Daughters Of Zion CNPP Grantee Announces Carolyn McLemore As The DOZ CNPP Entrepreneur Of The Week- February 6 – February 12, 2022
By: Nancy Osman
Memphis Mommas/Coco Cookie Bar
Years In Business: 2
Number of Employees: 4
Elevator Pitch “ Fresh food in a pleasant atmosphere- the cornerstone of Orange Mound”
As part of our follow up to the progress the Daughters of Zion CNPP grantee is making within Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond- we are highlighting their weekly Entrepreneur of the Week award. When asked why Carolyn McLemore was selected as entrepreneur of the week, Dr. Gerald Kiner, PhD responded, “ Carolyn McLemore is the epitome of a Memphis Momma and businesswoman. She leads with her heart. She’s never met a stranger; for her to know you is to love you and to know her is to immediately love her. When Carolyn told me that I taught her son when I was a high school teacher and that I was one of his role models – I couldn’t contain my emotions. I had no idea this SBA CNPP grant would bring such great people like Carolyn permanently into my life. She has blessed our Saturday Business MasterClasses so many times with her treats and her affection – it was past time for us to acknowledge her.”
Carolyn McLemore answered 5 questions for the entrepreneur of the week.
Q: Where did the name of your business come from?
A: Memphis Mommas/Coco Cookie Bar is a catering company located in the corner of historic Orange Mound, Tennessee. The names come from two different events. Memphis Mommas came after the death of my son Specialist Cayln A. Mclemore in 2018 and “CoCo” is the alter ego stage name for my Thespian, Performing Art Student at the Amazing Overton High.
Q: How did you start your business
A: After recovering from COVID in the summer of 2020 I began sampling different fruit (strawberry, peach, blueberry, etc..) in based lemonade and battling the sadness that comes during Christmas without my sons Corey(21/Suicide ) and Specialist Cayln (25/ Military Accident) my daughters and I decided not to cook a traditional Christmas dinner instead have a cookie bake off. Well needless to say 6 months later. I resigned from my job. Along with my three daughters Cortne (17) Cura(25) and Carolyn J. (31), we started our small business
Q: What is your vision for your business
A: Our vision is for the community of Memphis to have the amenities that ALL communities deserve access to fresh food in a pleasant atmosphere. Right now our community is considered a food dessert. We want to change that by someday soon placing a deli/ bakery somewhere on Park Ave, the cornerstone of our community (Orange Mound).
Q: How has the Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program impacted you as an entrepreneur?
A: After sharing with my sister Tonya, that I heard about the program, I started attending the Daughters of Zion CNPP zoom meetings in December and the Masterclass meeting on Saturdays. There is no price that I can place on the experience and knowledge passed out free of charge. I shared with Dr. Kiner that my life has come full after connecting with the wonderful people of this organization.
Q: What would you say to other entrepreneurs about becoming apart of the Daughters of Zion Community Navigator Pilot Program
A: Entrepreneurs, if you are ready to take the tools given to you at these Saturday MasterClasses sessions, you can build your business to your highest level of expectation. Be Blessed.