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Daily Inspiration: Meet Kyndra McCrary

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyndra McCrary.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’ve owned a catering company for many years (13 to be exact) but always wanted to open a brick and mortar and specifically wanted to open one in the inner city. It was something I attempted over ten years ago and it never came to pass but in 2019, I came upon a space in Leimert Park that I felt was perfect to implement my vision. In the inner city there has always been a shortage of healthy cuisine as well as a rise in health issues such diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. I also had my own struggles with my health and I decided to change my eating and begin working out. I wanted to show people that you can have food that is healthy and good for you in addition to being tasty. I also wanted to show people variety in the cuisine. The concept of Swift Cafe came to me years ago while at a food conference and once the space became available, I knew it was something I had to do.

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 hasn’t been smooth at all, lol. First having years of catering experience doesn’t compare to actually having a restaurant. It was like I was starting all over again, learning a different method of serving my food and interacting with the community. Second, Swift café opened only five months before a pandemic! This has been an incredible struggle but I’ve always been resilient and thankfully, our doors are still open!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As a chef, I see myself as an artist and creative. It’s always been a goal of mine to give people an experience not just food on a plate. I’m intentional in my concept of food and how I present it. I feel that diversity is what I specialize in. I’ve never wanted to be pigeonholed into being a chef that makes 1 type of cuisine. I’ve traveled to over 14 countries and sharing my experiences through my cuisine has always been important to me. What I’m most proud of is my ability to continue in the midst of adversity. People only see the success and not always the struggle so being able to press forward in the midst of the struggle makes me very proud. I’m also proud of the fact that something that was a vision in my mind is something that I was able to bring to fruition.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Being resilient! There has been ups and downs along this journey but refusing to give up has been the crux of my success. Always looking for ways to reinvent myself and stay relevant.

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