For Black Futures Month we are highlighting some of our favourite blacked owned businesses, starting off with Aisha Lesley Bentham of Choosing Hue.
Vegan chef, artist-scholar and wellness coach Aisha started the HUE brand six years ago and has worked with a diverse clientele from the international artist WU-tang to clients who want to start their vegan journey.
Her love for food and art motivated her to create a vegan food and lifestyle brand that inspires vegan meals, offers tips and tools on how to be a more sustainable and aware consumer.
She believes in her mission to educate, inform and encourage her community to create a life that has no rules but rather an array of options for you to pick and choose from.
What inspired you to start your business?
When I became a vegan, I did not know many people who were in that lifestyle but I did know lots of people who wanted to embrace that lifestyle. So naturally, as I was cooking for myself and posting it online, many people encouraged me to start a business. I wasn’t game for it at first, but when people started asking me to cater or meal prep, I decided to try it out. This led me down a pretty successful first year, becoming one of the only vegan meal prepping companies in Toronto that focused on sustainable practices. I worked with many clients from single parents to hip hop’s international group Wu-Tang Clan. After many years of cooking for clients, my company evolved into a more educational and consultation business.
What is your ultimate dream in 10 years with your brand/business?
My ultimate dream for my business is to become a household name in the field of vegan food and lifestyle. Aligning my passion for health, wellness, sustainability and fashion by creating an apparel line, completing a cookbook and creating a line of sustainable food storing containers.
What challenges did you face as a black entrepreneur?
If you could give any advice to other black business owners what would it be?
Do you!!! Even if it feels like you don’t have an audience, you do! It’s really easy to get caught up with what other people are doing and see their “success” in comparison to yours. But the more you hold on to your ‘youness’, the more you create space for your business to flourish. What does sustainability mean to you and how do you practice it within your business? EVERYTHING! Not only from an environmental perspective but from a health perspective. When running a business, you give all yourself to the work but forget that in the beginning especially, you are the whole business. So, take your time and prioritize your health. If it doesn’t feel like joy and peace, you are not in alignment.
What are some black owned businesses that you are loving right now?
Be sure to follow Choosing Hue: