In 2016, Kirsten Townsend, Jo Theron and Shannon Davis of Being Frank decided to use their skills to make a tangible difference in their community. As creative entrepreneurs, these Joburg natives launched Pimp My Street Kitchen – an initiative to raise funds to transform three informal food vendor trailers into well-branded, health-and-safety-compliant mobile food trailers with fully equipped and functional kitchens. And rather than just providing them with the tools to run their kitchens, the three food vendors will also be upskilled with the business knowledge to grow their patron base and share the information they gain with other vendors, further spreading the good work throughout their communities.
Inspired to empower other female entrepreneurs, Being Frank understands not just the importance of branding to help grow a business, but also the importance of informal businesses and traders in the South African economy. Together they recognised three passionate chefs in Alitha Ndlovu (who operates in Parkmore), Busi Priscilla Khumalo (whose food truck can be found in Rivonia) and Johanna “Lady Jo” Ramufhi (who is trading in Hyde Park), and are now working to rebrand and renovate their businesses. While Being Frank’s original plan was to embark on a visual identity project with Ali, Busi and Lady Jo, it didn’t take long before they realised that the business issues facing these women were far larger than a simple lack of eye-catching branding. Through their Indiegogo campaign, their goals are now much larger, and by the time they reach their target, each chef will be equipped with a full mobile kitchen that includes refrigeration and access to water.
On 5 March, Being Frank will host a fundraiser at King Kong in Troyeville in collaboration with The Cook’s Table to help them reach their goal of providing these three talented chefs with new food trucks. At R350 per person (including drinks and entertainment) you can expect to meet the chefs and enjoy a three-course meal at this incredible African-themed pop-up lunch. Tickets are limited and are available online.
Words: Lucy Sarah Heaney