For one of our projects at ProsperUs, Lara and I are interviewing local entrepreneurs to write stories on their journey. One of the companies we decided to reach out to is Guerrilla Food, a grassroots culinary team that has a farm-to-table carry out restaurant, a catering program, and a vintage food trailer. Meiko Krishok grew up in Wisconsin and studied comparative literature in college. Although she didn’t have a traditional background in business, she was always interested in different cultures and traveling, growing up around her grandmothers who instilled in her a strong food culture. Post college, she spent some time traveling and got involved in grassroots organizing and teaching, specifically Asian American teenagers. After living in Detroit for a few years, she was connected to the local food scene as well as a woman who had an old food trailer that was going unused. Meiko decided to take advantage of the opportunity not to create a business, but to bring people together in Detroit, a city she had recently moved to. Over time, this food truck, Pink Flamingo, expanded into a catering company and brick and mortar location.
While talking to Meiko, I realized how important the communal aspect of Guerrilla Food is. So much of the joy that Meiko takes from the business has nothing to do with a monetary aspect, but mainly from bringing people together to enjoy food and culture. To me, this is what makes Guerrilla Food stand out: its commitment to their mission and community. Although Meiko never received formal training in business, she has taken advantage of many resources that have been made available to her; she jumps at every opportunity and is extremely passionate about her work. She recognizes that there are huge learning curves that restrict access to capital and connections, yet throughout her time Meiko has experienced kindness from fellow entrepreneurs. Detroit, although it has its problems, is a special place because of the passion of the people within it. They are resilient and kind, always willing to help one another for the betterment of their community.