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Success Stories

Tress Walker - MumsKitchensNYC

Tress Walker, owner of MumsKitchens NYC, had a vision to create a space where “Mums” like her from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds could network, cook together, and sell their goods. By joining the program, Tress gained the appropriate legal, financial, and logistical knowledge needed to build the foundation of her business. To date, MumsKitchens NYC has operated at Queens International Night Market, Jamaica Down to Earth Markets, Queens Summerstage, Queens Food Day and various other events throughout Queens. She is building her brand by selling various sweets and has begun the process of recruiting other “Mums” to join her. Tress has even partnered with her fellow program entrepreneurs CaSpanish to sell their cuisine in her space at various markets. You may next find Tress at this year’s upcoming Queens Taste. Learn more about MumsKitchens NYC at https://mumskitchensnyc.com

“The students of the program are now business partners, as we work together building our individual businesses. If the food industry is a path you want to explore; you need to be in this program. The Jamaica FEASTS [Food Entrepreneurship & Services Training Space] is where you want to be!” – Tress Walker


Judy and Keith Cyrus - CaSpanish

After failing to find caterers that had the flair they wanted for their wedding, Judy and Keith Cyrus decided to cater it themselves – with their unique blend of Spanish and West Indian cuisine. After the ceremony, orders began flooding in and the idea for CaSpanish was born. While they had already been catering for family and friends upon joining Jamaica FEASTS, Judy and Keith wanted to purchase a food truck and take CaSpanish to the streets. Jamaica FEASTS taught them the legal side of the business, and gave them the resources to acquire a loan of $10,000 from Kiva, which they’ve used to purchase their first food cart. Read more about CaSpanish here or follow them online at https://www.facebook.com/caspanish/ or on Twitter @CaSpanishNYC.


Tavia Kowalchuk – Bliss Street Creamery

Tavia Kowalchuk has always had a passion for artisanal ice cream which is why she founded Bliss Street Creamery. Tavia was able to use her professional experience in marketing and the business planning, finance, and legal knowledge she gained through Jamaica FEASTS to make her ice cream business a reality. Tavia gained crucial legal and financial knowledge, as well as received assistance in finding an appropriate space to make her small batch ice cream which is difficult without owning a storefront here in NY. Since going through the program, Bliss Street Creamery has been featured at Taste of Sunnyside, the 17th Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Concert, and the Queens International Night Market. You can find Tavia and Bliss Street Creamery in two DNAinfo articles, “Dress Like a Flapper and Eat Free Ice Cream at Sunnyside's Jazz Fest” and “Small-Batch Ice Cream Maker to Debut at Annual Sunnyside Food Fest.” Tavia’s unique flavors such as You Can Call Me Babs and Pink Peppercorn along with her drive and passion for representing her neighborhood of Sunnyside has led to early success and we look forward to watching it grow! Tavia has even returned to class to speak as an expert in marketing and to support other students going through the program. Find out more about Bliss Street Creamery here: http://blissstreetcreamery.com


Tim Graedon – Woodland’s Bakehouse

Tim Graedon of Woodland’s Bakehouse joined Jamaica FEASTS just wanting to make great bread for everyone to enjoy. Tim’s ability to speak about his passion captured many and his breads speak for themselves in regards to his skill. However, Tim had never experienced high volume production and while working on planning his business wanted to gain that experience. Through the Jamaica FEASTS program networks, Tim was able to leave his office job and secure a new position at Amy’s Bread on the production line. In this new position, Tim can gain the crucial skills he needs while working on his plans for Woodland’s Bakehouse. Tim has stated, “this program has changed my life,” and we are glad to have done so!


Charlene Waugh – Mama G’s Restaurant

Charlene Waugh of Mama G’s Restaurant came to the Jamaica FEASTS program with a passion for food and a small catering business she was operating out of her home. Going through the program has given  Charlene the tools, knowledge, and resources to successfully bring her home based passion to a legal operating business by acquiring her Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit along with the other licenses and permits necessary for her concept. Mama G’s Restaurant is currently selling out of the Aquaduck Flea Market and has received a loan of $7,000 from one of the program’s community partners, Accion. This loan was used to retrofit a space at the market and to increase marketing initiatives. After finding success at the Aquaduck Flea Market, Mama G’s Restaurant is now working towards settling a lease for a storefront space in Jamaica which the Jamaica FEASTS staff is continuing to provide assistance.


Devin-Rose Thomas – Unique Foodie Witchery

Devin-Rose Thomas a.k.a. the Unique Food Witch, has a unique baking style that blends spices and herbs with baked goods concocting a product that is anything but ordinary. She applied for the Jamaica FEASTS program to learn more about legally selling her unique treats. Through the program, Devin registered her business, drafted her plan, and gained the licenses and permits she needed in order to begin selling at markets and events. Devin’s company, the Unique Foodie Witchery, has been featured at LIC Flea and she will continue to sell at markets and events throughout Queens and Brooklyn. Learn where you can find the Unique Foodie Witchery here: https://www.facebook.com/TheUniqueFoodieWitchery/

Photos by Ed Lefkowicz