Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tanja Marshall Talks Healthy Eating In The South and Her Atlanta Based Catering Business

When you think of  Southern eating, you think delicious and unhealthy food. However Brooklyn native, Tanja Marshall's Atlanta based catering business, A Healthy Concept, is proving that you can eat great meals and not compromise your health. Below are some excerpts from her interview. You can read the full interview on TripleHQ.

Why launch a food service brand built around health in a city known for southern cuisine?
The primary reason is that I lost two very close friends of mine, one to cancer and another to heart disease. Prior to them passing, I had done a lot of research on how food affects the body and the certain disease are directly connected to how we eat.

When did you discover your passion for cooking?
I come from a Caribbean and Latin background where food is very heavily a part of our culture. I was inspired to find a way to make Latin and Caribbean food healthy, but still, keep the signature tastes and culture incorporated in what I do.


Let’s talk about some of the menu items that you offer.
We try to focus on a lot of plant-based options, particularly when we include Caribbean or Latin culture cuisines. We still do the curry and jerked spices, but we utilize more plant-based or healthier items. As opposed to you getting jerked chicken, you would get jerked fish. We try to hone in on keeping those Caribbean spice and Latin flavors but making sure that we are providing healthier options. Some of our plant-based foods like kale, squash, and zucchini replace heavier starch-based products. For proteins, we use various kinds of mushrooms while incorporating those same ethnic flavors.

The reason we call ourselves A Healthy Concept is that we don’t just focus on vegan, plant-based, or alkaline meals. We develop a course of action based on whatever you already have in your diet and prepare it in a healthier way, gradually transitioning you towards healthier options.

Being Afro-Latino and having launched a business in the south, share with us any experiences you have had with colorism.

There were a few Latin people that I’ve run into who would question me about my background because they didn’t understand that just because I’m Black, I am also Panamanian as well.  They would say I couldn’t be Spanish because I don’t look like what most people expect, a light-complexioned woman with long straight hair.

What has been the biggest lesson that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

The biggest lesson that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur has been that you not only have to focus on your passion because you can have passion or talent, but you have to also focus on the how to develop the business of it all so that your success is long-term.  I have always had a passion to do this. I love to cook.  What I had to do was focus on the business aspects of things, while not losing my creative talent and my passion for what I do.  At the end of the day, you can enjoy and love the work, but if it’s not paying the bills, you are not going to be able to do it for a long period of time.
My challenge was learning how to turn my talent into a business, understanding food costs, and dealing with different vendors to find the best products at the most affordable prices so that I can run a lucrative business.

BE'N ORIGINAL
Publisher/Editor in Chief
http://www.urbanmag-online.com

Friday, February 9, 2018

Memories Should Be Cherished


It was the fall of 2005. I had just moved into my dorm earlier that day and was already heading to my first club experience. The club was a hole-in-the wall located in walking distance from the campus. The girl I was heading there with lived two doors down from me in the dorm. She was also a familiar face, so I was excited to be experiencing this special moment with her.

I didn't know her, but I'd met her earlier that summer during college orientation. The fact that we had met that summer and were living so close during our very first year of college made me think we'd be friends for a long time.

We made it to the club. The smell of weed smoke and alcohol was thick. A lot of people stood around both inside and out. The club, which had a name that sounded like a church, was very small. Being inside of it made me feel claustrophobic. Not much dancing was happening, so I figured others must have felt the same way.  I wasn't sure about her, but I was out of my element.

After that night the two of us were good friends for several weeks. Then we started hanging with others. Well, I was young and couldn't deal with having issues with someone that lived so close to me so I started spending my time in other places where I could meet new people.

I haven't talked to her in a long time, but I like hole-in-the-wall clubs now.


Lashuntrice

Lashuntrice