In recognition of National Women’s Small Business Month, meet Vanessa Gray, owner and co-operator of “Nessa’s Snack Shop,” a mobile food vendor specializing in Italian Ice and other ice cream novelties. Vanessa, better known to friends and family as Nessa, grew up in the city of Woonsocket where she still lives today. She’s decided to make her home to her newest venture. While currently seasonal, Nessa hopes that she can continue to work and grow in the near future.
When asked about the mission of her business, the Woonsocket native shared a passion and commitment to the youth of her community. She believes in ensuring that all kids have a bright moment in their day, and feels as though she gets to be a part of that joy every time she shares a treat with a child. Nessa and her husband Eddy have been known to offer treats on hot days to youth that didn’t have the cash to purchase something or a piece of candy in exchange for a smile. Her business mission is not to provide only free treats to kids, but rather to remain a positive presence in her community.
Having just completed her second summer of service, this owner and mobile food vendor continues to grow and is exploring new ways to develop as a small food business. With a full time job in addition to her food business, Nessa confirms that cramping in two jobs is a lot of work, but worth it for the joy of being her own boss. She chooses her schedule and priority areas. Making her own community one of those priorities.
For those women that have been thinking about working for themselves or running their own show Vanessa has this advice for you “You can do anything you put your mind to and always believe in yourself! If you dream it, you can make it happen.” She also believes that knowledge is power, so learning everything there is to know about the type of business you want to run before you open it is key. Then you must network in order to continue to learn, connect, and grow the business.
Nessa recently made a new level of commitment to her food business by signing on as a member of the Millrace Kitchen, a special economic initiative of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley. This program is designed to assist small food businesses in getting their start by providing both a physical facility and additional training and coaching supports.
If you are interested in finding where you can see Nessa in her mobile truck email her at email@example.com
For more information on how to start your own food business, email firstname.lastname@example.org