Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Harrell.
Hi Chris, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In 2019, I began my vegan journey. The reason why I decided to eat a plant-based diet and leave the meat and dairy foods alone is that my body was becoming inflamed. I’m a very active person and always played sports so I knew the inflammation wasn’t due to just eating and not being active. I first started my vegan journey by removing dairy. After removing dairy milk and switching to almond milk I saw a big difference in how I felt. After watching multiple vegan-inspired documentaries on what really goes on behind the scenes in the factory farming industry, I decided to stop eating meat and dairy.
Later on in the year, I was inspired to create my own brand of vegan comfort food after not being satisfied with the vegan food I was eating at restaurants. Because I have a love for food from multiple ethnic backgrounds, I wanted my vegan food to reflect that same love. This is how I came up with the name Kulture Kitch’n. At the same time, I was trying to find a way to supplement extra income and started recording myself cooking and uploading videos on Youtube, taking pictures, and uploading them on Facebook and Instagram. The initial feedback I received was overwhelming.
People from all over the world began to connect with me just to tell me how much of an influence my food pics and videos are to them. Some of my followers that are local to the DMV area asked me if I sell food and I always said no because I was scared. One day after being asked to sell food I said yes. I was very nervous because at that time, only family members had my cooking and I didn’t know what to expect from people who have never had my cooking. After my first pop-up, the feedback I received was overwhelming and heartwarming.
Everyone loved my food which did nothing but motivate me to sell more food. After receiving positive feedback from vegans all over the DMV I’m currently trying to find more ways to expand the brand. Right now I’m working on saving up for a food truck to service the DMV area but I want to start here in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
Currently, I’m still using my social media platforms to show people that eating vegan food can be fun and satiating if you use a little creativity. After two years of self-promoting Kulture Kitch’n, I’m proud to say that major vegan brands are showing interest and I’m sure to land some brand deals in the near future. The future of Kulture Kitch’n is looking very bright!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being an entrepreneur is definitely not meant for everyone. In the beginning, it was very hard for me to build up the confidence to put myself out there in front of the general public. I would say my biggest struggle is the fact that I’m running my brand by myself with no assistance.
Not having the privilege to delegate certain tasks so I can mainly focus on creating vegan food is very challenging. Building and retaining an audience has been somewhat of a struggle too. Not having a dedicated venue to sell food from is definitely a challenge. Recently I have acquired new partners to join me in building Kulture Kitch’n which I believe will be one of the go-to vegan restaurants in the DMV area.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
People are shocked when they find out I’m not a cook or chef by profession. I’m actually a Linux System Administrator for a client relations marketing company. My professional background has always been in computers and information technology.
Outside of working for Burger King when I was a teenager, I’ve never worked in a professional kitchen. I used to always think working in information technology was going to be the end game for me.
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
If anyone is interested in collaborating with me, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, send me a DM on IG @datplantbasedbrotha, or inbox me on FB @kulturekitchn
Following me on my social media platforms and sharing my content is the easiest way to show support.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/datplantbasedbrotha
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KultureKitchn/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/KultureKitchn