1. Ashaki Daugherty – Owner of kula kula
After giving birth to her twins in 2014, Daugherty told Dayton.com that she came down with congested heart failure. She said the doctors told her she wouldn’t live to see them turn 5, but here she is.
Instead of sitting at home, she said she decided to start cooking because people have always loved her food. In 2015, she had her first physical location on Dixie Drive in Dayton. From there, she served her food at a nightclub and eventually at the Dayton Mall.
Daugherty explained that owning Kula Kula gives her the ability to spend more time with her children.
“These kids have been there through the whole process, they’ve really gone through it,” Daugherty said. “They are 8 now. I’ve passed that five-year mark.”
Daugherty described Kula Kula as an eclectic menu with soul for the adventurous palate. She uses shellfish and turkey products instead of pork or beef. Customer favorites include soul rolls, an egg roll stuffed with macaroni and cheese, smoked turkey, kale, and soul sauce. She said the secret sauce is “a little bit of sweet, a little bit of spice, and a whole lot of soul.”
Kula Kula will present Sticky Wangz, Mediterranean Salads with Honey Smoked Salmon or Grilled Chicken with Italian Herbs and Vegan Stir Fry on opening day.
“I’m excited about this,” Daugherty said. “This is a beautiful opportunity to maintain fewer hours, but still get the product out. This has literally been what has kept us afloat.”
He also offers catering for events through his business.
2. Tanisha Coleman – Owner of fruitilicious
Coleman recalled the beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables her mother and cousin put up at family birthday parties growing up.
“It was definitely a way for us to eat more nutritious snacks, and for me, it was creativity,” Coleman said. “Besides seeing creative stuff on TV, it was the first time I saw creativity in my own home.”
Those displays are what she said inspired her years later to strike out on her own and make a business out of creating unique fruit trays and displays.
“I started learning how to carve fruit and started making my fruit displays stand out each time with a different look,” Coleman said.
Two years ago, he said he started selling fruit and much more on a smaller, cheaper scale through a fruit truck.
Coleman said she is grateful for the opportunity at District Market because it gives her a platform to sell her wares year-round.
Fruitilicious offers Fruit Cups, Fruit Waffle Cones, Fruit Skewers, Watermelon Fruit Pizza, Mason Jar Salads, Fruit Kool-Aid, other beverages and more.
“I hope to meet people who want to invest in what I’m doing,” Coleman said.
He explained that he would love to have his own bottled drink in the future.
3. Monique Briscoe-Love – Owner of sisters
Briscoe-Love, who also serves as the manager of the District Market, said she had the idea for Sisters at a very young age.
“I always used to cook dinners and desserts with my aunts,” Briscoe-Love said. “They would be in the kitchen cooking and I would be the youngest there helping them cook. I really enjoyed it.”
When she got older, she felt the need to do her own thing, so she started cooking and selling dinner parties, which expanded to include events.
Briscoe-Love said that when she started, her sister helped her cook and sell food (hence the name of her business).
“This is definitely a fresh start for something new and I’m excited,” said Briscoe-Love. “I love cooking. It’s my passion. I feel like I’m telling a story to my customers through my food.”
Patrons can expect a mix of everything at Sisters, but Briscoe-Love said Puerto Rican and Mexican food are her favorite dishes. On opening day, patrons can look forward to quesadillas and Mexican corn on the cob.
“When you come to Sisters, you’re definitely in for a treat,” Briscoe-Love said.
In the future, he said he would love to own a food truck or restaurant.
4. Candice Sealey – Owner of CandyLush
CandyLush, featuring premium adult novelty items, is on the shelves at District Market.
The business features wine slushies, alcohol-infused cotton candy, and glitter bombs to make drinks sparkle.
Sealey told Dayton.com that he came across a restaurant that served wine slushies while traveling for work, which inspired his new business opportunity. After doing a few festivals, Sealey said the wine slushies were a hit, so he added cotton candy.
“I’m excited to see where this is going to take my business,” Sealey said. “I hope it opens the doors for me to start getting hired for private parties and catering events with my products.”
Customers can purchase a mix of wine slush and a mix of bourbon slush at the market.
Sealey said she is from Dayton but recently moved back to her hometown after living in Columbus for 20 years.
“I saw that the small business circuit was really booming here and I wanted to put my foot in it,” Sealey said.
5. Gabrielle Little, owner of THE DELICIOUS DESSERT
Little is pushing the boundaries of rum cakes at District Market by offering a variety of sizes and flavors.
Customers can buy anything from vanilla with pecans to chocolate with chocolate ganache and even eggnog and peppermint cakes.
If their business name sounds familiar, The scRumptious Dessert also sells at 2nd Street Market on weekends.
“I grew up on rum cakes, so it’s ingrained in family history,” Little said.
She described a rum cake as a super moist cake.
“It’s like a cupcake and a birthday cake had a baby,” Little said.
He started selling rum cakes in 2019. He hopes to “get more people to see that there is another cake option and a delicious one.”
In the future, Little hopes to open a physical store that will provide its customers with a unique experience.
For more information on District Market or to view vendor menus, visit the market’s Facebook page.