We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffany Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiffany, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Everyone has a brain, which means we all have mental health that we need to manage. In addition to that, we all need to eat to stay alive. Our society is steeped in diet culture, so that leaves a lot of people confused about how to eat to feed their body, then there’s the other group of people who don’t pay attention to their health and let it deteriorate. For so many people of color, they use food to deal with the stressors of life: binge eating, grief, economic dysfunction, and more. Then there’s people of color who give up eating their traditional foods completely because it has been deemed by white culture as “unhealthy”.
I created my business Kitchen Rx, LLC to teach people how their food intake affects their mental health. I focus my attention on people of color due to the poor relationship we tend to have with food, such as using food to cope with stressors and the systemic, social justice issues surrounding food.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I never thought of myself as a creative until recently. In middle school I was in the digital video club, LOL! Totally a geek, but now I make YouTube videos and content for social media. The more I expose myself to food photography, the better I can see a great moment that needs to be captured at the dinner table. Thank God most of my friends are foodies because we all want to capture pictures and they don’t mind when I say “move that napkin out the way…bring your drink in a bit more”. My poor husband doesn’t even touch his food when we’re out until I capture a pic, but being the supportive person he is he’ll ask “want a pic of this”. People will look when I take pictures, and that used to bother me, but now I tell myself “I don’t know them and I’ll never see them again, get your pic girl”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First things first, we’re going on Yelp to pick the restaurants. I’d take them to Busboys and Poets for some open mic poetry and we’d grab food and drinks nearby if we’re in DC. We would definitely have to go to brunch either in Arlington at Ambar or somewhere in DC. I have a list of over 800 restaurants saved to my Yelp profile, so we’d have a bunch of options. I may even create a tasting tour and we’d go one place for an appetizer, another for dinner and drinks, then third spot for dessert. I did this for one of my bdays in my 20s and I absolutely loved it. We could do something chill like visit a winery, distillery, or kombucha factory as well, but of course it will need to include some food before or after.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First I would like to say, there’s no such thing as a “self-made person” because we are all interconnected whether that be for good events that have transpired in our life and pushed us towards our goals or the opposite. My friend, Jewelle Daquin, deserves a lot of recognition. Years ago, she was extended the opportunity to speak at a mental health event, but she couldn’t attend and suggested to the organizers that I speak in place of her. I started my business right after that. There’s something to be said about a person who is selfless and willing to share your name in rooms you weren’t even thought about in. So many people are selfish and want to hoard accolades, but she was thoughtful, and I will forever remember that.
My husband, Justyn has seen me build my business from scratch. He allows me to pick his business-minded brain and encourages me when I get frustrated with things like social media trolls, building a website from scratch, or completing a Cornell program online. He indulges me when I get excited about a new piece of content as well.
Uncanny shoutout goes to Yelp. The first ever deep dive conversation I had about nutrition was at a Yelp event. The event was at Whole Foods, in the wine room upstairs, and the speakers educated us about the “engine 2 diet” which is completely plant-based and oil-free. It was the first time I was introduced to different ways of eating, besides cultural foods. After that event, I began to study more about nutrition and then looked into how it affects our mental health.
Cornerstone Captures, Shane Redman