The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has recognized Mawa’s Kitchen in Aspen, Colorado as an Outstanding Minority Business
The award recognizes Mawa’s Kitchen for its contribution to the economic diversity and success of minority community. “We’re thrilled to recognize these hard working businesses across our state as they contribute to more inclusive and equitable economic opportunity for everyone. This exciting award is part of our work building a Colorado for All and making sure Colorado remains the best place to live, work and raise a family,” said Patrick Meyers, OEDIT Executive Director.
The 2022 selection process was highly competitive, with 100 businesses nominated from all four corners of the state. The 11 awardees represent a broad cross section of Colorado’s small business community, including early childhood educators, tattoo artists, restaurateurs who share globally inspired cuisine with their communities, and consultants who help cannabis businesses across the state and the country compete in a broader market and maintain regulatory compliance. Across these industries, they share a commitment to making a difference through their daily work and beyond, serving diverse clientele and contributing to their communities through activities like fundraising and outreach.
Mawa’s Kitchen in the Roaring Fork Valley is the creation of Chef Mawa McQueen, who is originally from the Ivory Coast of West Africa and prides herself on the cultural diversity of her menus and diverse hiring practices across her restaurant group, McQueen Hospitality. At Mawa’s Kitchen, the staff speak a collective eight languages and represent nine countries. During the pandemic, McQueen introduced a new business, in part to help support her staff—gluten-free, protein-rich and vegan GrainFreeNola.
“I needed to find a solution because the restaurant was closed, to feed my employees, pay rent and pay bills. So there’s good that comes out of things,” said Chef Mawa McQueen. “We are outgoing, we employ a lot of minority people, we support and advocate for women and minority businesses, and I think we should all help each other to thrive.”
In addition to her flagship restaurant, Mawa’s Kitchen in Aspen, Chef McQueen also runs The Crepe Shack in Snowmass, Colorado and Mawa’s GrainFreeNola, an innovative line of grain-free, all-natural granolas that are sold online, locally and in select retailers.