A Fresh Wind Catering Campaign to Fund Food Truck Purchase

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Through a crowdfunding investment campaign, A Fresh Wind Catering hopes to secure enough funding to purchase a new food truck to better serve the community and nonprofit partners.

Trina Williams, owner of A Fresh Wind Catering, launched the campaign on Sept. 22 and reached half of her minimum target in five days, according to a press release. As of Oct. 7, she’s raised $14,450 from 28 investors – 72% of her minimum $20,000 target.

“I’ve been crying tears of joys at the abundance of blessings this community has rained down on me. I’m still in awe and incredibly grateful for everyone who believes in me and this business,” Williams said in the release.

The campaign remains open through this month and investment opportunities begin at $100. Visit HoneycombCredit.com/explore to make an investment.

Williams, a local community activist and Rotarian, founded A Fresh Wind Catering from her home in 2015. Pat Kerrigan, executive director of Oak Hill Collaborative, helped her set up her first Facebook page and set of business cards.

Trina Williams, owner of A Fresh Wind Catering.

As the business expanded, Williams moved A Fresh Wind to the Common Wealth Kitchen Incubator at 907 Elm St., where she made gourmet egg rolls and catering dishes. She has since catered events throughout the Mahoning Valley for celebrities like Snoop Dogg and elected officials, such as U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio. She’s also supported area nonprofits, including Inspiring Minds, the League of Women Voters and the YWCA Mahoning Valley.

In addition to expanding the reach of A Fresh Wind, Williams said she looks to use the food truck as a way to “bring my community along with me” by helping other local startups.

“As a black woman-owned small business, it’s a challenge to access the types of funding that might be available for others, and I know I’m not alone in that challenge,” she said. “The food truck will serve as a catalyst for other small business owners to follow in my footsteps, change their path in life, and pursue something that brings them and their community joy. I’ll rent the truck out to other small start-ups on the days I won’t be using it, to help others who are starting out find a bigger customer base and path forward.”

Williams will also use the food truck to serve local students and provide fundraisers for nonprofits in the City of Youngstown.

KO Consulting LLC, a Struthers-based community and economic development company, connected Williams with Honeycomb Credit in Pittsburgh to build and manage the crowdfunding investment campaign. Individuals who make an investment through the campaign can earn a return.

Having a regional resource to court investments for startups in the Mahoning Valley is “a win-win opportunity,” said Kristen Olmi, chief economic development strategist at KO Consulting.

“This type of campaign, that catalyzes the power of the community to invest in small business – this is Main Street investing, and something we need more of in the Valley,” Olmi said. “We’re proud to stand beside Trina and support her through this campaign, and proud to see so many people in our community show their support.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.