We had the good fortune of connecting with Afi Green and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Afi, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Well I would have to say that I was was influenced a lot by my parents ,they both have creative careers. I feel like it comes very natural to me. Having an artistic career as a Culinary Coach/Vegan Chef allows my to share the most comfortable parts of myself. I’ve also have learned over time that doing what makes me happy and pursuing my passions doesn’t make work feel like work. It gives me freedom to see the infinite possibilities, and think outside the box. I get to play with food and enjoy it too.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have to say being in the vegan culinary world is something that I’ve been exposed to since I was a child in the mid 70s. I started out wanting an Easy Bake Oven and my mother preferred that I use our real oven. Of course it would take some time for me to get to that point. As I got older I was able to show more confidence in my skills, to be able to learn more technical vegan foods such as being able to make tofu and almond milk from scratch. Back then there were not a lot of choices like they have now. Way later in life I decided to strengthen my culinary skills by attending Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts for Pastry and Baking. Which led me to open my cake shop Kosmic Cake Art in 2015 in Kansas City Mo, which took a of lot hard work on my part because I worked full-time as a Head Chef for a corporate company for 4 1/2 years to support myself while I ran my cake shop after my works hours. The day I got my keys to my cake shop, was the best day of life because all the hard work was paying off. It was not easy by far, there were many sleepless weeks, many days that I wasn’t sure how I could pull all of this off ,but I did so in 2017 I quit my full-time job to work in my cake shop full-time with the support of my family and friends. Prior to opening my own business I worked with several of my close friends business, which gave me a lot direction. I could see there ups and downs from the inside. Having those experiences helped me have a blueprint for how to structure my business. There is a lot that goes into renting commercial property like, rent, maintenance, utilities, which is why I had to bootstrapped my business to maintain. One of the many lessons that I learned was know that you can’t do all by yourself, knowing when you need help is the best thing you can do for for your business. I was able to hire an intern to me with production, but unfortunately it was short lived due to unforeseen circumstances. I still kept the cake shop going until 2018 when I decided to change directions by closing my brick and mortar, and move back to the east coast to be closer to family. Once I moved back to the east coast I began to pivot my cake business into teaching vegan recreational cooking class ,thus DIY Kitchen Diaries Vegan Cooking Class was born. My vegan cooking classes are taught from my background of eating this way for over 40 years, they are are simple and fun. I just believe that hard work and being able to follow your dreams and passion is my preferred way.
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.
Pre-Covid I we would have journeyed to R. Thomas Deluxe Grill for lunch in Midtown, Then hit Little 5 Pts for fun retail therapy at Junkmans Daughter , and The Bazaar. Then grab and early dinner at La Fonda Latina . Then we would go dance it out at the Havana Club. Depending on the month we could some outdoor festivals.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well I would like to Shoutout my mother Siti Opio, she has always shown her dedication me, by giving of herself when I needed it. There were many times over the last 10 years when she would take time out her busy career to help me with my business, she would travel with me to my events she drove 15 hours to Kansas City MO from Atlanta GA to help me open my cake shop in the dead of winter. She was constantly promoting what I do to people who she knew would be of assistance to me and my business. I would say she has been my rock.