Years after a career in accounting, Chef Wanda Blake returned to her love of cooking and burns up the condiment industry with her Southern Chow Chow | The Light Series

Wanda Blake’s plate is full. With her favorite calico apron and books of old southern recipes, the Bay Area chef shares her rich roots around the world. Whether she’s express mailing her chow chow to China or behind the scenes creating connections for foodies and Black chefs, her knife stays sharpened.

Where are you located?

Oakland

What is our business?

Wanda’s Cooking is both an online food pantry and popup restaurant chef

How long have you been in business? 

4 years

What made you start it? 

I wanted to live my passion of cooking and sharing food while experiencing Black culinary history and exposing others to my roots.

What makes your business special? 

My culinary history from the migration of my family from the south to the west and my exposure to other cultures.

Wanda Blake’s chow chow is a southern condiment that tops and marinates food. Go to her Instagram page to see how she uses it on everything from smothered potatoes to deviled eggs.


How does your business solve a problem? 

Openly – no hiding – straight forward.

What did you find out about who you are as you built your company? 

My strength and patience to grow at my own pace.

What keeps you going? 

Faith, my ancestors and my food peers

What do you do when you get discouraged? 

Breathe and breathe some more. Then I think of other times I have been discouraged and how I got it through it.

How do you define success? 

Your self worth and being humble – this will take you far.

Who inspires you? 

Seeing the success of my peers. Social media has opened up a daily connection to my peers that keeps me inspired.

This year has been full of us supporting us – Black power to the tenth degree in the Black food arena; especially those of us who are “entrepreneurs”. I feel so blessed for the people I know and you. Growth is wisdom in abundance. Ashe

Where can you find Wanda.

Facebook — Instagram: Wandas_cooking — Twitter: wandascooking 

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The Light Series is a month-long exploration of all things light and love. So, we invite you to walk with us. Even, we ask that you participate in highlighting those in your community who need some shine, or even yourself, your business or your superpower.

Our first week, December 1 to December 7, we will feature stories of innovators in our communities. Next, from December 8 to December 15, we share stories of inspiration from our entrepreneurs. Afterwards, from December 16 to December 25, we explore spiritual, religious and family traditions, as well as, winter rituals. Finally, from December 26 to January 1, we will end the series with stories of affirmation and forward movement in this next cycle, 2020.

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