OWNER OF J7’s KITCHEN
Jantier Fennell has always had a passion for cooking; she picked it up at a young age when she would help her mother cook for their big family. Jantier is one of seven children and falls right in the middle. The name of her business – J7’s Kitchen – stems from the close relationship she has with her siblings, who all have names that start with the letter J.
J7’s Kitchen had long been an idea in the back of Jantier’s head. Her mother often encouraged her to start her own food business because of all the compliments they would receive when hosting family gatherings. It took a while for Jantier to finally start taking the steps towards business ownership, but she finally did it after a long time working in the industry for other people and not feeling valued – not to mention the lack of flexibility that came with being a mother to two small children.
In 2018, Jantier bought the licensing for her business, and she eventually opened in 2020 during the pandemic. Between 2018 and 2020, she was caring for her two young children and hustling to make money by selling candy and picking up odd jobs while also taking classes at the Mi Casa Resource Center. After completing their program, Mi Casa referred her to RMMFI, and she enrolled in Business Launch Boot Camp (Aurora Class #3). Jantier credits Monique Walker, RMMFI’s Placement Coordinator who was also her boot camp mentor, with going above and beyond to help her succeed: “Monique helped get my food truck wrapped and stayed on me until I got it done. She wouldn’t allow me to fail. The whole program felt like a big family.”
Today, Jantier is running a full-fledged business and continues to learn new things through each event she attends. She loves making an imprint on the community through food and showing up and being an example of success.
When asked what was next for her, Jantier said that her food truck is a stepping stone to achieving her next goal of working with children who are in foster care. She’s specifically interested in coaching families who foster Black kids and teens and need guidance on things like hair upkeep, style, or any other cultural gaps. She noticed a need for something like this when one of her best friends growing up who was in foster care would get made fun of for her hair not being kept; seeing the damage that did to her friend stuck with Jantier ever since.
It’s also important to Jantier to leave a family legacy and eventually turn the food truck into a large family business, creating an option for any family members who want to do the same thing. Most importantly, Jantier wants her kids to see and believe that they can achieve anything they want. Jantier wants nothing more than for them to gain a sense of good work ethic by seeing what she has accomplished; everything she does is for them.
Check out J7’s Kitchen on Instagram to find more information and to see what’s cooking and where!