So, what does it take to be one of Birmingham’s next big things?
Five finalists hope to find out as they compete in The Big Pitch presented by PNC next weekend. Organized annually by REV Birmingham, The Big Pitch is a Shark Tank-style competition designed to provide technical assistance, mentoring, exposure and capital to Birmingham’s up-and-coming lifestyle and creative entrepreneurs.
REV caught up with one of the five finalists ahead of the competition.
Describe your business/service.
At Encore Rouge, we serve Cajun inspired cuisine and believe passion should be experienced through food! We prepare authentic, flavorful, and bold Cajun fare to satisfy the palette of the soul. Because convenient shouldn’t compromise the joy of dining!
What inspired you to start your business?
I’ve always aspired to be an entrepreneur; however, I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take. The birth of Encore Rouge was ignited by an unforeseen development of a passion for cooking, the realization there was a market for my brand, and my determination to not only succeed but to leave a legacy for my family.
See Encore Rouge pitch their next big thing!
When: Saturday, Nov. 23, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Where: The Gallery at The Pizitiz Food Hall (across from Upswing)
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned throughout the process so far?
Realizing that whether I win or lose, I have done the footwork necessary to make my business more successful. Through this process, I’ve proven to myself that I have what it takes to expand and become a mentor to others.
Outside of the prize, what are you hoping to gain from participating in The Big Pitch?
I’m hoping to gain insight into the most economical next step to expand my brand while maintaining my commitment to creating vibrancy within the city of Birmingham. I also hope to establish business connections/mentors that will serve as resources in the years to come.
What do you want people to remember most about your business?
We are a small family-owned business born and raised in the city of Birmingham with an American Success Story obtained through, authenticity, passion, and faith. Through hard work and sacrifice, we’ve been able to positively influence the culture within the city. We have dedicated customers, who keep coming back for more, hence the name Encore. We have our fingerprint on a market that is sure to create vibrancy within the city of Birmingham; as our brand already pulsates throughout the Magic City.
If given the opportunity, it would be a natural step to continue growth within a city that has had a positive influence in my life and who’s mission aligns with mine, which is to create vibrancy and increase foot traffic in the Magic City.
The schedule is set and vendor applications are open for Woodlawn Street Market, returning in 2020 to the heart of the historic Birmingham neighborhood for its seventh season.
Woodlawn has been a part of Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co.’s business story in one way or another since its founding.