We are so proud to introduce you to this year’s Influential Women of Cincinnati. These women are using their unique talents and abilities to make our region a better place. Whether it’s starting nonprofits, creating new communities, or feeding and caring for the less fortunate, these women are making a difference.
Q. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
A. I am a single mom of three kids — 11, 17 and 23. I grew up on a farm in Taylor Mill, Kentucky. We came from very, very humble beginnings. We had nothing, but we had everything. We were extremely poor when it came to cash but so rich in other ways. Because I grew up on a farm, we repurposed everything and never wasted anything. To this day, it’s still at the core of how we function, how we operate and how we do things. And I think that’s the way Magnificent Morsels has been able to thrive the way it has.
Q. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT MAGNIFICENT MORSELS?
A. My mother and my aunt, who are identical twins, originally tried to open their own restaurant years ago, and they just couldn’t quite figure it out. They knew how to cook but not how to run a business — two vastly different things. Unfortunately, it failed a couple of times for them, and they eventually gave up.
I ended up with a difficult pregnancy. For some reason, when I’m pregnant, I can’t eat or drink, which means everything from day one comes intravenously. It’s a nightmare. So I was watching Food Network every day while hooked up to an IV. I made my plan that I would go to culinary school, and my mom and my aunt went with me!
I took a ton of accelerator courses and did a ton of networking. I decided we were going to do things the right way, so I shut everything down, rebranded, marketed myself completely different, and that’s where we have Magnificent Morsels today.
After a rough start, we opened in 2018. We operate outside of Findlay Kitchen, and we do all kinds of off-site catering.
Q. HOW IS MAGNIFICENT MORSELS GIVING BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY?
A. Over the summer, we worked as a vendor with Whole Again to provide meals for the Ohio Summer Foods Service Program, serving over 40,000 children in the greater Cincinnati area. We put out 4,200 meals a week for 10 weeks.
We also worked a community kitchen partnership with La Soupe, serving another 26,000 meals to local families. La Soupe provided us with between 250 pounds to up to 700 pounds of protein a week. It was like being on an episode of “Chopped” every week. Our assignment was to serve Cincinnati Public School students to make sure everyone was eating properly during this tough time.
The program later expanded, and we supplemented local nursing homes and homeless shelters. We also did 50 lunches for local health care workers during COVID.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE DREAMS AND PLANS TO HELP MAKE CINCINNATI A BETTER PLACE?
A. For 2022, we are in the process of forming a collaboration with four local chefs, preparing one mass meal, set up in one location, to feed 1,000 homeless people.
Teaching, empowering, coaching, and faith-building are a huge part of my core. I plan to eventually take Magnificent Morsels and transition it into something so much bigger that will hopefully benefit our city and the tri-state for the long-term. I want to make a commercial kitchen that will be a community classroom where I will teach people the skill of working in a kitchen. The reality is the food and hospitality industry is suffering to find qualified people. If I train people to work in commercial kitchens, they can find gainful employment and take care of their families, and we’ll be supplying the restaurant industry with skilled employees.