We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonya Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonya, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
By the end of my career, I would like to have built a wellness empire that focuses on healing trauma and inspiring people to live healthier lives. I want to create a space for people to eat well and truly be well. My degrees are in social work. I plan to combine my knowledge of mental health issues and trauma with my love of cooking & helping others. This combination will allow me to achieve my overall goal of healing people in my community.
What should our readers know about your business?
I grew up in foster care in Louisiana. I always knew I wanted to give back after I aged out of the foster care system. So many people had given to me and helped me achieve my goals. When I opened Nola Vegan, my goal was to provide jobs to teens leaving foster care. I accomplished that goal. It wasn’t easy. The journey is still challenging. We closed our physical doors due to Covid and pivoted to catering and popup dining. I’m learning that owing and growing a business comes with ebbs and flows. I’ve learned that passion isn’t enough. It’s about staying the course and truly believing in your vision. I want the world to know that Nola Vegan and our wellness brand is here to stay. We are relaunching and we will continue to be committed to serving our community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this question! If my friends were visiting NOLA for a week, I would first start with a walk downtown; or perhaps take a bicycle tour of the city.. Next, I’d invite them to see the amazing artwork near Jackson Square and talk to the local talent. Then, we would have dinner and drinks at one of the many amazing local restaurants. Of course, I’d have to cook a delicious vegan meal as well. We would visit a couple rooftop bars and dance the night away. We might even catch a live Jazz show.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to the numerous young adults that age out of foster care each year. They inspire me to continue my work. I want to shout to my foster mother Shirley Nero who gave me my drive and is one of my biggest supporters. Also, my two biggest fans Mike & Liz, who taught me to be brave by always being there to watch me fly, sink or swim. Last, and never least my babies Olivia, Zoe & Emory. They are the reason for it all. Love you all.