Conversation 2 Thursday, January 14, 2021
The impact of COVID-19 on small businesses in North Minneapolis, specifically the food and hospitality industry, and the potential for these businesses to create community vitality and economic prosperity with support from NEON and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Join Warren and Hamse Warfa, Deputy Commissioner at DEED along with Ann Fix, Program Manager of Northside Food Business Incubator and Chef K and Mariam, NEON client and owners of K’s Revolutionary Catering & More.
Hamse Warfa is the Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Appointed in April 2019, Deputy Commissioner Warfa oversees DEED’s Employment and Training Programs, the Office of Economic Opportunity, CareerForce, and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board.
Ann created, launched, and now manages the Northside Food Business Incubator program at NEON, the only industry-specific incubator designed specifically for food businesses in Minnesota. Clients work one-on-one with an advisor to learn how to build a food business, including navigating the city’s food regulations and engaging in market testing opportunities for their products.
Chef K and Mariam
Together, they form “K’s Revolutionary Catering & More.” Mariam handles the management side of K’s Revolutionary Catering & More, and Chef K brings the culinary expertise. Their business fills a niche in African-influenced cooking that accommodates a wide variety of dietary preferences and allergies. They have been involved in the Northside Food Business Incubator Program operated by Ann Fix, where they have received one-on-one coaching to help build their business.