We are proud to announce the latest recipients of our CoMo Cooks Minority Scholarships, Abbey Mitchell of Abbey's Swahili Delights and Rebekah Irby of The Bakery.
Abbey Mitchell is the proud mother of two who moved to Columbia from Mombasa, Kenya. She worked in the hotel industry for more than 10 years in Kenya. She has a passion for cooking, traveling, making new friends and learning new things. Swahili cuisine offers a wide array of flavors and is influenced by a diverse set of cultures including Arabic, Portuguese, and Indian. Abbey offers a mix of traditional and innovative techniques to create unique offerings using local ingredients. Abbey can be found on Instagram at @abbey_mitchell and at the Columbia Farmers Market.
Rebekah Irby is a trained chef focusing on pastry and baking. She has worked in restaurants as a chef de partie and sous chef and is now branching out on her own. She fell in love with making croissant because of the skill and discipline it takes to produce them. The Bakery focuses on a variety of croissant, brioche, and other European confections. Rebekah can be found on Instagram at @thebakery_como and at the Orr Street Farmers and Artisans Market.
The CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen is a commercial kitchen and food business incubator located on The Loop. Our mission is to encourage the growth of local food entrepreneurs by creating opportunities for those without easy access to a commercial kitchen, including those who have been historically impacted by racial, social, and economic inequality.
One way we’re lowering barriers to entry for food-based businesses is through our minority scholarship program. Thanks to the support of Central Bank of Boone County and the City of Columbia, we are able to offer two scholarships of $3000 each plus a 6-month, Tier 1 membership in the kitchen. We are also partnering with the Missouri Women’s Business Center for free business coaching for our recipients.
Both Abbey and Rebekah will be staring in the CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen immediately so keep an eye on our website—comocooks.com--and socials to follow their progress and learn new ways to find their delicious offerings.
The Business Loop Community Improvement District is an organization dedicated to creating an attractive and authentic multimodal corridor; attracting and retaining dynamic and innovative businesses, employees, and investors; designing a street that is safe, vibrant, and healthy; and communicating the importance of the area to Columbia. The CID has a multi-year Corridor Plan designed to revitalize The Loop and an Economic Development Plan based on makers and small-scale manufacturers.
Missouri Women’s Business Center is a program of CMCA dedicated to providing small business development assistance with a focus on women, minorities, and low-to-moderate income-based entrepreneurs throughout Mid-Missouri. This is accomplished through coaching, relevant programming, training, events, and continued support and resources to help entrepreneurs set and reach their business goals. From initial concepts to building a steady stream of economic resources, our mission is to break down the barriers that women and minorities in our community face when owning and operating or growing a business. The deeper purpose of the MoWBC is to assist CMCA on their mission to eradicate the causes and conditions of poverty through individual empowerment, access to resources, and entrepreneurial success.