Meet The Fork Food Lab Entrepreneurial Empowerment Scholarship Winner
Portland is the food capital of New England. One of our great innovations for the food business in Maine has been the Fork Food Lab in Portland.
Fork Food Lab, Northern New England’s only nonprofit food business incubator, awarded the 2020 Entrepreneurial Empowerment Scholarship to Tina Nop. Our friends at Atlantic Federal Credit Union sponsored the award. FFL is on Parris Street in Portland.
The scholarship was created to address the racial-economic gap that inhibits Black, Indigenous, and people of color from starting food businesses in Maine. The $4,300 award will cover the cost of membership at Fork Food Lab for up to 6 months, as well as all licensing costs, and access to free legal, tax, business planning, plus additional marketing.
“This is just so huge for me and my family because I’ve always dreamed of running my own business,” said Nop, whose mother is a refugee from Cambodia. “When I grew up, money was literally hidden inside a cabbage in the fridge,” laughed Nop. “It’s such a blessing to be a part of the Fork community and to have access to their resources.”
Nop plans to use the money to start a food truck business called Sok Sabai, which translates to “peace and happiness” in the Khmer language. Her menu will be a combination of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese comfort foods including beef and chicken skewers, egg rolls, noodle bowls, and wings.
The Fork Food Lab's mission from their website:
By providing entrepreneurs with workspace, equipment, resources, and access to locally sourced ingredients, we support the growth of sustainable Maine-based food businesses.
Fork Food Lab envisions a just, diverse, and sustainable food economy for Maine where food entrepreneurs are supported in their quest to produce high quality and sustainable products utilizing locally sourced ingredients.