A Phoenix, Arizona, chef was able to turn her career around into a successful soul food business after she lost her job due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lynn Minor, who does not have any formal kitchen training and until a couple of years ago, no professional cooking experience, decided to plunge into the restaurant industry with her eyes wide open after some friends goaded her into making a business out of making food.
“Everybody’s like, ‘You really need to do something,’ and I’m like, ‘You all are my friends, you’ve got to love my food.’ I didn’t really think much into it,” Minor told the Arizona Republic. “And then I just said, you know what, I’m going to go for it.”
Minor was working as a project manager for a healthcare company when she launched Hint of Soul as a side project in November 2018. She earned some of her first customers through a friend who danced for the Phoenix Mercury, and her customer base spread by word of mouth.
The business grew so quickly that Minor had to turn down cooking gigs. But when the pandemic struck and she lost her full-time job, she used it as an opportunity to build up her business to sign on with a cloud kitchen she found with an Instagram ad.
“You know what, I was ready for a change,” Minor says. “It fell in my lap, and it was fortunate.”
She now operates Hint of Soul out of a Tempe cloud kitchen — where multiple eateries offer takeout and delivery from a shared space — and brings a delicious menu of Cajun pasta, fried chicken wings, and seafood boils to the public.
Despite Minor’s success with her small business, 90 percent of small businesses have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.