Stephanie Teasley

 I'm a freelance writer with editing and administrative experience living in Southern California. I graduated from Antioch University in Los Angeles with an MFA in Creative Writing. For inquiries, please email me at

South LA Cafe Shows the Trifecta of Community Involvement

Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace are the founders and co-owners of South LA Cafe in South Central Los Angeles, also known as South L.A. This Los Angeles area is a community with extremely limited food sources and is considered a food desert, meaning it lacks access to fresh foods and has a “drought of supermarkets.” This results in an influx of fast food restaurants, liquor stores, and small convenience stores.

Joe states this is universal. “Let’s say I go on vacation and want to see some of my peopl

Eat Unrestricted Comforts Food Nostalgia Through the Power of Plants

Dianna King is the brainchild behind Eat Unrestricted, a Georgia-based company that sells vegan cheese sauces with optional flavors, including original, rosemary, chipotle and garlic made from plant protein. The brand also offers mac-n-cheese kits, which King says is her favorite food.

“I grew up with a family that had mac-and-cheese contests to see who had the best mac-n-cheese,” says King, who said that when she transitioned to a become a vegan, the biggest inconvenience was finding a good, t

“Get a Crew and Know Your Worth.” Chef Rene Johnson of Blackberry Soul Shares Lessons Learned Beyond the Kitchen

Chef Rene Johnson is a self-taught caterer who has made a name for herself with her vegan soul food company, Blackberry Soul Fine Catering. Formally working in finance, Johnson switched to culinary work and quickly established herself with an A-list client list, serving everyone from Vice President Kamala Harris to Dr. Cornel West.

Her past interviews have covered her food and success extensively, so I asked what she liked to discuss.

Johnson: I want to talk about life beyond the kitchen! What

Chef Antwon Brinson Competes for His Community on HBO Max’s The Big Brunch

An all-brunch competition helps to highlight those who give back.

“The Big Brunch” is a new HBO Max cooking competition show hosted by “Schitt’s Creek” star Dan Levy. Premiering on November 10, ten chefs are competing to win a $300,000 cash prize, and it highlights entrepreneurs who are doing big things in their respective communities. After completing a series of Zoom interviews to showcase his cooking skills, chef Antwon Brinson secured his spot as a contestant.

Like most reality shows, the

Prosperity Market: Carmen Dianne and Kara Still Create the Change They Want to See

August is Black Business Month; an annual event started in 2004 by Frederick E. Jordan and John William Templeton. Its purpose is to support Black businesses through awareness and how they contribute to their respective markets.

This awareness is crucial; three months into the pandemic in 2020, 41% of Black businesses crumpled, the most out of any other demographic. Many people felt the effects firsthand and watched their communities struggle to provide.

Others, like Kara Still and Carmen Dian

Larry White Builds a Fried Chicken Empire From Family Recipe

One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic was a deeper appreciation and compassion for small business owners. It’s no secret that small businesses were ignored and suffered in 2020, especially ones that were women and minority-owned. As a result, tens of thousands of these owners were forced to close their doors, and unfortunately, many had to make it permanent.

Like everyone, Larry White, also known as “Lo-Lo,” said it affected his livelihood. “We made significant changes,” he say

Peanut Farmer Elisha Barnes Honors Family and Land with Pop Son Farm

“If you can raise enough to have some to give away, you'll always have enough for yourself.”

“The first time I got hooked on farming, I was six years old,” Elisha Barnes says. “I had just gotten off the school bus, and my father, who was out in the field breaking corn with my uncle, climbed on top of our old tractor so I could see him and called my name. I walked over, and he put me on the tractor and explained how to drive it.”

Elisha Barnes, a pastor, peanut farmer and owner of Pop Son Farm,

Small Business Resilience: Indiana’s Da Taco Ladi, Asia-Iqui’ Gearon

Asia-Iqui’ M. Gearon, also known on Instagram as Da Taco Ladi, has single-handedly run her own taco truck business for the last three years. “It’s all me,” she says. “I work five days a week, Wednesday through Saturday.”

Gearon is the personification of tenacity with no formal culinary training or education. It took her less than a year to get her business and taco truck up and running. “I started in a restaurant my first year in business,” she says. “Ten months into business, I purchased a use

Cork & Keg Tours Offers Palatable Wine, Craft Beer and Premium Mentorship

“A military mindset is one that tackles challenges head-on, focuses on solutions, looks ahead at solving problems before they have a chance to even manifest, and making a plan without assumptions,” Renee Ventrice says. “I carry all of that with me in all aspects of running my business: marketing, operations, projections and execution of our tours.”

Ventrice is referring to Cork & Keg Tours, a family business that she owns along with her husband of 26 years, Don. “We like to joke that I’m the ga

Celebrity’s Soul Food Restaurants Nurture Love and Empowerment

“Be wary of jobs that say they treat employees like family” is advice I’ve been given while job searching. More often than not, this means the job will take advantage of you and then pull a guilt trip when you decide to stand up for yourself. Servers, bartenders, cooks, bussers, dishwashers will typically form a bond or alliance and that family feeling is more typical among themselves.

In the 20-plus years that I worked in the restaurant industry, I could count how many good and caring, “I got

Wine Spencer Will Quench Your Thirst For Wine Education

“We are not a winery, but provide wine education,” Shaunna Cooper says. Together with her sister, Shayla Smith, they founded Wine Spencer to bridge the wine education gap and widen the space of inclusivity. They offer a variety of wine tasting classes, from a beginner’s introduction to wine, two separate classes for red and white wine and a classroom that highlights Black winemakers.

“I believe what sets us apart are the various classes we offer,” says Cooper. Smith agrees, sharing, “Wine is a

Kansas’ Only Urban Winery, Jenny Dawn Cellars, Talks Crafting the Perfect Plan for Award-Winning Wines

In May 2017, Jennifer Dawn McDonald took her first trip to Napa, Calif. “I call it the happiest place on earth for me as a wine connoisseur and winemaker,” she says. “I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to Napa. I, of course, had to get my picture taken in front of the Napa Valley iconic sign. I spent time visiting The Wine Foundry and working through a plan to make a pinot noir and chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills.” McDonald’s love for the west coast wine country was established and she made anot

Shoe Crazy Wine is Made from Love and Sole

Gwen Hurt has always had a love for shoes. “As a kid, I would say, ‘God I know you’re listening. One day I want to have as much food as I want and shoes in every color.’” At thirteen, Hurt purchased her first pair of shoes with money she earned from her summer job. “I vividly remember the first pair that I purchased,” she says. “They were gold, closed-toe with kitten heels. I had to buy from the clearance rack, but I loved those shoes.” This purchase held a deeper meaning for Hurt, who was being

Make Your Taste Buds Sing at These Restaurants in Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California is a small desert city that sits a couple of hours east of Los Angeles. As one of nine popular tourist destinations known as the Greater Palm Springs, Palm Springs is an oasis for relaxation and pampering in the warmer months and a winter haven for snowbirds who flock to the desert during the colder months. In addition to beautiful golf courses and world-class spas, Palm Springs is also known for its art and cultural scene. Yearly events in the city extend from The Palm
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