A bit of background
Hear It From Me
Growing up in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood poised me to go out into the world, confident and strong with a will to succeed at whatever I do because I came in this world with nothing to lose. I grew up with a family that loved, nurtured, and believed in me; and I was allowed the space to grow freely but also provided with the discipline and structure to keep me safe with fundamental grounding. Food was at the center of many of my favorite childhood memories, and from a young age I always knew I was destined to be a chef!
I have been blessed in life to have many people- family, friends, mentors, and influential persons- impact my life by providing insight, support, guidance, love and lessons along the way. I studied Baking and Pastry at Madison Park High School, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at Southern New Hampshire University and got my start working in some of Boston's best kitchens under the direction of some of the most amazing chefs with experience ranging from small neighborhood gems like Ashmont Grill to large conglomerates like Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center and many in between.
For years, I have been building, growing, learning, rising and striving in the food industry. I have been well known for building the brand and business that is Jamaica Mi Hungry along with my friend turned family, Ernie; it has been a beautiful journey! I consider Jamaica Mi Hungry to be my first child I adopted her, nourished her, and helped her grow! There were many stumbles along the way and lessons learned, and through it all it's an amazing feeling to watch that baby soar and grow into her own personality.
One of my greatest joys along the way has been my ability to serve in a helpful role to those seeking inspiration, help, advice on getting started or scaling their food businesses, and encouraging others to see & have a larger vision for themselves.
After giving birth to my daughter, falling in love with being a mommy, and taking a step back from the hustle and grind that come along with running food trucks and restaurants- I finally decided to own that role of being of service to those looking for guidance and growth opportunities and be intentional about it. I started working directly with youth, entrepreneurs and those aspiring thereto sharing my knowledge, skills, and passion for upward movement. I began with a mission to give others a taste of the lessons that have guided me, and it's growing from there!
Aquila as you go off and pursue your dreams
Quickly prepare yourself it may be tougher than it seems
Unaware of the great success coming your way
I'll be so very happy and proud to say
Let's dine at Aquila's restaurant which sits high on a hill
And remember knowledge is power & your dreams will be fulfilled
Inspiration from my mommy a poem she wrote me on my high school graduation and it still inspires me today.
Audrey Collins 5/20/67 - 4/19/14
What I support, build, and love. They've also been a key part of my growth.
Jamaica Mi Hungry
Jamaica Mi Hungry was started in 2012 by Chef Ernie Campbell. Aquila joined the team in its beginning stages and was a major force in growing the company from it's humble beginnings to it's major success of today, from cooking, to marketing and branding, training and leading staff, driving the big trucks- hard work and persistence paid off in a major way! Three restaurants, many pop-ups, 2 food trucks, and a catering trucks later, in 2020 Jamaica Mi Hungry received much recognition including Boston's Best Food Truck, according to Boston Magazine!
Future Chefs is a youth program in Boston that prepares youth for successful life and work after high school, and provides them with the services, opportunities, and supports to be successful. As a member of the original graduating class of FC (the self-proclaimed OG of Future Chefs) and a person who has seen the benefits of it, I'm an avid supporter, advisory board member, and team member committed to inspiring the next generation of chefs and leaders.