Today’s second chance entrepreneur highlight is very, very special to us. Meet Raymond Walker, owner of Mainline Grub Up, pictured above with his wife, Dominique.
We first met Mr. Walker in 2019 at a prison in KC in our Back to Business workshop where he introduced us to his idea for Mainline Grub Up – the only place you can purchase prison style meals in the free world. Mr. Walker was released from prison at the very start of the pandemic in 2020, and in 2021 participated in our Rise Up, Get Started program to further flesh out his business idea.
Mr. Walker launched the business pilot for Mainline in May of this year (more on that in a sec). And just this month, Mr. Walker successfully completed parole. That is HUGE, H-U-G-E news! Congratulations to Mr. Walker on his success thus far. Here’s too much more. The fruits of your labor and dedication to your family are truly paying off.
Mainline Grub up is currently serving up dinners to-go every weekend in the Ruskin neighborhood of KC. Scroll to the bottom for the full details & to get yours. Without further ado, here is Mr. Walker:
Why are you passionate about your business?
The passion I show about my business comes from the security that I receive. I feel like this is something I can always do. I don’t have any limitations. I don’t need anything special like training, certificates, or licenses. I’m naturally good at this.
What are you most proud of in regards to your business thus far?
I am happy that I took the initial jump. The courage that I have shown while taking such a huge risk makes me proud of myself.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur?
The biggest lesson I have learned thus far as an entrepreneur is to be more efficient with my timing. Time can get by if you let it and there is always so much to be done, you just have to do it.
What advice would you give to someone currently in prison who would like to do something positive with their life when they get home?
Get your thoughts together and set the goal. Make sure to develop a plan and just do it. No one can stop you but you. When it’s all said and done, I believe that anyone can be their own boss.
Outside of your business, what is something that you love doing?
I love talking to people so much I developed a podcast called O-PEN-ION-HATED. I allow ex-cons to share their experience in the hopes of preventing people from following the same route.
What does success look like for you and your business?
Success is simple for me- not having a cut off notice being sent to the house will do. I want the kids well taken care of and the wife happy. I don’t have to make a million, I just want to be happy and comfortable.
Congratulations, Mr. Walker! Keep up the great work!
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Determination, Incorporated is a 501C3 nonprofit in KCMO empowering formerly incarcerated people to seize employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in home building, home improvement, and affordable housing. To learn more, contact us here.
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