5×5 Night at Start Garden!
Voting Closes:

June 17, 2024 11:59 pm

About this idea
Tropix Kitchen pairs the excitement and social connection of great food with the traditions of Haitian/Creole Cuisine! I’m in the pop-up phase of development—bringing authentic Haitian recipes to the streets of Mid-Michigan! I have a professional background in autism services and traumatic brain injury and a Masters in Developmental Disabilities and a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. (I work with head trauma patients and those with autism to help them better integrate their natural abilities and gifts into productive activities outside the home.) I’m also a great cook! My passion is to provide deeper social connection and curated experiences for those with traumatic injury and cognitive disabilities. Creating Haitian cuisine awakens the distinct smells, emotions, and controlled chaos of Creole culture, without overwhelming the senses. Think of it as a party, but with the safe feeling of baking with Grandma! I’ve been hosting pop-up events in my local area since September of 2022 to discover my ideal customers and develop community connections. I was accepted to pitch my business at a Flint SOUP community micro-grant dinner and was connected to the incubator kitchens at Flint Food Works inside of the Flint Farmers’ Market. In November 2022, I was introduced to the owner of Orvel’s Deli through the Doxa Development mentorship program, who began mentoring me in the limited food service industry and offered me an opportunity to learn skills directly by interning at his business. Orvel’s Deli allowed me to host a restaurant takeover just after Christmas—at their location in Ascension Genesys Hospital—in celebration of Haiti’s Independence Day! As I continue my next steps towards a fully operational Tropix Kitchen, my goal is to begin providing curated experiences in Haitian food, offer cooking classes, host social events, and provide meal prep, take-out and private catering.
My long-term goal is to see Tropix Kitchen provide greater activities and social opportunities for individuals with disabilities. I envision sensory cooking classes and social events around the colors, community inclusion, and culinary experience of Haiti—all while utilizing farm-fresh produce and food grown by Michigan farmers.
What I'll do with $5,000
The funds will enable Tropix Kitchen to obtain higher level state food licensure, licensed kitchen space at the Flint Farmers Market, food prep containers, beverage dispensers, knives, blenders and mixers, food processor, measuring cups and spoons, tabletop display refrigerator, food warmers, soup warmers, serving utensils and dishes, mixing bowls, spatulas, ladles, sauté pans, thongs, cleaning solutions, cleaning bucket, towels and rags, food packaging and utensils, POS system and printer, website and locally grown produce.
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