Womxn Supporting Womxn In Food | Asha Wheeldon of Kula Kitchen
What’s the status of your business? Did you have to pivot, go online, temporarily close?
Kula Kitchen is operating, we pivoted to offer additional services and new ways to connect to our community. We opened our online retail to include our meals, packaged goods and local products from a few producers in Vancouver.
What’s been the hardest part of this pandemic for you?
Prior to COVID-19, our operation was mostly based on catering services in the Vancouver area. We were also organizing a brunch series that was to bring our communities together in collaboration with Elbo Patties, another local producer in Vancouver. We were forced to cancel all events and catering events. We wanted to stay connected to our community so we made the decision to do this through home delivery services; this is something we've wanted to introduce. It's probably one of the best decisions we've made. The service has been well-received, and we're starting to see more demand for weekly meals. We also made a decision to turn our online services to retail with offerings from other local producers, which are mostly BIPOC businesses.
What can we as a community do for you?
Continue to connect and support. Our goal is to do our part and not only stay open but we want to support our small business community and sustain affordable meal options in the Greater Vancouver Area.
What advice would you give women?
Reach out to other femmes for advice and any support you require, stay true to your creations and brand.
What is your greatest hope right now?
We hope for safety during these challenging times. We hope for a new normal where marginalized communities are given a fair chance with equity and equal opportunities. This means more businesses led by BIPOC femmes that are thriving, which will have a great impact in their communities. COVID-19 has brought many uncertainties and challenges. It has also allowed us to slow down, look within and listen. For many, this has been a time to be more aware of what marginalized communities have faced for hundreds of years due to white supremacy and colonization. Folks are now paying close attention to what is going on, both on a system and individual basis. I am hopeful for change where everyone has equal opportunities for health, wellness, food, shelter, and justice.
What are the 3 things keeping you sane?
1. My partner
2. My children
3. My team and community
What's your favorite plant-based recipe?
Sukuma Wiki and Ugali Recipe
To make the Sukuma Wiki:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 russet potatoes chopped
- ½ Red hot Thai pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp harissa spice blend
- 2 bunch chopped collard greens
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup water
- Heat a pan on medium heat
- Add olive oil, onion, garlic and hot pepper. Once soft, add harrissa spice
- Add tomato paste, potatoes and stir, then add 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes
- Add chopped collard greens and remaining water, cook for 15 minutes
- Add salt and check for taste, cook for 5 more minute
To make the Ugali:
- 2 cups fine corn meal
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 cups water
- Add 3 cups of water, salt and oil to large saucepan
- Bring water to a boil and gradually add corn meal whiles stirring with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes
- Reduce heat if lumps form
- Add remaining water, stir and cook for another 10 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow to cool
- Use Ugali like a utensil and enjoy with cabbage
We are committed to representing a much greater diversity of BIPOC women in this series and we are now asking every female food founder we feature to spotlight a BIPOC woman from their network.
I would like to give a shout-out to Funmi Osatuyi, founder of Lagos Chop.