The Community Queen: Asha Wheeldon

Chef, Kula Foods, Vancouver

It seems like every project is a passion project for Vancouverite Asha Wheeldon. Her love (and longing) for East African eats inspired her to launch Afrocentric food producer Kula Foods in 2018. Wheeldon's devotion to sustainability ensured a plant-based menu and, last year, her commitment to community prompted a food-first pandemic pivot. She and her team introduced Family Share meals in March 2020, and continue to deliver affordable, family-style vegan dishes to homes across the city. And in June, she started a list of Black-owned businesses in Vancouver that snowballed into a directory of over 200 companies€”it was shared thousands of times, and grew so big that Yelp picked it up. Going viral may be exciting, but for Wheeldon, It's all about change. €œBIPOC businesses were seen for the very first time,€ she says. €œIt's now something that is at the forefront in a lot of spaces. The impact is there, and that's the whole point.€ Kula Foods filled hearts (and tummies) when we needed it most.