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When Chef Soleil isn’t catering delicious dishes, you will find her preparing food and inspiring people at pop-up events around town that are sponsored by organizations that empower and uplift the inner city of Cincinnati. She enjoys offering advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. / Image courtesy of Soleil Kitchen // Published: 1.31.19
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A Passion for Cooking Led Chef Soleil to Cook for the Community

Have you ever been in a bind for good catering for an event, but didn’t know where to look? Soleil Kitchen has the cuisine you need to take your occasion from adequate to appetizing. Since its 2016 launch, the catering business has made a tasty mark on Cincinnati with the help of owner Chef Soleil.

As a Cincinnati native, Soleil recognized the limitations and disadvantages in the black community—especially regarding the lack of access to healthier foods. So she made it Soleil Kitchen’s mission to pour a variety of healthier, multicultural options into the community.

Growing up, Soleil's mother would throw events for the holidays where she whipped up all types of amazing food. This set the path for Chef Soleil’s future; she also enjoyed throwing events and feeding friends out of her own home, not knowing her passion would turn into her profession one day.

She began making a profit when she cooked meals, posted them online, and asked friends about pricing. As demand for her food grew, she started her own business. Soleil Kitchen (formerly known as L’Mari Catering) opened in 2016 and now feeds hungry local people and corporate functions alike, as well as clients as far away as Dayton, Columbus, and Atlanta.

Soleil is more than just an ordinary catering company for organizations and small parties, though. The business started out preparing individualized meal plans for personal customers, which it continues to do today. A typical day for Chef Soleil and her team includes going over a client’s profile, creating a customized grocery list, shopping for local organic ingredients, and preparing healthy meals for delivery.

With her love of southern cuisine, Chef Soleil ties in a variety of cultural flavors in all her meals, creating a signature twist on each recipe.

Chef Soleil’s motto is “if I won’t eat it myself, I do not serve it.”

Soleil Kitchen strives to provide delicious food that’s well-seasoned, less fried and greasy, and specialized enough to provide menu options for just about anyone’s diet.

When she isn’t catering, you'll also find her preparing food and inspiring people at pop-up events sponsored by organizations that empower and uplift the inner city of Cincinnati. Her advice to future entrepreneurs is to never base your business off others, but rather you should research your competitors and scope out the market you are looking to enter. She emphasizes how important it is to “take nothing as personal; it’s just business.”

You can expect Soleil Kitchen to serve more clients, open a restaurant or food truck in the city of Cincinnati, and continue to give back to the community that played a major part in Soleil’s identity.

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For more on Soleil Kitchen, check out their website.

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