Entrepreneur Spotlight: Terence Locke
"LAUNCH is very important, and It’s a great opportunity for brand new businesses"
In search of a caterer for your next meal, a bartender for your next socially distanced gathering, or the perfect bedtime story for your little one? Look no further than Terence Locke. This Chattanooga local is owner and operator of Chef Express, author of “Daddy, What You Cooking,” graduate of the LAUNCH CHA Program, and recent winner of Best Caterer during the Inaugural Black Excellence of Chattanooga Awards Show.
Terence Locke has always had a love of food and a passion for inspiring others to find their creativity. In 2015, he began his entrepreneurial journey with Chef Express by feeding his friends and family. His success helped him build an incredible team and partner with other entrepreneurs to create "A Nibble in The Night," a full course tasting event. Chef Express helped host 3 of these delicious evenings of entertainment and fun!
By early 2018, Chef Express became a full-time job and expanded to include bartending services! In the spring of that same year, Terence came across a Facebook post encouraging him to enroll in the LAUNCH CHA Program. He joined the Spring cohort and has been a part of the LAUNCH family since. Terence believes, “LAUNCH is very important, and It’s a great opportunity for brand new businesses.”
Terence has a talent for food and a passion for sharing his gift with the world. Last year he released his first book, “Daddy, What You Cooking.” This dual story and recipe book is based on Terence’s relationship with his son. The pair walk through a chicken alfredo recipe that is perfect for you and your family! Terence is an advocate, encouraging kids in creative and useful skills. In addition to his book, he teaches Pots and Tots, a culinary class for 8-12-year-olds after school.
This year’s pandemic has brought about adjustments on all fronts for business owners. The Chef Express team immediately started meeting the needs of our community when schools shut down and families were given an extra hurdle to feed their children. Woodmore Elementary School and Chef Express delivered more than 500 meals over 6 weeks to families in the North Brainerd Area. Shortly thereafter, Terence joined the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga staff as 1 of 5 entrepreneurs preparing over 27,000 meals for the LAUNCH Provisions Project this summer. In addition, Terence and the KIC team have helped deliver another 9,000 meals in the last 2 months and hundreds of meal boxes every week.
The trials of 2020 completely halted Chef Express, as it did for most food-centric businesses, but as the world starts opening back up, business is revitalizing. Chef Express exemplifies how to rise above in the COVID-19 crisis. Follow Chef Express on social media @_chefexpress & @_daddywhatyoucooking to hear more about the exciting things he has coming this fall!