Edwin “Chef E Dubble” Redway and Marshawn “Peace & Love” Williams are giving their community a healthy food option.
By Jason Lewis
Park Mesa Heights resident Shirley Jones sent a letter to the Los Angeles Standard Newspaper’s office, saying that she wanted the community to know about a fairly new food establishment that opened four months ago on the south/east corner of Slauson Ave. and West Blvd.
Jones said that two young black men had taken a risk on opening a health-food restaurant on what can be viewed as being an undesirable corner. She said that the food is delicious, that these two men are providing a great service, and that she has already noticed a positive change to that corner since they have been there. She also said that the members of the Park Mesa Heights neighborhood council want to see these two men succeed, so the community needs to support them.
The business that she is referring to is Grilled Fraiche, and their food is amazing. Co-owners Edwin Redway, who goes by Chef E Dubble, and Marshawn Williams, who is legally changing his name to Peace & Love, wanted to bring a healthy alternative from the typical fast-food restaurant to the community that they are from.
Redway attended Dorsey High School, and Love grew up in South Los Angeles before moving to Torrance as a child.
Redway learned how to cook from family members, and after winning a culinary competition while in high school, he was able to study at Le Cordon Blue in London. He later studied at L.A. Trade Tech.
Love is a business consultant and life coach. He has been Redway’s manager since 2005, and they have worked together on a number of food ventures over the years.
Grilled Fraiche first opened two years ago as a food truck and catering business. Love said that they quickly became popular, and when they were looking for a permanent establishment, they were advised to open in West Los Angeles or the South Bay. A restaurant like Grilled Fraiche is typical in those areas, but not in African-American communities.
“We wanted to make this for the black community to give them something healthy and something that they can enjoy,” Love said.
Grilled Fraiche serves grilled chicken, grilled salmon, and grilled shrimp. While most fast-food restaurants serve french fries as the main side order, Grilled Fraiche serves brown rice, jasmine rice, mixed greens, and grilled vegetables. They also have vegan options.
“Everything is fresh and cooked that day,” Love said. “Sometimes in the restaurant business, you can have some chicken cooked where you can keep it for another day if it’s properly stored. Most restaurants do that. But we can’t cook salmon or shrimp and keep it for the next day. As soon as it’s ordered, that’s when we prepare it.”
There has been a health-conscious movement in black communities, which are greatly affected by issues associated with obesity. But many people in the community are not jumping on board quickly enough.
“With healthy food, our community is not ready for it in a sense,” Love said. “They’re still eating whatever the other restaurants out there are serving, which is not as healthy. It’s still a tug of war to a certain extent. I’m not saying that they don’t want to eat healthy food, but they have to get more familiar with eating healthy. And it takes time.”
Jones’ letter conveyed the message that the community needs businesses such as Grilled Fraiche, and those businesses can spark a positive change in the community.
“We need to build the community up by supporting the ventures in the community,” Redway said. “If we don’t support it, who will? Are we going to wait until this area completely gentrifies? The people who are not urban are coming here (to Grilled Fraiche) with no problem. They’re parking on the street, they’re standing outside with no problem, and they’re showing support. So it’s important for our own community to embrace it and support it as well.”
Love points out that Caucasians, Asians, Armenians, and people from other cultures are going to continue buying property and opening businesses in predominantly African-American communities, so it is important that the community supports black business.
Grilled Fraiche is located at 5800 West Blvd. They take phone orders for pick up, but they do not deliver. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Their food truck can be found at various events around the Los Angeles area, and they offer catering. Contact them at (323) 389-8888, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Looking to start a small business? Contact Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation.
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