L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Lura Ball baking her family cookie mix recipes, from her family business, Lura’s Kitchen
After working as a business coach at the South LA BusinessSource Center for several years, Lura Ball decided to launch her own family business, Lura’s Kitchen.

The South LA BSC, overseen by EWDD contractor Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC), offers a series of webinars for small businesses and start-ups, including courses covering the basics of getting business-ready, to understanding the leadership psychology and mindset. Lura, who also works as a marketing and public relations consultant, worked her way through the webinar curriculum to fine-tune her business skills.

In 2019, she founded Lura’s Kitchen - a multi-generational benefit corporation that offered ready-made gourmet cookie dough. Each of her flavors has a backstory and are named for someone she knows and loves – her mother Madear, her son Langston, and her grandmother and namesake, Lura. The Tura Lura cookie mix has a second touchpoint, as it references an Irish Ballad.

Three generations of Lura’s family run Lura’s Kitchen. Lura runs the business with her sister Shell, who is the Treasurer and Chief Morale Officer. Her daughter, Elle is the Marketing and Social Media Director. Her son Langston and niece Janae are Board Members. Finally, her granddaughter, Trinity, is their TikTok coordinator.

Together with another South LA BSC business coach, Lura developed a solid business plan to develop, scale and distribute her product. However, when the pandemic hit, she had to pivot her micro-business from baked cookies to three-ingredient dry gourmet cookie mixes that anyone from a novice to a seasoned chef could bake in 30 minutes. She lowered her product offering from seven flavors to three. She also connected with a co-packer to help her vet vendors selling ingredients, replicate her recipes and manufacture and package her final product.

With a lean and organized business plan, Lura’s Kitchen became VSEDC’s first CDFI loan. She received $10K, which she earmarked for product packaging for her new line of cookie mixes: Tura Lura’s Chocolate Chip with Pecans, Madear’s Old Fashioned Tea Cake, and Langston’s No-Nonsense Chocolate Chip cookie mixes.

Lura also credits her South LA BSC business coaches for connecting her to other sources of capital that paid for the Research and Development (R & D) phase of creating her mixes and packaging design.

During her journey to the marketplace, Lura found an Angel investor. Her goal is to land distribution deals with upscale grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Lassens. She has also targeted specialty stores, farmer’s markets and gift shops as possible markets for her products. To learn more about Lura’s Kitchen and to place an order, visit www.luraskitchen.com.
EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers offer resources to microenterprises, small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the City of Los Angeles. These efforts work to revitalize the local economy by helping business owners launch viable businesses, grow revenue streams, and stabilize and create jobs. Visit EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers and learn how EWDD can help businesses of all sizes.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of June 13, 2021. Read this issue and more.

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