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Businessman has novel concept regarding food

By Ron Wynn

The issue of "food deserts," communities where grocery stores, to say nothing of healthy foods, are extremely hard to find if not impossible, has become a hot button one. It is directly tied to the growing problems of obesity and the various health disorders and illnesses linked to it. It's something that, like many other problems in this nation, affects Blacks disproportionately.

But solving this problem involves much more than just food, though that is certainly a major component of it. For Indianapolis businessman Shawn Hall, food is much more than just something to eat. It's connected to an entire lifestyle approach that puts equal emphasis on nutrition, health, maintenance and affordability.

It's this combination concept that has fueled his desire to ultimately have his own fleet of food trucks, and it's also the reason he created "Beautyfood inc," a business that combines the notion of healthy eating with providing a service to customers that's more convenient and comfortable.

"I have always been very much interested in and involved with food," Hall said during a recent interview. "But I can credit my wife with really getting me interested in creating the Beautyfoodinc. concept. We would watch the Food Channel and kind of critique the shows and the dishes, and I would think there's got to be a way to make healthy food more appealing for people. That's hat we're doing with Beautyfoodinc., making ourselves available to people and bringing them healthy food."

Hall's food truck and service will travel anywhere within a 100 mile radius of Indianapolis. He deals with everyone from restaurants to single consumers, while also willing to visit colleges and universities as well as secondary schools. "We were at Ball State the other day," he recalls.

"Students are often cramming for late night exams and they don't have the time to go out and get something good to eat, let alone find someone and someplace that has really healthy good. We stayed on that campus till 4 a.m.That is just one of the things that distinguishes us from some others in this business. We'll make the time to service the consumer and we'll go to them and be there at the times when it is most convenient for them."

But unlike some folks who just purchase a truck and hop into the business, Hall spent plenty of time crafting and developing the concept before he began. "I had to come up with a business plan first,"  Hall continued. "I knew that I didn't want to just be in a stationary situation where I would be working for someone else or just cooking in a restaurant. But I also had done a lot of work and had a lot of experience with athletes, both in terms of family members and people I knew."

"The biggest thing that I noticed in regards to athletes was that they put such emphasis on health and nutrition while they were playing, but had a hard time maintaining it once they retired. So I thought how about creating a way of bringing healthy food, things like juices, vegetables, fruits and things that are good for you, but also taste good, and working on the whole notion of wellness through nutrition. After I got the plan finished, then I had to find some investors, and then I got started in the business."

Hall feels that his three-tiered is ideal for the 21st century. His business card features the slogan behind BeautyFoodinc. "Live Clean, Eat Clean Be Beautiful." "What this business does is create a one stop shop for all things connected with food and nutrition," he continues. "For people who want smoothies or drinks that taste good, but are also good for them, we do that. We make really good food and offer a wide variety of things that are healthy, but they also taste good. One of the reasons why fast food places have historically thrived in certain areas is because they are there, they provide a service, and people like what they fix. It may not be good for them, but they like it."

"What we do is make healthy food that's every bit as tasty as anything at a fast food place, and is much better for you. I've always been into cooking and been a foodie, so I know how to fix things that people really like and they aren't even aware that this is healthy food. We've got to get people in our community more aware of the connection between good health and diet, between maintaining a lifestyle that values nutrition and how that makes you more productive in all other areas of your life."

Besides athletes and a fitness emphasis, there's also a strong culinary heritage in Hall's background. "My cousin is a master chef," Hill recalled. "He's fixed meals for people visiting the Effefil Tower in Paris and done meals for top executives. I watched him work and learned from him, as well as taking executive cooking classes. So I know for sure that I can fix great meals that are both healthy and tasty."

"One of the things that we need to understand as a society is that beauty is not just in looks, but in how you treat people, how you interact in society, what kind of person you are, and much of that is tied in to health and fitness. I want to help cut down on the health problems that are in our communities. I really look at what I do as an extension of a community center, and that's also something I want to get into one day. I can envision a day when there are food trucks at community centers where people are learning about public speaking, taking science and mathematics courses, learning about history and culture and writing, doing spoken word and performances. All these things can and should be connected, because they are all part of the human experience and part of contributing to the Black community."

As is the case with all businesses in today's world, FoodBeautyinc.com can be reached on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well through e-mail. A hard worker who is up pretty much every day at the crack of dawn, Hall says he's willing to go pretty much anywhere there's a need for healthy food.

"Just give us a call, whether you're a school, business, need catering for private events, whatever. We're out there and we're ready to service you."

(Shawn Hall and Beautyfoodinc. com can be reached at 317-590-1192).

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