The mother-daughter team and owners of Wholesoul: A Lavender and Sage Eatery serve healthy and wholesome soul food. The north Minneapolis-based company focuses on providing costumers with high-quality food and healthy eating options. Their goal—to get more nutrients and delicious food into the hands and mouths of consumers.
Owners Kathleen Johnson along with her daughters Khelli Johnson (Lavender) and Ordia Drew (Sage) founded the company in 2014. It began as a catering company, however, Wholesoul recently expanded to a mobile food trailer serving food at local festivals, events and businesses throughout the Twin Cities.
After completing a beginner entrepreneurial program, Kathleen and her team contacted the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) for help. They needed capital to get the business started. The staff at NEON worked with Kathleen, Lavender and Sage to assess and understand their financial situation and need. Within a few months, the team at NEON helped the owners apply for two business start-up loans.
NEON creates marketplaces for clients like Wholesoul to test their business models. In 2015, NEON created a pop-up restaurant giving the catering company the opportunity to serve food in a restaurant setting. Wholesoul tested their menu items, dining room management skills and overall aptitude for work in a restaurant. It was invaluable training for a growing business like Wholesoul as they think about expanding to a restaurant in the future.
Using her passion and skill, Kathleen’s leading her team to improve the well-being of her costumers through healthy food options and education. As the head chef, Kathleen works to modify traditional soul foods by incorporating high-quality ingredients into the recipes. Think macaroni and cheese with broccoli and cauliflower and flavored with a trio of caramelized veggies—yum!
Consumers are looking for something different when it comes to food, and Wholesoul offers the variety they’re seeking. The Wholesoul team works hard. But more importantly, they love operating their own business, fulfilling a need for healthy soul food options in the Twin Cities and seeing the smiling faces of their satisfied customers.