Chef in Denver , sponsored by Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation in conjunction with Jenn Air appliances. She entered the contest and made it to the semi-finals. See more about the pre-finals in the listed article:

Rocky Mountain News Spotlight Article july 13, 2005

After making it through the semi-finals, Chef Lisa went into the final battle for the top honors having to create a meal in twenty minutes from a mystery bag of groceries with the main ingredient, tiger prawns. She created a sauté of tiger prawns in a butter based garlic sauce, with mushrooms, yellow squash, capers, serrano chilies, finished with a touch of a late added mystery ingredient, pomegranate syrup all served on a bed of Israel couscous. While the battle was tight(a 2-2 tie among the judges) Lisa’s dish won out when the emcee and moderator, David Rosengarten, Food Network TV Personality, broke the tie, naming Lisa Givens, Top Home Chef in Denver and winner of $5000 worth of Jenn Air appliances. Chef Lisa enjoyed the experience of the competition and looks forward to continued growth of her business, A Gourmet A-Way Personal Chef Service. See press coverage Rocky Mountain News Article july 27, 2005.

Chef Lisa Givens is the owner of A Gourmet A-Way Personal Chef Service, which services the local Denver Metropolitan Area. She helps her clients answer their “What’s for dinner question” by providing them with custom, healthy, nutritious dinner meals. She is a premier member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA, ) and she is committed to “creating food experiences that feed the body, mind and spirit.” For more information about her services, go to or contact her at pc-lisa-email. Chef Lisa also has a business, Goodiesbylisa, where she creates delectable treats, including New Orleans style pralines and rum cakes. Go to for more information

Contact: Lisa M. Givens A Gourmet A-Way Personal Chef Service 303.255.7664


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A Gourmet A-Way is Born
Posted on December 31, 2013 by Lisa Givens

Contact: Lisa M. Givens, A Gourmet A-Way Personal Chef Service 303.255.7664


A Gourmet-Away Personal Chef Service, Denver, CO launches and offers unique Mother’s Day Gift Idea.

Denver, Colorado, April 25, 2005 — A Gourmet A-Way Personal Chef Service officially launches a new Personal Chef Service, serving the Metropolitan Denver Area and is dedicated to “creating and delivering food and food experiences that feed the body, mind and spirit.” As part of the launch of this Personal Chef Service, Chef Lisa Givens is offering a discounted One-Time Personal Chef Service that would be perfect for mothers, new moms, grandmothers, aunts, wives and daughters. A 20% discount will be given off of the regular 18-20 meal servings through the end of the year. Chef Lisa will tailor a certificate to meet your needs. For more information, visit the web site listed below.


or visit their web site at

About Chef Lisa

Lisa Givens is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, where she explored her passion for cooking at an early age. She received her personal chef training from the Culinary Business Academy and some training at the Culinary School of the Rockies. She loves to watch cooking shows, cater small parties and prepare health conscious meals for herself and friends. Lisa is a premier member of the United States Personal Chef Association. She also enjoys exploring new cookbooks and cooking magazines.

A Gourmet A-way was established in 2005 as a second career for Chef Lisa. Lisa is committed to creating food and food experiences that feed the body, mind and spirit of her clients. She can create specialized menus to meet your dietary needs and will share some of her own special New Orleans style cuisine.

Lisa knowledge and experience with healthy lifestyles and associated healthy food choices.

Lisa is also the sole proprietor of Goodies by Lisa, a company that sells New Orleans style pralines, rum cakes and bread pudding. She is currently working on recipes for goodies that are more health conscious.

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By Richard N Rhodes

A Makeover Story.

Last year during MRBES, Lisa Givens, owner of A Gourmet Away won a business makeover that included branding and a technology and business plan review as well as coaching. The following information is a high-level overview of that process. We hope you learn from Ms. Givens’ journey and, more importantly, support her efforts as she moves forward with her new business.

Team BizHaven

What Is the Purpose of Branding Anyway?

A brand is the reason your customers care about your product or business. If your customers care, they’ll remain loyal.

If they remain loyal, you’ll have a sustainable business. That’s a brand. One essential component of branding is an expected experience, that when consistently delivered, creates brand loyalty.

Ms. Givens, owner of A Gourmet Away, and the team at BizHaven spent a great deal of time identifying her company’s brand promise and quickly concluded that the then “A Gourmet Away” consistently went beyond their clients’ expectations. One example of this is the fact that Ms. Givens cleans the “entire” kitchen whenever she prepares meals for her clients (not just the area in which she prepared the meal; even the inside of the refrigerator). We know this seems like a minor detail, but the fact of the matter is her clients did not expect this additional service. This little feat complemented by great-tasting food and professionalism will ensure Lisa secures plenty of referrals (the best compliment any business can get). All of our conversations surrounding her brand had concluded that the values Ms. Givens lived by and were represented in her company were: value, clean, simple, professional, elegant, sophisticated and openness.

It is here that we began our journey and the brand values were the guiding principles of transforming “A Gourmet Away” to simply “Gourmet Away.” After careful consideration, Team BizHaven felt that Ms. Givens’ original name was complex and so we opted to refine it.


What has going through the entire branding process meant to your company now?


Before going through the makeover, my business name was limited and confusing. I didn't have a logo at all. The marketing materials that I put out were inconsistent.   

Going through the entire branding process has meant that my company “Gourmet Away” now has an image that is consistent with the identity that I want to portray to my clients and prospects (value, clean, simple, professional, elegant, sophisticated and openness).   

As a result of the makeover, I now have marketing materials that provide a consistent message (e.g., business cards, rack cards, stationary, thank-you cards and gift certificates) that are all aligned with my brand promise.  

My new brand also allows me to extend my service and product offerings and the flexibility to move in new areas.

All Logos Are Not Created Equal.

A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon. A logo does not sell (directly); it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes. The effectiveness of a logo depends on:

  1. distinctiveness, b. visibility, c. usability, d. memorability, e. universality, f. durability and g. timelessness

Gourmet Away’s new identity (logo) reflects the brand characteristics that the company lives: (INSERT LOGO GRAPHIC)

New Web Presence Geared toward Connecting and Growing.

Gourmet Away’s new website is an extension of her brand. Therefore, all of the brand characteristics of value, clean, simple, professional, elegant, sophisticated and openness were essential in the design and development of the website. (INSERT WEBSITE GRAPHIC)


How do you view the use of your website post makeover?  


The website is now consistent with my overall brand. It will allow Gourmet Away to convey not only what Gourmet does but, more importantly, how it will provide value to my clients. It will also allow me to offer different levels of service and information and tips. When potential clients come to the website, they will get to meet Chef Lisa (me) through a video, thus establishing another level of connection, with the goal of making them take the next step of contacting Gourmet Away.   

It will allow me to communicate and keep in contact with clients more consistently, along with, for marketing purposes, I will be able to offer online services like cooking demos on the website.

How Technology Levels the Playing Field.

With the correct technology in place, a business can achieve maximum efficiency and unparalleled access to customers and data. Given the nature of Gourmet Away’s work-, life-style we opted for the Apple platform for its unparalleled ease of use and how it’s naturally calibrated for both business and personal life. Don’t believe us? See what Ms. Givens had to say:


How has technology improved the way you do business now?


WOW. When Richard and Ed recommended going to a Mac and getting an iPhone, I was pretty resistant.

After some careful consideration and reassurance that I would not lose any functionality, I took the plunge.  

As a result of moving to the Mac and getting an iPhone, I now have a more integrated technology solution. I am more connected to existing client requests. I can quickly respond to potential clients’ inquiries and now feel like I have a competitive advantage. Being able to respond in a very timely manner is consistent with my brand. I now have more flexibility in that I can take my Mac with me and have access to menu planning if needed while at a client's home.

I now have the ability to do a client intake during in-home consultation via the computer, thus saving time going from paper to the computer.

I am addicted (to the new platform)...

Coaching...You Can Do ItLet’s Get Going.

At BizHaven, we view a business coach like a sporting coach. Traditionally, a sporting coach pushes an athlete to achieve optimum performance, provides support and advises the athlete to execute plays that the competition may not anticipate. A sporting coach will try to push you beyond your limits in order for you to see your full potential. 


How important was strategic advice and coaching to your business?


Strategic advice and coaching have been very important to my business.  

- Working with Darrick helped me to better define my target market.

- It has allowed me to get more focused on my target market (I was trying to be everything for everybody) so that I could consider more focused marketing.  

- Coaching on the value proposition has allowed me to drill down on the unique value I bring to clients and prospects from their point of view, which will enable me to clearly articulate a message about the features and benefits of my services. In the end, this will help me cultivate more business.

- Coaching on my competitive advantage helped form my ability to say “Why me?” vs. someone else?

  • Advice from the marketing team (Paula and Jan) helped me to focus on networking. As a result, I have expanded my network, thus creating more ambassadors who know what I do and can connect me to the right prospects.

Lessons Learned. Moving Forward Anew.

At, we’re committed to elevating any business. Whether you’re starting, growing or building your business, we have the services, consultants and products to meet you where you are. We’re here when you’re ready. 


What were the top three things you learned throughout the entire process?


1. The importance of taking time away from the day-to-day operations to elevate my business, its image and its overall potential. It allowed me to stop and do some difficult work to put the image of my business in a direction that will allow me to attract my target market.

2. It is important to identify areas of weakness that you have in your business and seek resources and support from professionals.

3. You have to have the confidence (or develop it) to clearly articulate how you create value. Focus less on the how and more on the why from the client perspective. 

Team BizHaven.

A special thank-you to Team BizHaven, for without their time, talent and expertise, none of this would have been possible:


Executive Team: Focus

 Richard N. Rhodes

 Branding, Web Development, Technology

 Carla Ladd Project Management, Marketing

 Project Management, Marketing

 Darrick Brown

 Business Planning and Financial Review

  Alex Wilson

 Branding, Web Development, Technology

 Ed Taylor

 Technology, Executive Coaching

 Mike Zelem

 Technology, Web Development

 Paula McClain 

 Project Management, Marketing

 Jan Thomas

 Project Management, Marketing

 Mary Canty

 Merrill, Ph.D. Executive Coaching