Thursday, April 22, 2010

Zella’s Soulful Kitchen: Bringing Healthy, Organic Soul Food to Whole Foods and Hospitals

"For most small businesspeople, getting a product into a store like Whole Foods is a dream. But if you’re a one-woman show like Zella’s Soulful Kitchen, that dream could lead to insomnia.

Started in 2005, Zella’s Soulful Kitchen was meant to be a catering business that would eventually grow into a restaurant. Chef Dionne Knox named the Oakland business after her grandmother—a woman who made everything from scratch and brought the family together around delicious meals—and focused on creating healthy, organic versions of soul food favorites like collard greens seasoned with smoked turkey, and home baked cornbread served with local honey butter.

Soon after launching, she joined La Cocina, a local food-business incubator, for the access to an “awesome commercial kitchen” plus plenty of unexpected perks, ranging from classes taught by other members to the monthly goal-setting check-in meetings, which Knox describes as “an opportunity to take a step back from your day-to-day and think about things in a different way.”"

Read the article