We had the good fortune of connecting with James Tomlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business? Over the past 25 years, I have worked serving our communities in the heart of Atlanta. In my work, I have come to understand our community’s health, education, economic and social disparities. The goal is to eliminate those disparities by introducing healthy food options. Our vegan foods is passionate about introducing our youth and family to considering eating a healthy diet. In low-income and people of color communities there are fast food restaurants on every corner but not vegetarian and/or vegan restaurants. Our company goal again is to introduce the idea of vegetarian and/or vegan foods as options and affordable option for youth and youth.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work. My career in social services spanned over 25 years. I made serving the underserved, under-resourced underemployed, undernourished, underprivileged, and most vulnerable population in society my passion in life. Over a span 30 years I have met that passion by volunteering and working with the homeless population to secure suitable housing, as well as in the Criminal Justice community, assisting the Re-Entry population, and Accountability Courts. I have also worked on two research projects that focused on Meth Amphetamine, Crack Cocaine, Heroin Injection users and Men Newly Released from County Jails. Some of my work included working with women and children that have experienced Domestic Violence, and Fatherhood program called, Long Distance Dad.
What I would say to any small business CEO/Owner, whether you considering creating a new or have an existing business is that the key is being open-mined, teachable, flexible and willing to work hard at your goals to be successful. Another important key area is spending time to learn and appreciate your customers. Embracing the ups and downs will help grow into a successful business owner. Family (customers) is most important part of your business for survival.
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.
GA, and Atlanta is so rich in diverse culture and entertainment. Depending on the age group I would schedule a tour of the city. Maybe take a ride on scooters, tour bus or walk through on the beltline. It all depends on the age group. I’d schedule a tour and visit our black historical museums, art centers, parks, and GA lakes, and mountains. Like I stated earlier, it’s so rich in diversity. I would schedule a trip to different counties, each county represents a different and unique, culture and race, for example certain part of Gwinnett County is known for its Latino and Asian communities and culture. Lastly, to Decatur, GA in DeKalb County to visit and taste all different cuisine and to experience all different race groups and culture under one umbrella-DeKalb Farmers Market. This just for starters there are many other options,
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout? Without question I have had great support creating and starting my new business. I would love to give a huge shoutout to my wife Tangi Tomlin, Voiceover Artist, for all her support and patience. Most of all, is my wife believing in my dream to start and create Jimmy Jam’s Vegan Foods.
The next big shoutout is to At-Promise Center staff my guinea pigs. The Promise Center staff is phenomenal group of talented and gifted people that provide social services to youth between ages of 12-24 in the heart of Atlanta.
My daughter Autumn Danielle Tomlin, in May graduate from Howard University for all her support and guidance on how to introduce Jimmy Jam’s Vegan Foods to youth, families and her peers. Now to the best part of the Jimmy Jam’s success thus far is the Atlanta communities have been huge support.
Lastly, all my followers on social media platforms: (Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Linkedin and Twitter) Thank you, sharing your pictures, stories and reviews. Without their support we have no Jimmy Jam’s. So I am very grateful and humbled by the all love and support from everyone we have touched and those who have supported our business. Again, thank you!