Food entrepreneur wins accolades – World Refugee Day 2018

food entrepreneur
Kaltum won 2nd place at the Women Entrepreneurs Conference in April

Salt Lake City, Utah – honoring a refugee woman who has become a food entrepreneur

Kaltum Mohammed, a refugee from Sudan, has always dreamed of being a chef. Since resettling in Salt Lake City in 2008, Kaltum has taken advantage of every resource available. A participant of the International Rescue Committee’s Spice Kitchen Incubator program, she has utilized extensive small food business start-up knowledge, small business loans, and matched savings programs to become a food entrepreneur. She recently came in second out of 94 applicants in a grant competition for women entrepreneurs.

Beginning as a small catering business, Kaltum introduced some of the first authentic Sudanese cuisine to Salt Lake City. She and her husband have spent numerous days in the scorching Utah heat, frying falafel and sambusa at outdoor festivals and farmers’ markets. Even during the months of Ramadan, you can find Kaltum excited to be cooking in our shiny commercial kitchen.

Utah women entrepreneurs storyIn the chilly spring of 2017, Kaltum took the biggest step yet as a food entrepreneur to expand her business: buying a food truck. She has since had it repainted and branded as Mother of All. It was extensively renovated and permitted through the health department’s ever-changing standards, all the while taking advantage of every opportunity to be a visible business at food truck round-ups, catering events, and farmers’ markets.

As a testament to her success, Kaltum was recently invited to San Francisco to help cook for the La Cocina Annual Gala, a food business incubator that is the model for Spice Kitchen and many other food incubator programs across the country. Her Sudanese falafel received high accolades in a city renowned for its diverse food scene.

I believe that my time working at Spice Kitchen has been enhanced by knowing and working through the bumps in the road with Kaltum. She is an inspiration to all of us here at Spice Kitchen and a constant reminder of why we come to work everyday. We’ve had the great pleasure of seeing her grow in every direction of small business ownership. Her ever-friendly face and drive to succeed is extremely admirable, and just a few of the many reasons she is constantly mentioned as an example to other aspiring food entrepreneurs in the Spice Kitchen Incubator program.

Refugees shaking hands

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World Refugee Day 2018

This month, to celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20, US-born Americans across the United States honor newcomer Americans with a story from their state – a story of a refugee, asylee, or immigrant they admire. From soldiers to politicians, employers to students, social workers to business people – everyday Americans tell their stories to celebrate the goodness and courage of the newcomers who make the United States a better place.

Every day in the month of June, the Refugee Center Online will publish a new story from a different state. Check back for new stories each day:

Learn more about World Refugee Day. All across the country, there will be events celebrating World Refugee Day. Visit this map to find an event in your community.

About Jackie Rodabaugh
Jackie Rodabaugh is the Marketing and Logistics Specialist at Spice Kitchen Incubator, a culinary incubator program of the International Rescue Committee In Salt Lake City. She spent her first year as an AmeriCorps VISTA and couldn’t get enough! Most of her time at work includes developing marketing plans with program participants, facilitating volunteer opportunities, developing community partnerships through outreach, and testing all kinds of amazing food.