Darcel ‘s story
Hello, my name is Darcel Jackson, 54, and I am a self-made chef from the San Francisco Bay Area.
After becoming sick some years ago, I wound up homeless in San Francisco. I spent the three months living at the Next Door Shelter on Polk and Geary streets and I realized that empowering homeless’s start with the access to Internet. While working at Shelter Tech, a non-profit dedicated to providing internet access to the homeless, I obtained the necessary skills and tools to build my own business. Now, I have decided to pursue my true passion – catering!
I have been working as a local caterer for the past two years – cooking a variety of dishes (from barbecue to Italian pasta dishes) for all types of individuals. After receiving my diploma from the Episcopal Community Services chef program (where 21 chefs started and only three completed, including myself), I began catering for Code for America in San Francisco, CA.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Currently, I have many clients who are looking forward to me expanding my catering services. This is not a new venture, rather it is an expansion of what I have studied and done well over the years. There are two reasons I would like to expand: I love helping and feeding people. Having been given the opportunity to change my life I would love to share my experience with others through a delicious menu of Texas BBQ – these dishes have been passed down to me by my grandfather, who sold BBQ and people would come from miles around to taste his meat. My mother and father were both in the food service field – they were both certified chefs.
What will set my Texas BBQ apart from others is my creativity – I am planning on featuring a delicious veggie burger from Impossible Foods. “There’s a new ‘bloody’ burger in town, but this one is entirely vegan. The juicy patty contains exactly zero animal products, but because of a bright red molecule called heme, it looks like a hamburger served medium rare, said the burger’s creators, Impossible Foods.” By catering not only to meat lovers, I am certain this expansion will be a success!
What is the purpose of this loan?
With a $5,000 loan from Kiva, I will be able to set up a BBQ stall at the Berkeley Flea Market – purchases will include the following: two BBQ pits, a potable sink, a tent, and a fly net.
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years