Today we’d like to introduce you to Wo’se Kofi.
Wo’se, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Overcoming life’s obstacles growing up in the inner city, I wanted to play a role in my community. I started out being instrumental in the conceptual development and establishment of the Leimert Park Art Walk, a community-driven monthly event featuring local artists and their artwork, allowing local (and non-local) community members to connect around art, music and cooperative economics.
I worked at two local vegan restaurants in the area, one for five years the other for about two where I learned a lot about veganism and food. From there I launched my business doing Pop Ups all around the city, but mostly in Leimert Park. Five years in and I am one of the most talked about vegan entrepreneurs in the LA area.
I created the vegan veggie patty, a delicious soul food, raw options and more. My menu has grown into one of its own, just looking for a place to house it. For now, just your friendly vegan Pop Up. My patties are sold in a few locations in the area where people can come for a weekly pick up. Things are growing fast, and we are ready for the expansion.
Has it been a smooth road?
There are the normal challenges of doing everything yourself until you are able to task out certain jobs. I was lucky to have some loyal people to the cause who came to help when I went out to set up in Leimert Park. Many times I went out too late night events and clubs to see if the feedback was as lucrative as being in Leimert. There were days when I went home with food to discard or give away to the local homeless who were always present.
One time my car was having issues right before my Pop Up, and I had to rent a car to get there. The key for building for me has been community driven consistency. They have seen me for years growing up, and now I am providing a well-needed service. This being my sole income, I have to wear more hats than I can count.
A few being marketing, sales, production, and innovation. At most events they expect you to pay a fee to vend, and therefore you have to make sure you are being very direct with questions and numbers to ensure a profit at the end of the day.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a vegan Pop Up based in South LA working on getting a location in the Leimert Park area. We are committed to raising the level of health consciousness in the communities by providing accessible, healthy and affordable vegetarian cuisine. We specialize in vegan veggie patties.
I am proud to be doing the work that many know about. We all know that entrepreneurship is hard. We know eating healthy is a task in itself because then you are held accountable for what you eat. Growing up vegetarian in a world pre-vegan, I got to experience the whole movement come in. My taste buds cooking for so long vegan are my own to share.
What sets me apart from any other food business is the creative culinary artivism I hold inside. It is a part of me as much as my community is, from a mixture of the diaspora. I want to see my community grow and this is my way of making a difference beyond making a check.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do believe every thriving city has a space for a business like Baba’s Vegan Cafe. Every place where you are subjected to fast food and liquor stores, you should have a Baba’s Vegan Cafe instead, supplying life-affirming foods.
The goal is to interact with your community and start to build relationships related to your skill. How does what I’m doing matter here. My people in South LA have been in a healthy food desert.
- Veggie Patties $30 per dozen
- Website: www.babasvegancafe.com
- Phone: 323 8342693
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/babasvegancafe
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/babasvegancafe/