Ford is honoring Black Business Month by highlighting those within the culinary space and their inspiring contributions to the community. This month is all about connecting with businesses who are striving for change. In support of similar efforts, Ford Fund is a sponsor of the Ford Resource and Engagement Center for Detroit Food Academy (DFA), an organization formed to inspire young Detroiters through culinary arts and food entrepreneurship. Their goal is to facilitate an environment of collaboration, creativity, and education with their various programs. And through one of the key organizers at DFA we want to introduce today, the Black-owned, woman-owned catering business: Relish.
“Everyone should have access to quality foods which was our inspiration to start Relish. Food is love and we have an amazing opportunity to express that in our craft”, said Le’Genevieve “Vie” Squires, co-founder of Relish.
Relish was founded by visionaries Le’Genevieve “Vie” Squires and Brittiany Peeler who believe in putting their heart and soul into introducing flavorful ingredients to the community. Their passion for cooking and expressing love through mouthwatering meals was driven by the lack of variety they were provided as youth. They are inspired by the work and history of their ancestors with a strong desire for their community to experience an abundance of healthy foods that are readily available in other geographic areas. Relish blends the home-cooked tastes of their roots with the exciting fresh flavors and dishes they discover through travel.
“It’s super important to share stories and resources for our youth to thrive and food is a vehicle,” said Brittiany Peeler, co-founder of Relish.
Taste of Black Entrepreneurship
When it comes to the challenges of being Black business owners, the biggest one for Relish was obtaining access to capital. They navigated this by adapting, bootstrapping, and gaining investments from friends and family. They succeeded by embracing change, being resourceful, and most importantly having a positive mindset. The legacy they’re working to carry on is part of what inspires Relish to creatively use produce that is grown locally, collaborating with Detroit-based Black and brown-owned companies to use their products.
“Although our work and focus may be different, we’re all capable of contributing towards the same goal with different skills,” said Squires.
To Ford, Relish is an inspirational example of a unique business that is also dedicated to empowering the community. Relish serves as a platform for showcasing and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit by heavily collaborating and highlighting others. Like MiTea, a Black-owned and woman-owned business that aims to make a positive impact by promoting healthier choices and overall wellbeing. Another Detroit-based company with similar goals is Motor City Popcorn, an organization that works alongside the community by teaching life lessons and work ethic to support their staff in reaching towards their goals. Both are companies Ford is proud to have as official food services suppliers.
Feeding Connections & Shaping Community
Ford knows the importance of working together within the community with organizations that drive the world forward. It’s through these partnerships that Relish can address food deserts and food insecurity within Detroit by assisting in efforts to provide the community with access to quality meals and food education. This company also plays a role in shaping the environment of Detroit by implementing healthy practices like using compostable products and actively learning to be more mindful of food waste.
We understand our unique opportunity to help amplify and support Black businesses by telling their stories. For Relish, MiTea, Motor City Popcorn and more, food is a form of expression and freedom that travels endlessly. We also understand the mark we can make regarding food justice as a brand by promoting healthy and equitable food systems. It’s the businesses within the community that work to bring everyone together. Learn more about their organization at experiencerelish.com