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Rosana Santos Calambichis was only two years into operating her business Big Chef, a Hollywood, Fla., frozen-food company, when it was hit by Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
The storm hurt the company's sales, but Big Chef, which cooks and prepares canapés for catering functions, grab-and-go meals for busy households and entrees for the kitchen table, was able to recover.
Then came the recession in 2008. And the then five-year-old company's "sales dropped 75 percent," said Santos Calambichis.
But the company weathered that, too, as well as other challenges, with employee compromises and aggressive social-media marketing.
By October of last year, Big Chef - www.bigchefonline.com - had shipped out enough meals to surpass $1 million in revenues. "We were so close last year  but didn't make it," said Santos Calambichis. When the company finally reached it, Santos Calambichis said to her husband Mano, a former restaurateur who handles the company's customer service, " 'Wow! We made it!' "
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