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Meet Janae Carroll

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janae Carroll.

Hi Janae, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Life took a turn when I moved to Baltimore about four years ago. I was working for a meal prep company transporting food from New York to Maryland. Which ultimately led me to move to Baltimore. I was ready for change. I had told my boss at the time that I was interested in moving to Maryland. One month later, he asked me if I was still interested. The rest was history. I feel like I found myself in Maryland. Maryland helped me realize that we are multi-dimensional beings with many gifts and talents. At one point and time, pursuing music was my only focus and passion. In 2018, I launched J.Janae Foods; my goal was to blog about restaurants I would visit and share recipes I would cook at home. During this time, I was not vegan and never imagined I would become vegan. Somehow launching J.Janae Foods lead me to creating recipes and selling my recipes at local poetry/music events in Baltimore.

Being exposed to vegetarian/vegan lifestyle through family and friends rubbed off on me. While my family and friends are a part of the reason, I became vegan. The truth is one day, while I was preparing chicken, I started to feel very nauseous by the smell and my body began to reject the chicken I was preparing. Ever since I had that experience, I decided I was no longer going to eat meat or serve it to others. Making the decision to become vegan has changed my life in so many ways. It has given my life so much meaning and purpose. Everyday, I practice yoga and meditation for 10 mins; when I wake up, I am not able to get on my cellphone until yoga and mediation is completed. I attribute this to my vegan lifestyle.

Growing up in Brooklyn, the hood. When you grow up in an impoverished community, the only food options available are highly processed foods from the corner store, fast food restaurants, and limited access to fresh foods at the supermarket. Growing up, I use to eat any and everything, never really taking time to think about what I was actually putting into my body. I am grateful for my mom making home-cooked meals from time to time and exposing my siblings and I to all types of cuisines. We also traveled a lot growing up, which is what I feel is what makes me such an adventurous/curious soul at times. Majority of the time, while I was living in New York, I was eating fast food or eating junk food in abundance from the corner.

Along my vegan journey, I have learned and still learning that it’s not about being perfect it’s about making better decisions that will help aid a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of thinking that you are better than someone because you are vegan. I think for a long time, I did not realize that I felt being vegetarian/vegan was out of reach or it was only for a lifestyle for a certain type of person.

My goal with J.Janae Foods is to never make anyone feel like they are less than because they are not vegan or that I am better than anyone because I am. It’s more so about me wanting to show people that food is fun, even when you eat healthier/intentionally. Even if you are a meat eater the most important thing, in my opinion, is to consume more vegetables and fruits than meats and overly processed foods. You can be vegan and unhealthy. It’s about eating intentionally and figuring out what foods fuel your body to help you become the best version of yourself that you can be. Everyone’s food journey is different.

J.Janae Foods is a multi-dimensional health-conscious company. Focused on changing the way people taste and see food. Taking a unique approach on vegan cuisine. Eating healthy is never boring here at J.Janae Foods. I believe simplicity is key. It’s all about choosing the right flavors. Cooking with love and intention. Food equals community; We look forward to serving you delicious vegan cuisine. J.Janae Foods not only caters/delivers delicious vegan cuisine to your door. I take you on food adventures with me, show you how to in the supermarket, and hope that you have a good time with me. J.Janae Foods is all about creating unique and fun food experiences.

My ultimate goal is to launch a vegan delivery company that will service the whole DMV area making vegan food more accessible. I plan to travel around the world eating the best vegan foods sharing my adventures with the world. I don’t know if I have a title for myself some call me a chef. I’d like to think I’m more of a “Food Influencer.”

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been an easy road. I think one of the toughest things about being an entrepreneur is that it will make you face yourself. It will make you confront your demons. It will allow you to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You make the decisions for your business; it’s your responsibility to show up for yourself.

For me, what’s tough is feeling like your alone on your entrepreneurial journey. As a black woman, it’s harder to get help or loans. Which has discourage me at times to apply for grants/loans in fear of rejection. The hardest thing/struggle for me is asking for help. If it wasn’t for my mom being my #1 cheerleader and support system. I do not know where I would right now.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I feel I specialize in creating the ultimate vegan food experiences. A lot of people know me for cooking and creating unique recipes. I am proud that I have allowed myself to discover the many other gifts and talents that I did not know I had hidden inside of me. I am proud of myself for still continuing to grow and build J.Janae Foods even when I feel I don’t know what I am doing at times.

Using my musical background creatively taking the things I’ve learned and applying it to my food journey. Like for instance, when I create my vegan food adventure videos a lot of times, I am adding voiceovers to the videos or adding music. Matching things up, making sure the music fits the vibe of the video or using my own recorded music material for my videos. Having experience with recording music really helps me get super creative with my videos.

I feel I am a very innovative and creative individual. My approach to things is always a little out of the box and I do not believe in following the rules. Also my drive and discipline at times is unmatched. I go after what I want no matter how long it may take me to get there or no matter how scared I may be.

Contact Info:

  • Email: jjanaefood@gmail.com
  • Instagram: jjanaefoods

Image Credits
Jasmine Wallace

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