By: Monique Dennis Photos by: Lillian Reitz
Inside a family’s home kitchen, two daughters and their dad decided to start a business. Twice a month, meal service business Curly Girl Cooking prepares culturally inspired dishes for the Corpus Christi community.
In July 2020, Avery (6yo) and GG (7yo) were being homeschooled by their parents Hershel and Jessica Shoat during quarantine. The Shoats were already passing on in-depth historic and cultural knowledge, along with entrepreneurship and financial literacy, that would not have been part of a traditional curriculum.
But beyond the schoolwork, Jessica said they wanted the girls to participate in something bigger. So, they tied their schoolwork into a business idea, and from there, Curly Girl Cooking was born. Child entrepreneurs Avery and GG said they decided to move forward with their plan because it was in their hearts and souls to do so.
“I know who I am, and I was born to have a business,” said GG, as she talked about how dad, Herschel, was a huge inspiration for their business by teaching them about their history and culture.
Avery and GG said they use the lessons from their father to make culturally inspired dishes like Caribbean-inspired jerk chicken with plantains and curry chicken over coconut rice. Other favorites they serve include fried chicken with creme brulee, lasagna, stuffed bell peppers, and skillet chicken parmesan.
The girls said they decide what meals to make every other week by compiling a list of entrée ideas with the family when they all sit at the table to enjoy dinner together.
“Starting a business during the pandemic actually wasn’t that bad,” Avery said in a nonchalant manner. “Our first time selling meals, we set a goal of 30 plates, and we sold all of those plus more!”
Dad said it is always the family’s goal to bring people together through a good meal cooked from the soul with love, but as time goes on and the world continues to recover from a crisis, the economy has made it difficult for them to get meals sold as often as they would like to. He said the inflation of food and supply costs has caused them to look at other ideas for the meals, but that it definitely will not deter them from continuing on with Curly Girl Cooking.
The Curly Girl brand has already made a significant impact on the community, and they not only plan to continue to grow the brand to offer food, jiu-jitsu training, and hair/body products, but also want to educate and bring awareness to local and global issues. Needless to say, this is a pair of ambitious (and busy) six- and seven-year-old girls, who are ready to not just feed the masses, but inspire and educate them as well!
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