Gobble Doggs Gives out $5,000 in Scholarships for Entrepreneurial Teens

Gobble Doggs, a food truck, kiosk, and catering service, gave $5000 in scholarship awards to Black high school and college students who currently own businesses or aspire to become entrepreneurs. The scholarship is funded solely by the cash tips that Annah Mitchell, owner of Gobble Doggs, receives throughout the year. She created the scholarship in 2019.  The application process is simple but entrepreneurship is at the center of the scholarship criteria.

Gobble Doggs Entrepreneurs Chicago Defender

Entrepreneur and owner, Annah Mitchell, left her 9-5 in 2012, and created, Gobble Doggs, a food truck, kiosk, and catering service offering up a mouth-watering variety of gourmet turkey hot dogs.  Like many restaurants, Annah and Gobble Doggs were forced to shut down due to COVID-19 and racial unrest. Gobble Doggs was forced to close for three months but she refused to lose.  She took on a part-time job with the online grocery delivery service, Instacart, to maintain consistent cash flow while figuring out her business’s next steps. Annah refused to give up.

“I’ve come too far to allow a crisis to make me give up now. I will remain ambitious and hopeful that things will work out in my favor.”

For Annah, she knew failure was not an option. It was important to her to provide a legacy for her family; to be a positive example to others in her community and to build generational wealth by financially supporting, mentoring, and encouraging young Black future entrepreneurs. Annah speaks with passion and a sense of urgency in her voice when discussing her scholarship.  It means everything to her, but more importantly, it is a nudge in the right direction for so many Black students with dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. To date, Annah has awarded $10k in scholarships to promising young Black students who are visionaries and future entrepreneurs with plans to run profitable businesses and make a positive impact locally and globally for their peers and future generations.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown of so many businesses, no one would have faulted Annah if she decided to cancel the scholarship program this year and used the money from her tips to build her own business or even help with her expenses. Many entrepreneurs may never recover from the pandemic and civil unrest, however,  Annah was determined to keep the scholarship going.  due to her tenacious efforts and focus, this year, she was able to award the top five applicants $500-$1000 scholarships and grant all the remaining applicants $100 each.

“You don’t need a million dollars to start your business. I started with a triple cooker, a little crockpot, a couple of tables, some decorations from the dollar store and bought cupcakes for dessert. I went into people’s homes and hosted these parties, and they loved them. Children were excited to build their own hot dogs with their toppings, and parents were excited because the planning, cooking, and other stuff were taken care of. I even did my setup and cleanup. It only cost us a fraction of what we were moving forward to; a food truck and eventually a stand. It’s okay to start small, and this monetary award represents that. Use this to guide your dreams. You may not have all you need now but use this award to find out what you want to do and get started. If you’re considering a dog-walking business, use the money to print out marketing pieces or buy a lawnmower to start your landscaping business. Anything you do that brings in income – that’s your entrepreneurship. What you start is your baby. Trust and believe that no one would have ever believed that I’d be here simply serving turkey dogs. We have the most variety of turkey hot dogs of anyone in the city. We sell turkey dogs – it’s what we do, it works for us, and that’s been our claim to fame. Simplicity is good.” -Anna Mitchell

Gobble Dogg Entrepreneurs Chicago DefenderAnnah speaks proudly and enthusiastically about this year’s scholarship applicants.  “These applicants have dreams of entrepreneurship that will position them as leaders in our community. These are young men and women who will make a difference and demand a shift in the right direction concerning many of the issues that we face daily. They have great ideas. These are the kids who will sit on city councils and have a seat at the table. Many of the reasons why we’re looking at what we’re dealing with today are because we don’t have the voice that we deserve. We don’t have the number of individuals who need to be at the table right now. If you have more people who look like us, who are the voice of our communities, then we’d have more respect, and things wouldn’t be happening like this, and you can’t convince me otherwise.”

Annah’s scholarship is a much-needed boost for young people who aspire to be entrepreneurs and essential leaders. Her generosity, compassion for her community, and dedication to social responsibility as a Black woman entrepreneur/restaurateur are exceptional. Through personal and financial sacrifice, her investment will help future black entrepreneurs.

2020 Annah Mitchell Scholarship Award Recipients:

David Brooks, Bolingbrook, IL., received a $1,000 scholarship. He plans to attend the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH, to study business. He would like to expand on his current weekly trading and investment club and create a foundation dedicated to teaching young men and women the fundamentals of money and investing.

Ramyiah L. Faison, Evergreen Park, IL., was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Miss Faison plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign to study business. She plans to use her skills to grow her family business, Prodent Max, an organic natural toothpaste company, from operations to market research.

Faith Skeete, Aurora, IL., received a $1,000 scholarship. Miss Skeete plans to attend the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, where she will study interior design. She wants to start a philanthropic group that invests funds to support design projects. She plans to engage donors who wish to make seismic donations that will make a difference in underserved and under-resourced communities, such as supporting housing redevelopment, job training, business ownership, and technical and post-secondary degrees.

Alexandria Cannon, Aurora, IL., received a $500 scholarship. Miss Cannon plans to attend Hampton University in Hampton, VA, where she will study psychology and broadcast journalism. She wants to create a mentoring program for students that use positive imagery to improve their self-esteem, confidence, and career exploration.

Zyane Williams, Joliet, IL., received a $500 scholarship. Miss Williams will attend Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, where she will major in business administration. Her long-term goal is to create a not-for-profit program that teaches middle school students about various careers in business and prepares them to succeed in their respective fields.

All other applicants received $100 each.

Annah’s scholarship is a much-needed boost for young people who aspire to be entrepreneurs and essential leaders. Her generosity, compassion for her community, and dedication to social responsibility as a Black woman entrepreneur/restaurateur are exceptional. Through personal and financial sacrifice, her investment will help future black entrepreneurs.

The Gobble Doggs kiosk is in the Lasalle Street Metra Station, 414 S. Lasalle, with hours from 11 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Find and follow Annah and Gobble Doggs on Facebook and Instagram. Call to schedule your own virtual catering event or socially-distant-friendly parties for all occasions at (331) 234-1280.

 

Kim Durden is a lifestyle writer and owner of Divine Dine Foodie Tours, the first and only entirely Black woman-owned food tour agency in Chicago. Find and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

 

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