Nekia Hattley’s entrepreneurial journey is a delicious tale of love, inspiration, and an unwavering passion for promoting health through food. Vegan Chef Nekia utilizes her father’s recipes and her personal experiences with plant-based diets to create unique fusions of taste and health.
After losing her father to diabetes and battling health issues herself, Nekia’s life took a turn when she decided to cut meat from her diet, which led to a remarkable recovery and a new perspective on life—one where food is delicious medicine. Currently studying to become a plant-based nutritionist, she champions the idea of incorporating healthy practices with culture. As she remarks, “You don’t have to give up your culture to be healthier.”
Finances were a significant concern since she hadn’t been saving to start a business. She worked for another plant-based company and stepped into entrepreneurship with a can-do attitude instilled in her by her father.
Nekia started her business in 2018 as ‘My Daddy’s Recipes’, with her culinary journey launching at the Highland Park night market, where the community’s craving for vegan food sparked the inception of her first event. Seeking to expand her business acumen, she took courses offered by VSEDC, which she credits for helping her understand the mechanics of running a business. With further assistance from Jenn Laurent, VSEDC Business Coach, Nekia obtained her business license for the City of Los Angeles.
“The organization introduced me to a plethora of opportunities and presented opportunities to expand my business network,” she remarked.
Vegan Chef Nekia separates herself through her diligence and research to provide vegan dishes that provide healthier options without sacrificing taste. Her peach cobbler, sweet potato cheesecake, and mac ‘n’ cheese are community favorites—the latter of which she insists is second-to-none.
Looking forward, Nekia envisions her brand as a household name. Her ambitious plans include a YouTube TV show to teach people how to veganize recipes, expanding to additional grocery stores, and educating the community on becoming smarter consumers.
Nekia’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to her resilience and determination. Follow her continued quest on Instagram and follow VSEDC to look see the many entrepreneurs and businesses that VSEDC helps to realize success.