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Meet Nadira Jenkins-El of Global Fusion/The Cutting Board Bakery and Cafe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadira Jenkins-El.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nadira. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Food has always been a part of my life, my first cooking memory was being in the kitchen with my mother learning how to make scrambled eggs for my Pop-pop. Serving him that plate brought me so much joy! Both of my parents and grandmother had passions for cooking which was passed down to me and my sister’s.

As a child, I remember making veggie sandwiches and making fresh juice that my father would sell at local health food stores then when I would visit my grandmother she was always baking and cooking up some delicious food and my sister, and I were her helper. Growing up in my family food was the center of everything.

For years I held many positions that I enjoyed, but it wasn’t until I worked with youth that I discovered that I could make a living doing what I loved, feeding people! I ran an after school program that taught inner-city teens about entrepreneurship in Baltimore, Md. The students always showed an interest in them as they called it weirdo meals I would bring in.

From their request, I began teaching a healthy snack/meals cooking class weekly which led to me starting a catering business that employed the brightest students in my cooking class. Not knowing much about running a sustainable food business the business closed after two years. Wanting to become successful in my new found passion I went to The Art Institute to study Culinary Management.

From my experiences as a chef, it led me to want to open a home confectionery business to serve plant-based/ vegan gluten-free, and no refines sugar desserts. My mother and grandmother both had/have diabetes and I was really interested in creating desserts that people with health concerns could enjoy and not feel guilty when indulging. This is how Global Fusion LLC. came into being.

While I worked as a chef at Whole Foods I began building my company by vending and selling my desserts at local swap meets and farmers markets. Soon I left my position at Whole Foods and began to solely focus on building my brand.

Within a year Global Fusion was taking off, and I was looking for help and a commercial kitchen. Sabrina Metherell who was a friend of mine and pastry chef soon came on board to help and eventually took over operations while I traveled.

Once returning from my travels, Sabrina and I decided to venture into vegan food along with expanding our dessert line. With me not living in Tucson anymore, I wanted to focus on vending in the Phoenix area. We soon linked up with Zen Nights Inc and began selling our deliciousness and as many events as we could.

Less than a year later the opportunity of taking over an existing vegan cafe came to me, and we soon purchased (August 2018) The Cutting Board Bakery and Cafe at 2235 S. Power Rd Ste 116 Mesa, Az. 85209

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been full of ups and downs. The struggles I found were obstacles that were needed to help me grow in one way or another. I truly believe that anything I want I can accomplish as long as I follow my heart and spirit and work through all things that present themselves as struggles. There is a solution to everything you just have to be able to find it with an open mind and heart.

Please tell us about Global Fusion/The Cutting Board Bakery and Cafe.
Global Fusion LLC and The Cutting Board Cafe offers a variety of plant-based foods and desserts. We have developed a reputation for our vegan soul food like our mac n cheese, coconut greens, and pecan pie bars. What sets us apart from other’s is our pure joy desire and creativity of turning traditional flavors and recipes into healthier animal cruelty-free plant-based deliciousness.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My proudest moment was standing by our restaurant seeing our customers enjoy their meals or dessert. The looks on their faces are priceless!

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Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Sheila Seabreeze-Bey

    February 28, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Now this is Entrapernuer Ship so very proud of you. Makes my hear Happy. Praise ALLAH

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