Total loan: $10,000
Dana Point, CA, United States / Food
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A loan helped Best Gumbo In The Hood expand and grow in the vegan markets.
I began cooking at a young age First learning soul food recipes from my grandmother and baking from my grandfather, it wasn't long after beginning junior high school that I began cooking the family meals. The enjoyment of cooking started with my "Easy Bake Oven" and progressed over time to my enjoyment of cooking traditional family recipes and the learning the international cooking flair of wontons, egg rolls, chicken teriyaki and wok recipes. Collecting recipe books such as The Betty Crocker Cookbook, and boxed recipe cards was a hobby of mine as a teenager. Shortly after college, I found myself traveling to New Orleans on a regular basis and beginning my study of gumbo. While I do have an MBA, I also consider myself to have a "master's degree in gumbo". It is after 20+ years of studying, sampling, and perfecting my own gumbo recipe, I now share my gumbo with others through my company, Best Gumbo In The Hood. My Vegan Gumbo debuted in July 2014 at the First Annual Vegan Faire in Anaheim, and my Shrimp & Chicken Gumbo and Chicken Andouille Gumbo are available for sale to the Best Gumbo In The Hood is my food business that I not only believe in, but is a business that I am quite passionate about. My goal is to expand my reach further into the vegan market and vegan products as far as they can go. Gumbo is a food that awakens the soul through flavor and the opportunity to remember good times and community. For vegans and vegetarians, the enjoyment of my vegan gumbo provides access to make new memories centered around a flavorful product that supports their veganism and freedom from meat-based foods. It isn't surprising that many non-vegans also rally around the vegan gumbo product. My three gumbo products and my vegan greens and vegan cajun cornbread provides a variety of New Orleans inspired products that can be enjoyed year-round. I have and plan to increase my working capital, hire employees and interns to assist with the expansion of the business and the support of exhibiting at festivals and farmer's markets throughout southern California, particularly the vegan -based festivals and events. As the catering side of the business continues to grow, The Kiva loan will enable me to purchase the necessary catering equipment and supplies, and provide the necessary working capital to support the overall growth of the business.