UBR Spotlight: Splice Kitchen’s Tonya Ojuluwayo Cooks Up Success

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR contributor Renita D. Young speaks with Tonya Ojuluwayo, founder of Splice Kitchen, one of Chicago’s first shared-use kitchens. Ojuluwayo’s company caters exclusively to food-service professionals and entrepreneurs who want to start and grow their own food-service catering business.

A former banker and marketing executive, Ojuluwayo entered the Splice Kitchen business concept into the 2010 MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES) Business Grant Competition, winning a $25,000 grant. Since then, Splice Kitchen has been featured in such publications as Crain’s Chicago Business, TimeOut Chicago and Black Enterprise. Ojuluwayo was also selected by Ariel Investments and The Urban Business Roundtable as one of Chicago’s “Game Changers,” top Black achievers under the age of 40. Ojuluwayo joins the Roundtable to talk about her recipe for success and her plans for the future.

Also, UBR Contributor Samantha Pass speaks with motivational speaker and lifestyle expert Takeyah Young, founder of Core Connection Lifestyle, a company dedicated to providing essentials for well-balanced living. Featured in RollingOut magazine and The Atlanta Post, Young stops by the Roundtable to share insights on how to make strong and lasting business partnerships.

In addition, in my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I urge UBR listeners to use Small Business Saturday, so designated for the second consecutive year by American Express, as an opportunity to support Black-owned businesses. Small Business Saturday takes this year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26, and is a campaign to get consumers to devote at least a portion of their holiday shopping budgets to spending with small businesses. As I did last year, I celebrate Small Business Saturday and commend American Express and other supporters for establishing this new holiday shopping tradition. Using the occasion to spend with Black-owned companies means directing your dollars to the businesses most likely to create jobs in the urban communities suffering from the highest levels of unemployment. According to The Empowerment Experiment, the buy-Black project created by Chicago’s John and Maggie Anderson, if Black households with annual incomes of $75,000 and higher increased their spending with Black-owned businesses from 2 percent to 10 percent, it could create up to 1 million jobs.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.