Total loan: $5,000
Springdale, AR, United States / Food
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A loan helped a female entrepreneur grow her Southern traditional food mobile restaurant.
I grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas where I spent most of my child and teenage years with my Grandmother. She did not have a lot of money, but the way she cooked was very generous in its preparation. Cooking was the way that she showed she loved us. I can remember walking in her house on Sundays and all of the different smells of food hit you all at once when you walked in the door. She would be frying fish and making hot water cornbread, and you could always suspect some type of greens and her famous sweet potatoes. She taught me how to cook everything, what the different flavors are you need, how to get to those flavors in the foods, and why we used the special seasonings. But the most part she showed me how to make food with love and from your heart with our history. After her passing many years later I found myself located up north in Northwest Arkansas. I started off pretty simple in 2017 cooking in my home for people, and I wanted at first to make just sweets and treats. Shortly though after I started professional school at the culinary school called Brightwater in Bentonville, Arkansas operated by the Northwest Arkansas Community College, it helped me open my eyes to what all I had to offer to my community with my heritage of cooking slow-cooked, authentic Southern food. Then I had the opportunity to open a food trailer restaurant. My community did not have the taste of the south my Grandmother taught me to make with authentic fresh ingredients and so I wanted to provide more. I combine day to day Southern slow cook food from traditional recipes and turn them to amazing new creative Southern dishes and expanded my menu with the new food trailer I purchased. I was able to be a chef in my trailer with my training and inspire others with my traditions. I graduate in 2020 from Brightwater and even get to go to Italy this summer with a Brightwater program to learn Italy's culture and traditions. As a single mom, my business' success and growth in recent years has given me the chance to fully support myself and my children with that success that just keeps growing as I expand my menus and services of catering.