Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement
San Francisco, CA
Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement is a corporate and special event catering company. Owned by Fernay McPherson, a San Francisco native, Minnie Bell’s is a San Francisco-based business currently serving tech companies and other businesses, offering wholesales services to The Market on Market, and operating in pop-ups. Currently you can find Minnie Bell’s at Wing Wings in San Francisco on the first Monday of the month from 6-10pm.
“I started my business with a passion for cooking, but I needed help to translate my skills in the kitchen into a business,” remembers Fernay. “Learning to think about how my customers would find me and how I would be able to find them was a critically important moment for me in my business development.”
In 2008 when Fernay decided she wanted to change careers from her corporate job, she chose to go to culinary school. It was challenging to find a job (this field is still very male-dominated), so she decided to start her own business. Her inspiration was the food she grew up eating: the food that her great aunt Minnie and her grandmother Lily Bell would make. Fernay named her business after them and Minnie Bell’s was born.
Minnie Bell’s started by doing small catering gigs and teaching cooking classes to young people. When Fernay wanted to formalize her business in 2011, she joined Urban Solutions’ Enterprising Women program. From there, she learned about La Cocina and joined their program for food entrepreneurs. She also completed an externship with Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen, another Main Street Launch client. Now, Fernay is looking to accelerate her growth in Main Street Launch’s Entrepreneur in Residence program.
“Taking advantage of resources is what has helped my business survive,” reflects Fernay. “Workshops, classes, and meetings are easy to overlook, but these resources (Enterprising Women, La Cocina, and now Main Street Launch) are what have helped my business grow.”
Ultimately, Fernay wants to grow into a brick and mortar space and then franchise. “I’m building a team of great people who I trust, which gives me the confidence I need to step out of the kitchen and run the business. I know they are making the food the way I like it, so I’m able to make time to work on my revenue plans and build the business structure that will help me grow to the next level,” she says.
“My goal is to create more jobs and to help others build their careers in this industry,” says Fernay. “The Entrepreneur in Residence program is giving me the tools I need to achieve this goal.”