It all started on a winter night in 2019. Nikeisah Newton cooked a meal for her friend who worked the night shift at a strip club. What started as a friendly gesture turned into an entrepreneurship idea.
Nikeisahs meal for her friend was loved by her co-workers. Her friend mentioned that her co-workers would pay well if someone got them a healthy and affordable meal. That is how the idea for Meals 4 Heels came up. And it became a huge success over a short period of time. And Nikeisah has only been growing ever since.
Origin of Meals 4 Heels.
Meals 4 Heels started in January in Portland, Oregon. It was initially called ‘Meals 4 Six Inch Heels’. Newton delivered clean and healthy meals to the sex workers community. Her delivery service is open on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 pm to 2 am.
Newton lived in Portland for over a decade before she started the business. During the time she has build friendships and relationships with many sex workers around. And she knew how hard it was for them to extract a healthy meal. She knew that there weren’t a lot of good food options around the city for sex workers.
“Strip clubs don’t have anything that caters to the people that work there,” she told LGBTQ Nation. “It’s all catered to the clientele. It’s not healthy or delicious.”
Hence, she started to cook meals and delivered them to workers. Orders are taken through Instagram and Twitter through direct messages. As well as texts and phone calls for those who did not use social media handles.
What’s so special about these Meals 4 Heels?
Nikeisah wanted to cook something that is healthy for the workers. Something that is affordable and easily accessible. She cooked all these meals in a commercial kitchen near her house. And she cooked them all on her own. The meals are vegetarian. They are vegan and/or gluten-free. Depending on the requests she gets.
Her food is so distinctive from regular street food. Newton serves food like Lemon Pepper Couscous with artichokes. Along with truffle oil and cherry tomatoes and crisp pickled cucumbers. Sweet potato noodles and brown rice with citrus slaw is also on her meals. Moreover, she makes her own homemade salsa served with black olives and tortilla chips. It makes your mouth water just thinking about this.
To top it off, her meals cost only fifteen dollars including delivery fees. It is believed that Portland has the highest number of strip clubs in the United States.
“It’s pretty much a simple equation,” says Newton. “Portland is known for its food scene and also known for its strip club scene.”
Nikeisah is growing steadily.
When Newton first started she did not have much experience with running a business. She was determined to grow her business. Therefore, she sought advice from an entrepreneurship training called MESO. She meets with a MESO business advisor every week to help her with her needs relating to her business.
Newton believes it is a big challenge to run a business. And trying to make the right choice for your business., Especially, when she has to go out in public and talk to reporters for interviews.
Even though Newton has never received any negative feedback. Despite the stigma that can surround the sex workers community.
“It really has been 100% positive feedback,” she says. “When I walked into MESO, I thought they would cringe or be taken aback, but they never told me to change the name or anything. No negative feedback.”
She hopes to be a positive spin on sex workers and empower women. She wants to have a positive impact as a black gay role model.
What is next for Nikeisah Newton?
Nikeisah hopes for a future for the establishment. She wants to grow her business in cities all over the country. She has heard from sex workers from Minneapolis to Seattle to Las Vegas. They want branches to be opened in their cities.
She also hopes to turn new branches in co-ops which can be owned and run by sex workers. When you are more invested in something you tend to care about it more. She wants to earn more so she can give more back.
“The goal would be to have 10% of revenue go back into marginalized groups and communities I care about or am part of,” she says.
She is proud of her business and encourages more people to do the same. As an enteprenur she hopes to grow more and help others do so as well. It is hard to start a busines. But if you love what you do and stick to it could be the best decision you could have made.