Today we’d like to introduce you to Mammie Luke
Pre Covid: Chef Kyle Luke MBA worked as a college professor and Chef instructor in Miami, FL at Johnson & Wales University and Miami Dade College Mammie Luke : Award winning marketing specialist at Segal Trials Mid Covid- Lost jobs forced to move back to Tampa. Started selling dinners out chef Kyle’s childhood home… and grew from there now we are located in Ybor City.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We are proud to be considered “black sheep” cause nothing comes easy! No banks, no Covid aid government assistance, no family investor, no investors, started this journey with our savings! All organic marketing, drove from Miami to Tampa every weekend for the first two months before finally relocating back. Lost several family members due to Covid and mental illness during the pandemic. But……. if no one would have tried our food we would not be having this conversation so we remain grateful.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My husband and I opened up the Black Chef Eatery as a social experiment in May 2020. Due to Covid-19 Kyle lost both of his jobs working as a professor of culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University as well as the Miami Culinary Institute. We pivoted and began to sell dinners out of Kyle’s childhood home in Tampa Bay via social media platforms such as Instagram. Our business which was initially referred to as “The Pink House” quickly picked up momentum and we began traveling from Miami to Tampa every weekend. Before long, our customer base detonated resulting in lengthy lines down residential streets. We began the search for a commercial establishment to expand our family business and caught wind of an opening in Ybor City. We jumped at this opportunity because we truly felt it was the perfect location. The Black Chef Eatery opened up in Ybor City in September of 2020 and remains entirely self-funded. Within 90 days we hit 100k in revenue sales. We are known for our Yuppi sauce and wings which are sweet, savory, tangy and have become a staple in the Tampa community. My godmother always referred to us as Yuppis and when we finally looked up the definition we instantly fell in love with the meaning behind this terminology. Yuppi short for “young urban professional” is defined by Websters Urban Dictionary as a well-paid millennial that is about their business, fashionable and very progressive. For the majority of our generation that is the best way to define us because we are go-getters about our business while remaining chic as well as open-minded. Yuppie is not indicative of a food item trait but a movement. It is not tangible but rather an energy that manifests as the best possible version of oneself. No matter your calling you should embody it as a yuppie holding yourself to the highest standard and ultimately striving to be the best possible version of yourself. When asked about the meaning of Yuppie we encourage customers to search for the definition themselves. This is by no means sarcastic but reflects the foundation of the overall movement. Our goal is that through this you’re able to reflect how it relates to you specifically as a person. In essence, this is at the core of our business model. We strongly believe in giving the community the food that they deserve. It is all homemade with ingredients of exceptional quality but most importantly prepared with love. Without a doubt, I believe our vision itself sets us apart. We are committed to the black collective and as such strive to rise above outdated generational conditioning. We are more than a color and expect to be held to the same caliber of other great chefs regardless of race. We at the Black Chef Eatery want to give back to the community by setting a precedent, shifting the focus solely to our food, and investing in startups. However, again this is a movement. We are more than our food, we are a lifestyle, a contagious spread of positivity throughout the community combating stereotypes that hinder personal growth. We believe that with love, an open mind, and an optimistic outlook anything is possible. Our hours of operation are Wednesday-Thursday 1pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 3pm-3am and Sunday 3pm-10pm. We also offer additional services such as catering. For more about the Black Chef Eatery visit us at https://www.theblackchefs.com/
What were you like growing up?
I was born and raised in Baltimore. Growing up I was always outgoing, witty, and determined. Kyle grew up in Tampa Bay, Fl and from a very young age took an interest in cooking with his father. He was able to get a scholarship for Johnson & Wales University: one of the best culinary schools in the world. He graduated with a bachelor’s in culinary arts and a master’s in business administration with a concentration in hospitality. During his time there, Kyle worked as a teacher’s assistant to about 10-12 chefs. His job was to ensure students grasped the concept of culinary arts, felt confident enough, and had the skills to really go forth and be a force in the culinary industry. He had to complete demos, skills sessions, and help students with functions outside of the university. This included campus-wide events, city events, volunteering, things of that nature. This is where we met. We were both leaders on campus and it was an instant personality match. I graduated with a master’s in Marketing, Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management. Our similar interests heavily influenced our vision to merge culinary arts and hospitality together. We’re both hilarious, progressive, personable, and extremely open-minded.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.theblackchefs.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theblackchefeatery/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackChefEatery/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeIEzNvO7b7itfUc9tqUeEw
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-black-chef-eatery-tampa
Ashley Canay & FOOD PICTURE are Grubhub