South Los Angeles is witnessing the rise of a culinary hero: Kulcha Flavaz, a new Afro Carribean food truck driven by Karim Mejia’s passionate pursuit. Drawing from his Belizean heritage and a desire to share healthy, authentic cuisine, he found invaluable support and guidance from the South LA BusinessSource Center (BSC).

Through BSC-tailored support, Karim’s humble street food booth, brimming with vibrant flavors, is poised to become a roaming Los Angeles fixture.

Growing up in Belize, Karim was engrossed in a rich environment of foods, each bearing a distinctive story. However, it was his grandmother who played the most significant role. “She shared her culinary expertise and instilled in me a passion for cooking,” he reminisced.

This ingratiated passion for a healthier lifestyle led to the birth of Kulcha Flavaz in 2020. “The idea emerged from a desire to bring the diverse and vibrant flavors of Belizean cuisine to a broader audience,” Karim explains. “But I also wanted to celebrate the deliciousness of ethnic foods while prioritizing health and wellness.”

Guided by the motto “Let food be thy medicine,” Karim found success through his culinary delights. Before long, he decided it was time to branch beyond the confines of a street booth. This desire drove his need to be mobile, inevitably landing on food truck services. However, the path to opening a food truck wasn’t paved with spices and smoke.

Karim faced various obstacles, from navigating permits and regulations to securing funding and crafting a sound business plan. This is where the BSC stepped in; he was connected with VSEDC Business Coach Jennifer Laurent, who guided him through the maze of business legalities.

Jennifer provided Karim with a comprehensive package of resources and expertise. He received the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the intricacies of establishing his business, from financial management workshops to one-on-one coaching. Additionally, Jennifer helped him connect with potential funding opportunities, which was key in securing a $200,000 Kickstarter grant that allowed him to purchase a truck.

“Karim’s story underscores the importance of building a solid business infrastructure, which can lead to grants, business loans, and expand from street vendor to food truck operator or brick and mortar.”

Jennifer Laurent, VSEDC Business Coach

Kulcha Flavaz is set to open its doors (or rather, windows) soon, and Karim is excited to share his culinary creations with a broader audience. He plans to offer free and low-cost nutritious meals to underserved Jefferson and Exposition Parks communities, making healthy eating accessible. On other days, the truck will become a mobile kitchen capable of fulfilling catering contracts, further expanding its reach and impact.

Karim’s story transcends the realm of business success into community hero status, nourishing bodies and souls with every flavorful bite. With the BSC by his side, Karim is ready to drive his dream forward, one delicious and impactful meal at a time.

“Jennifer’s expertise and guidance were invaluable, and they helped me overcome challenges I wouldn’t have been able to face alone,” Karim reflected.

Don’t miss out on this Belizean food truck’s delicious offerings this Sunday at Headwraps at the Hive in South LA.

Visit Kulcha Flavaz at 4395 Leimert Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90008, or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.