Many entrepreneurs saw new opportunities throughout the pandemic and Black-owned businesses soared. One family in Corpus Christi found success in a meal-prep business. While trying to find creative ways to teach their two daughters about the world, Jessica and Hershel Shoats came up with Curly Girl Cooking, a culturally inspired meal-service that prepares food for their local community.
The Shoats saw an opportunity to educate their daughters, 7-year-old, Avery and 8 year-old Graysen in more ways than just entrepreneurship. It was a way to teach them about their culture and having pride in their work.
“Their hair, when I teach my girls when they go and see the big mother tree out there, that is a direct reflection of them. Nature. There is a lot of energy going through those curls…Every time we are wearing our Afro, it’s a crown. We don’t need a princess crown – we already have our own Afro crown,” said Shoats.
The meals include everything from Caribbean jerk chicken, to creme brulee and even includes vegan options. “I showed my kids, culturally, what meal we had when we didn’t have much as far as the steak, the filet mignons and this side of the beef or that side of the shrimp,” he explained.
Curly Girl Cooking is now one of 75 Black-owned businesses in Corpus Christi, Texas – half of which are owned by women. “It means to me that I have done a great job in my history and my businesses, so I have been doing good. You… can inspire the world by doing just one small thing. You can make it bigger and inspire the whole world,” said Graysen.