LONA Grantee - Business Expansion with the Purchase of a Convection Oven
In 2008 after being laid off from her job, Fernay decided to pursue her passion for cooking by attending culinary school. After graduating, she joined San Francisco-based food incubator and nonprofit, La Cocina. La Cocina provided Fernay with the opportunity to build her business, Minnie Bell’s, through their industrial kitchen and food truck. In 2017, Fernay was named as one of San Francisco Chronicle’s Rising Star Chefs and in March 2018 she opened La Cocina’s kiosk in Emeryville Market. Based on Fernay’s success, Emeryville Market offered Minnie Bell’s a permanent space beginning in May 2019.
Named for Fernay’s great aunt and grandmother, Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement combines soulful flavors and the warmth of the south to serve up delicious homestyle food. Through Minnie Bell’s, Fernay aims to reclaim space and advocate for people of color in the Bay Area who are increasingly pushed out due to high cost of living.
LONA invested in Minnie Bell’s growth with funding for a convection oven Fernay can increase production and introduce new items to the menu (including dessert!) We align with Fernay’s goal of preserving diversity and providing opportunity to women and people of color in the Bay Area because when women-owned businesses thrive, opportunities ripple through the community.