Watch CBS News

Sustainable Farms By Custom Cuisine Owner Christina McCoy Becomes Latest Small Wins! Recipient

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This Small Wins! goes to a local entrepreneur who focuses on sustainable cooking methods while also teaching about the importance of clean eating. She is also teaching how to grow the foods yourself.

It was a big surprise for a special Small Wins! recipient at the Reading Terminal Market.

"All my friends and family know I am not a person that is like lost for words, this is.. so much," Christina McCoy said.

Christina McCoy just won $75,000 to support her business, Statinable farms by Custom Cuisine.

"The Sustainable Farm combines a lot of my favorite things, vertical farming, connecting people to food and sources of food, holistic products and then supporting small local businesses as well," McCoy said.

Christina's passion is cooking. Her skills as a chef turned her into the entrepreneur she is today.

"To work with some of the most expensive and exquisite foods but not have that translate to where I'm from and also not be able to take some of what we were actually using as waste, you know, to create ways where people could eat my limitations with being able to do that really hold it here. It convicted me," Christina said.

She made the decision to quit her job and bring her skills back to her West Philly community.

"Teaching people how to prepare food and healthy ways, what to look for, what is organic nutritional food, versus all the other labels," Christina said.

She started growing food herself, using containers in her neighborhood's community garden and she created gardening events to teach the importance of healthy food choices.

"Two vertical growing systems that are growing leafy greens and herbs," Christina said.

Her shop in Reading Terminal Market uses smart gardening technology to grow edible plants and herbs.

You'll also find farm-to-skincare products, DIY smart gardens and goods from other local Black women-owned businesses.

"I was just thinking about all of the things that this grant would be able to help you extend and expand stuff, the stuff I already do, like community popups. I want to expand a lot on my teaching in the schools, and continually sustain the operations that are here," Christina said.

Christina also hopes to create easy access to growing equipment and continue to educate.

"It means that people are listening and I felt like really seen," Christina said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.