FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Maplewood’s 40 Dreams Catering Wins Support
From Local Professional Fraternity Through “Adopt-A-Business” Competition
Newark Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha partners with the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership
to Pilot a Revolutionary New Small Business Capacity Program
Newark, NJ, May, 28, 2019 — 40 Dreams Catering, a Maplewood-based company that creates and delivers fresh meals to senior citizens and disabled adults across New Jersey, was chosen from among 35 entrants as the winner of the Alpha Alpha Lambda “Adopt-A-Business” Visionary Award. This award is given to a promising entrepreneur looking to grow a business in communities of color. Adopt-A-Business is a collaboration between two Newark, NJ based organizations: Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) and the Alpha Alpha Lambda (AAL) Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. As the prize winner, 40 Dreams Catering will receive business capacity building and implementation support from AAL, which is a social and service-based organization comprised of diverse professionals from a variety of industries.
“40 Dreams Catering was selected from a strong finalist pool because it’s a scalable business that has the potential to create jobs and positively impact the lives and families of New Jersey seniors and disabled adults,” says Malaney J. Hill, Chapter Officer of AAL and . Jill Johnson, CEO of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, adds “Without support to build her capacity for growth, it will be difficult for 40 Dreams to reach its potential. Having the expertise and implementation support from members of the Chapter, will help remove barriers to growth allowing Adrienne to focus on building the business.”
Launched as a traditional caterer in 2008, 40 Dreams became the first and only independent New Jersey-based company to prepare and deliver fresh meals to seniors and disabled adults in the state in 2015. It’s owned and operated by Adrienne Fudge, who lives in Maplewood and creates her menu items at a commercial kitchen facility in Fairfield.
Fudge’s recipes don’t use added sugar or salt, and include ingredients that are sourced from local New Jersey vendors and suppliers. Her menu items - which are provided for free to Fudge’s clients and are paid for by the New Jersey Long Term Services and Supports program - offer a variety of choices that can be matched to specific dietary restrictions and allergies.
“It’s an honor to be part of the IFEL Women of Color Connecting initiative which created the opportunity for me to participate in the Alpha Alpha Lambda Adopt-A-Business competition, ” says Fudge, who is a 2018 graduate of the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship’s Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI) and was a 2017 Finalist in the 1010 WINS Small Business Challenge. “Alpha Alpha Lambda volunteers won’t just be coaching me, they’ll be learning about my business and my challenges, and then getting into the trenches to work along with me. I’m confident that their input and participation will enable me to take 40 Dreams to new heights much faster than I could on my own.”
Looking toward the future, Johnson says, “I’ve seen the potential in Adrienne’s business for a long time, however access to capital has been a major challenge. This capacity building and implementation support will now minimize capital as a barrier to growth and in fact can help her become more fundable. We believe this model has huge potential to change the way we think about growing under-resourced entrepreneurs. We appreciate the partnership of the Alpha Alpha Lambda chapter in getting the Adopt-A-Business concept off the ground.”
About Alpha Alpha Lambda
Alpha Alpha Lambda is the Newark Alumni Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. which develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities. AAL is comprised of industry and community leaders with years of experience in both the public and private sector.
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), founded in 2002, is an independent, not‐for‐profit organization that supports economic development through entrepreneurship. We are experts in creating and implementing small business programming in support of larger economic development objectives. Our mission is to help high potential entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities gain access to the knowledge, networks and capital necessary to succeed in business. In 2008, IFEL launched the Women of Color Connecting initiative to bridge the relationship divide between Women of Color entrepreneurs and those in positions to open doors to access.