Our member spotlight is on Harmony Edosomwan, a chef based in Burlington, VT, who relocated from New York to attend school at the University of Vermont. She loves the natural beauty of the state and felt supported by the people when she first started catering. In this spotlight, Harmony shares her background, her catering business, and being a BIPOC in Vermont.
Tell us a bit about your background before arriving in VT.
I was born and raised in Bronx, NY. My family is from Nigeria, I am Nigerian American. I lived in the boogie down until I was 18. My time in the Bronx was magical but simultaneously hard. There’s so many different cultures in the BX. Often at lunch time folks would bring their native food to lunch and share with me. It was through that exchange I was able to experience foods from across the globe without having to leave the Bronx! I moved to Vermont to study at the University of Vermont where I graduated in 2021 with a BA in English and American Sign Language.
What do you enjoy about being a professional in VT?
What I enjoy about being a professional in VT is how absolutely beautiful this state is. Through my catering and private chef services, I have the opportunity to travel throughout the whole state, this allows me to truly experience Vermont’s nature. From driving past cows and horses, to seeing the dazzling views of the setting sun to the glory of the green mountains, I am blessed to live and work here! I also love how supportive Vermonters are when it comes to local startups. When I first started my business, I was in college, cooking in an apartment that I shared with 5 other roommates.. my friends and classmates would come on through, despite my humble kitchen and were just delighted to have good food.
What are you looking forward to within your own career?
I am looking forward to expanding my catering business, continuing my supper club, and to one day soon have my own storefront! I have huge goals for Harmony’s Kitchen, I want my business to globally be a household name. I am also looking to start having my food offered as a take and bake option in supermarkets and local grocery stores. I am looking for partners! If you’d like Harmony’s Kitchen in your store, feel free to reach out to me!
In what ways could the community or the state of Vermont support BIPOC businesses?
Donate, share resources to information you may have, and help us to network. Introduce us or put us in rooms with folks who can help us grow our businesses.
What advice would you have wanted to receive about being a person of color (POC) living in Vermont before arriving?
Guard your heart. There are great people who live here, but there’s also a bunch of folks who are the complete opposite. So guard your heart. Understand that the racism here is indirect, it can come along with a smile at times so it may be hard to recognize at first especially if you’ve never experienced this kind of racism. Recognize it, but don’t let it weigh you down, guard your heart. Also, take up as much space as you can wherever you go. You belong here just as anyone else.
How do you ensure inclusivity and create a safe environment for the BIPOC community when planning and executing events?
Afrocentricity is the center of my business and all my events. When folks interact with or enter Harmony’s Kitchen or Harmony’s Supperclub, they should know that they are entering into a Black space.