Not only is Stacey Minor an exceptional Challenger career coach, she is also founder and CEO of Sweet Potato Patch, a company committed to eliminating food deserts on Chicago’s South Side. Using technology that has already grown Uber Eats and Hello Fresh, Stacey is connecting mainly independent, minority, and women-owned farms with communities in Chicago, and eventually Gary, IN and East St. Louis, IL, that do not have accessible fresh produce and healthy options.
Stacey herself grew up in a food desert. A graduate of University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, she began her career in Monsanto working with farmers in the midwest, many from marginalized communities.
She told Block Club Chicago:
“I worked with a lot of black farmers who were afraid that they were going to lose their farms,” said Minor, who started her career as a research biologist for agricultural giant Monsanto in the mid-90s. “They had all this produce that was just going to go to waste. It didn’t make sense.”
After several years, she began working as a career coach with Challenger, helping people find new jobs after a career loss.
Inspired by Challenger’s founder James Challenger and current CEO John Challenger, Stacey set out to establish an organization that not only helps people but also creates a legacy for her own family.
Stacey recently earned grants from the American Heart Association and the City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. Through her church, she acquired a warehouse in Chatham to expand her efforts.