A message from Noobtsaa Philip Vang,
Halcyon Incubator Fellow and Foodtrepreneur
Growing up, I saw how my mother — and recent immigrants like her — faced cultural barriers that kept her from earning a sustainable living wage. Many immigrants spent years cooking for their families at home, but were never paid for it. I realized that there was an abundance of untapped culinary talent in our immigrant and refugee communities — and it had a strong potential to create income opportunities while connecting these brilliant chefs’ culture, family history and home with eager new audiences.
I came to Halcyon with an idea: to provide a commercial kitchen and digital platform where independent home chefs could prepare and sell their authentic (and insanely good) ethnic cuisines directly to customers.
This idea would also be much more. It would be a mechanism for first-generation immigrants to share their rich culinary heritage with the larger community. It would serve as a creative outlet for home chefs to take pride in their talents and traditions, while introducing consumers to authentic dishes they can’t find anywhere else. And by offering home-made meals directly from the chef, it would forge a more personal connection between creator and consumer.
Halcyon was the catalyst that helped me activate that idea and build it into a real business. It provided a safe space for me to experiment and test my MVP, whether it was through new pitches, customer interviews, or product testing. That practice and iteration let me discover what worked and what didn’t — that was key to my start-up’s growth and success.
Within five months, Halcyon had helped me transform my idea into a thriving venture. Because of Halcyon, I’m empowering people in marginalized communities to share their culinary traditions and earn a sustainable income.
Halcyon seeks and celebrates creativity in all forms and galvanizes creative individuals aspiring to promote social good. We bring together diverse groups of changemakers in art and social enterprise, offering an ecosystem of advocacy that encourages socially engaged creatives to learn, freely experiment, sometimes fail, and advance their talents and visions. In doing so, we foster new pathways to knowledge and resources, and help innovators transform their inspiration into impact.
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