We had the good fortune of connecting with Nia Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nia, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I disagree with so much of the conventional advice that stems from “grind culture”. Grind culture reinforces the idea that success and wellness are in an inverse relationship. I’ve found the complete opposite to be true. When I think about the journey with my business, Storme Supper Club, it’s clear that all of my success stems from the practices of being heart lead and human first. Being heart lead means that I listen to my needs first. The rest that the heart asks of me will help me to be more whole and make clear decisions about what’s best for me and my business. Being human first, means that I will always center the needs of the community and others and remember the core values that started me on this path. Rest and compassion create the environment for the clear visioning needed in all aspects of business. Ultimately, this practice helps me to show up as my full and authentic self and empowers others to do the same.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Overall, I’m interested queering the kitchen through the lens of Black Food Futurism. Within this framework, I’ve created Stromé Supper Club. Named after lesbian icon Stormé DeLarverie, this project is a wine and supper club in Los Angeles centering Black queer nonbinary people and women. I offer quarterly event installations featuring multi course dinners, talks, and art for the Black queer community in the Los Angeles area. Recently, we’ve shifted to hosting online events to continue to nourish the community. We’ve also started a pop up series and fundraiser focused on the Black Southern pastry tradition. Our last pop up featured brown butter poundcakes with Chai scented vanilla bean whipped cream and roasted sweet potato pies with local honey and edible flowers. Our next pop up will be in celebration of Juneteenth. We hope to continue these pop-ups and online events until we are able to meet in person again! Storme Supper Club, is geared fully towards the upliftment and nourishment of the queer community through food, conversation, and art while centering the Black queer community. I hope to be able to continue to build engage and tend to this amazing community in Los Angeles through food, art and conversation! You can keep in touch with us on Instagram @StromeSupperClub!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first place that I’d take my friend to is a little known oasis called Goatlandia. Goatlandia is an urban homestead in the hills of Atwater. It’s a beautiful hideaway and retreat featuring music, food, ceremony, and most importantly, goats. I like to visit Goatlandia to unplug and decompress from the hustle and bustle of LA life. I’m also excited to be partnering with with Goatlandia on a series of top secret experimental dinners post COVID/19. After we spend some time hanging with goats, we’d head over to Obet and Del’s coffee shop in East Hollywood. Obet and Del’s is a new Black owned, family run coffee shop in the heart of Thai Town. They have the most creative and delicious food and beverage offerings in this part of town. I’m obsessed with their iced vegan Thai town latte. It features home-brewed Thai tea, lavender honey, oat milk and star of anise. Its honestly the best iced beverage that I’ve ever had. We’d then zip down to the flower-district in downtown LA to meet up with Alex, founder of Under New MGMT. Under New MGMT is a women of owned flower studio that offers a stunning new take on creative floral art. We’d grab a bite from Poppy & Rose, hangout in the flower district, and make our own bouquets! For dinner, we’d order delivery from Bridgetown Roti, a new Black owned restaurant focusing on Bajan cuisine, and watch the sunset on the lawn of the Barnsdale Art Park.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to Dallas Robinson, the founder of the Harriet Tubman Freedom Farm in North Carolina. Dallas is a brilliant visionary, healer, organizer, farmer and friend and her work is the future of ethical land stewardship and community healing. Dallas has been a selfless contributor to the Stromé Supper Club collective, providing invaluable knowledge and support. I’m thankful for her support and wisdom in helping me to be a more grounded founder and community leader.
Bri Akakpo | IG @Brillant007