Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our WBA Graduate- Cesily Cannon

Posted on 8/25/2022 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News
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Cesily Cannon is the owner and operator of Cesily’s L♡ve Meals, a catering company that specializes in offering full service catering for wedding, parties and many other social events. The company prides itself on offering a variety of southern inspired dishes (using fresh ingredients) that are prepared with love. We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

My journey to entrepreneurship began with not only a passion for cooking but also the need to serve others. After seeing the challenges many people were facing as a result of the pandemic, God laid it on my heart to use the gifts He gave me to serve those experiencing these challenges. This led me to begin providing meals for people affected by the pandemic, particularly essential workers. I believed if I could lessen their burden by providing healthy meals, I would be honoring my call to serve others.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

Cooking has been my passion since I was first allowed to use the stove!  The kitchen is where I have my fondest memories of my grandmother, who taught me to cook. Going into this field would honor not only my grandmother but also my mother since they both expressed their love and passion for serving others through food. They instilled in me the belief that if you could help someone along the way, then your living wouldn’t be in vain.

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

While this business began as a passion project, it soon developed into much more. I was now cultivating new relationships, new opportunities, and new perspectives. One of those new relationships actually led me to the opportunity to apply for LAEDA’s Women’s Business Academy. After being accepted into the program, it was impactful in ways that I could not have imagined. It not only led to additional relationships with individuals who were willing to share resources but also to knowledge and information that continues to benefit me in ways I could not fathom. The program has served me well and has been a conduit to both continued professional and personal growth.

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

While the journey has been filled with ups and downs, my company has begun to gain momentum. I have a dedicated team that continues to afford me the ability to grow. I have been able to provide healthy meals to multiple schools and hospitals in the New Jersey area as well as cater for a number of celebrities including comedians Mo’Nique and Bill Bellamy and NFL player Hassan Reddick.

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

Since the completion of the program, my business continues to thrive as a result of the skills, relationships, and resources gained as a result of my participation. I have continued to implement many of the strategies and evidence based practices learned and to assess every detail of our operation ranging from preparation to presentation. As a result, the company’s profile continues to grow and its services continue to expand. Cesily’s  Love Meals is held in the highest regard by many and is continuing to solidify its reputation as a company of quality and professionalism in the industry.

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

My advice would be to NOT get discouraged. You can’t let naysayers deter you from your dream…. You just have to walk out on faith! If it’s your passion, God will allow the right people/ opportunities to come into your life. For me, that includes the LAEDA family (including staff, instructors, and classmates) since they have continued to help me move forward even after class was over. 

About Cesily Cannon:

Cesily founded Cesily's Love Meals LLC in 2020 with the idea of bringing her southern roots and love of cooking into the hearts and souls of her community. With 20+ years of experience in the restaurant industry, Ms. Cannon brings you a unique soul food cuisine with the freshest ingredients, time-honored techniques and a whole lot of love!

Cesily's Contact Info:

Visit the website: Cesily’s Lve Meals

Connect with her on social media: Facebook and Instagram

Contact her by email: hello@cesilyslovemeals.com

Contact her by phone: (609) 997-1224

 

About the Women's Business Academy: 

The Women's Business Academy (WBA) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals as well as business planning, business counseling, and continued technical assistance. Apply online at www.laedawbc.com or www.LAEDA.com.

  
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