By Chris Olsen
Fueled by Purpose is the nonprofit sister company to My Founder Story and is dedicated to providing resources to female-identifying founders. Since 2018, more than $200,000 in grants and services have been donated to women business owners. To learn more and apply, visit our grants page.
When Golnaz Yamoutpour was young, her family migrated from the Middle East to the U.S. and bought a fast-food restaurant. She grew up at the restaurant and absorbed the ins and outs of running a small business. She learned about everything from cleaning practices to marketing strategies watching training videos in the back room. When she was 8 years old, Golnaz mastered the art of customer service. She’d stand on a plastic milk crate at the cash register and take orders from patrons hurrying through their lunch breaks in bustling downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Next customer, please!” she’d shout to the people in line. And “Would you like a drink or chips with that?” Though she may not have been able to articulate it at the time, food was the universal language that connected Golnaz’s family to its new community.
Food was always Golnaz’s love language. Growing up, she couldn’t get enough of the delectable Persian dishes her mom made from scratch. And she always enjoyed trying new foods. It’s what led her to launch an Instagram account in college to showcase her foodie lifestyle. It quickly evolved into an award-winning restaurant discovery and recommendation platform. Today, Eat Drink Dish (EDD) Minneapolis has more than 70,000 followers and counting. Golnaz and her team visit restaurants around the Twin Cities and post food photos and recommendations. EDD also features reposts from other local foodies.
The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the global pandemic, and it has forced many restaurant owners to rethink how they can best serve customers and stay afloat. Golnaz sprang into action, using Instagram to share information about restaurants offering delivery, takeout and curbside pickup. She also showcases Black-owned restaurants. The posts and stories have become guides, which are also available on the EDD website.
The food scene and dining out have evolved significantly since Golnaz started EDD six years ago. She’s now creating a space for diners to discover new places to eat and drink without the “noise” of rants, ratings and reviews. This month, she’s launching her latest passion project and an extension of her platform—it’s called Eddy. Eddy is an online guide Golnaz describes as EDD’s trusted and always hungry friend and is designed to take the guessing game out of finding what and where to dine. She’ll use the Fueled by Purpose micro grant to help market this new venture.
To learn more about and apply for a Fueled by Purpose micro grant, visit our grants page.
Photo: Eat Drink Dish MPLS
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support women-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.