Ignite Technology and Innovation Spaces Support Small Businesses

Empowering Small Business is our SpecialTEA!

Ignite Technology and Innovation’s mission is to create equitable wealth and shared prosperity! One of the ways we do this is through the creation of accessible spaces that help small businesses grow and thrive. Our Momentum Coffee location in Chicago is a place that is serving the community in this way. In June, we shared that Momentum served as the location for the Vendor Empowerment Pop-Up.  We understand that entrepreneurship can be hard if you are doing it alone. Our goal is to create an environment that provides physical space, resources and programs that serve solo entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Small business resources in Chicago are key to success. Read what is new at Ignite’s Momentum Coffee….

Momentum Coffee has a new special TEA!

Momentum Coffee and Coworking located at 2119 S State Street is happy to present our new specialtea! See what we did there?  

Back to business… We are happy to showcase a small business Stella Bistro Foods at our location.  Read a little more about while on our quest to be one of the best coffee shops in Chicago  we decided to partner with this #STELLAR business to provide our community with some delicious southern tea offerings. 

Who is Stella Bistro?

Stella Bistro is run by Ashley Terrell, who is the CEO and taste specialist.  She  started with a strong passion for cooking at the young age of 7. She  knew she  wanted to work within the culinary arts industry. In 2014, Ashley drafted a catering menu, Stella Bistro & Catering, desiring to share her  unique perspective of food dishes complimenting the Stella Rosa wine collection

Stella Bistro Foods is a tea and spice manufacturing and distribution company in the Piedmont Triad of NC offering specialty pantry staples for your taste buds, family, and friends to enjoy!

The Stella Bistro Backstory 

Her catering business, Stella Bistro & Catering, and clientele referrals were soaring in Virginia. However, she wanted to create a food brand company that allowed clients to enjoy and share my recipes, requiring minimum [catering] work from me. In November 2015, she moved to Greensboro, NC to establish Stella Bistro Foods, a tea and spice specialty company allowing eaters [worldwide] to experience Stella Bistro Foods. 

Working the Business

As she  began networking in Greensboro and the surrounding cities, She  discovered health trends and diet lifestyles were on the rise. In Virginia, SHE  didn’t experience eaters informing me of [health and] food specifications. As you can imagine, this was a shock to me! SHE  knew in order for me to have Stella Bistro Foods elevate to a household brand, SHE  needed to know what my [new] target audience and demographics were needing – not wanting. As SHE  explored diet lifestyles, like paleo, keto, and gluten-free (that was a big one!), SHE  began seeing conversions and customer retention increase on a weekly basis. I’ve realized when consumers are desiring organic local foods, consumers typically visit local farmer markets and locally owned food co-ops and grocery markets. Incorporating Stella Bistro Foods into those settings has allowed Stella Bistro Foods to gain exposure. 

Post COVID – Future Outlook 

 It still amazes her how six years ago, Sheopened and established Stella Bistro Foods with one product – gluten-free granola. As of 2021, Stella Bistro Foods offers more than five different premium specialty granolas, alongside over 30 different creative spices, beverage collections, quick meal solutions, desserts, and pantry staples. For the future, SHE  wants Stella Bistro Foods to be a game-changer in surrounding communities. SHE is interested in my virtual Stella Markets to become brick-and-mortars nearby food deserts as well as build a community where participating colleges and universities can sponsor programs to minimize criminal, domestic violence, and gang-related activity.

Lesson Learned

Ashley shared her lessons learned “…, if your plans don’t initially work out, go back to the drawing board. Change the plans, not the goal. Sometimes, when practices don’t work in our interest, we’re quick to think “Oh well, I’m already out here in the deep end, let’s SEE if SHE  can do this,” rather than, “Ok, SHE  know this is what SHE  want, but I’m seeing SHE  need to make sure SHE  have a plan B, C, D.” 

Lessons Shared 

She believes partnerships are a way to show support to others. Partnerships are notions taken to show consumers they support and believe in one’s brand. SHE thinks it’s a beautiful process because partnerships are truly game-changing for the future.

Strategizing and sticking to your plan doesn’t mean you’re stubborn to trying different things. It just goes to show you that everyone can do similar or the same things, but each of us has our individuality in how our plans are worked and our goals are established. When you stay in your lane owning what you claimed in the beginning, you’re not too moved by what’s going on around you because your determination and confidence are focused. 

How does Stella Bistro #keepthemomentum

She shares “In the words of my great grandmother, Flossie, “Just take it a day at a time. Remember bad times don’t last forever, and always know rain doesn’t always last. KEEP GOING!” SHE  believe her wisdom has helped me #keepthemomentum of building strong relationships and manifesting my goals.”

Collaboration #bettertogether

We asked Ashley why it was important to collaborate with Momentum Coffee. She remarked “ I’ve discovered black-owned women-led businesses are increasing! It’s empowering and inspiring to see! It’s healthy. motivating, and inspiring to see women strive and claim their place within entrepreneurship. Ignite and Momentum is true proof of Grandma Flossie’s wisdom. Partnering with both entities allows me to see time, faith, and positivity can accomplish ANYTHING! SHE  believes this wholeheartedly as partnering with Momentum has been true to these characteristics. “ Stella Bistro is happy to partner with a black-owned coffee shop in Chicago’s South Loop.

Find out more about Stella Bistro and Ignite Technology and Innovation Inc.


 IG (@Stella_Bistro_Foods), 

Twitter (@Stella_B_Foods), 

Pinterest (pinterest.com/StellaBFoods)

Facebook (StellaBistroandCatering) 

YouTube (Stella Bistro Foods)


Facebook (@momentumcoffeeandcoworking)

Instagram (@momentumcoffeechicago)

Twitter (@momentumcoffee)

YouTube (Momentum Coffee and Coworking) 

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