- Faith & Family
Local caterer Kelly Hunter recently transformed his passion for cooking into King of Foods, Inc, a full-service catering and event planning company. But, if you ask his mother, the chef’s affinity started many years ago.
“He really took a liking to cooking as a child,” said Karen Hunter-Jackson. “As he got older, he told us he didn’t want any help. The food tasted great and I’m proud to say that we were his first guinea pigs.”
The Bethune-Cookman University alumnus incorporated informal market research and his hospitality management training into King of Foods. The firm serves a vast array of private clients in addition to local government and community organizations. The chef mixes a pinch of service and two scoops of entrepreneurial excellence to create his recipe for triumph.
The sweet smell of success
“I always liked entrepreneurship because it offers you a chance to build wealth and have independence,” he said. “I gravitated towards cooking because I was good at it and my family encouraged me along the way. With King of Foods, I want to give all my customers the best tasting food and entertainment experience possible.”
Kimberly Bankhead, vice president for administration of the South Florida chapter of the National Black MBA Association, collaborated with Hunter on several community service projects over the past few years. She commends his growth.
“Kelly is awesome,” Bankhead said. “The food is favorable and he serves the community. What more can you ask? He has been instrumental in supporting the catering needs of several community efforts to great success.”
Hunter partners with public officials and community organizations to host events catering to young males. During these teen summits, young men gain exposure to positive role models and receive advice on decision-making and goal setting.
“Every company has a social responsibility to give back to their community especially minority-owned businesses,” he added. “Black kids have too many negative examples. I wanted to present a positive one.”
Jimmy Grissom, an 18-year-old attendee at a recent Spaghetti Talk teen summit called the opportunity “a blessing.”
“Not many young people get the opportunity to have powerful people take you aside, talk to you and give you advice,” Grissom said. “It was an incredible experience.”
Log on to KingofFoods.com for the latest information on Hunter’s community service projects and his recipes of the week.
By Zachary Rinkins
Miami Times writer