What is YUPPI?
Award-Winning Marketing Professional Mammie Luke and Executive Chef Kyle Luke opened up The Black Chef Eatery, now known as YUPPI as a social experiment in May 2020. Due to Covid-19, Kyle lost both of his jobs working as a College Professor of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, as well, as the Miami Culinary Institute.
They pivoted and began to sell dinners out of Kyle's childhood home in East Tampa, Florida via social media platforms such as Instagram. Our business which was initially referred to as "The Pink House" quickly picked up momentum and we began traveling from Miami to Tampa every weekend.
Before long, our customer base detonated resulting in lengthy lines down residential streets. We began the search for a commercial establishment to expand our family business and caught wind of an opening in Ybor City. We jumped at this opportunity because we truly felt it was the perfect location.
YUPPI opened up in Ybor City in September of 2020 and remains entirely self-funded. Within 90 days we hit 100k in revenue sales.
We are known for our YUPPI sauce and wings which are sweet, savory, tangy and have become a staple in the Tampa community.
Mammie's godmother always referred to her and Kyle as Yuppi's and when they finally looked up the definition we instantly fell in love with the meaning behind this terminology.
Yuppi is short for "young urban professional" is defined by Webster's dictionary as a well paid millennial that is about their business, fashionable and very progressive.
For the majority of our generation that is the best way to define us because we are self-made and go getters about our business while remaining chic and open-minded.
Yuppi is not indicative of a food item trait but a movement. It is not tangible but rather an energy that manifests as the best possible version of oneself.
When asked about the meaning of YUPPI we encourage customers to search for the definition themselves. This is in no means sarcastic, but it reflects the foundation of the overall movement. Our goal is that through this you're able to reflect how it relates to you specifically as a person. In essence this is at the core of our business model.
We strongly believe in giving the community the food that they deserve. It is all homemade with ingredients of exceptional quality but most importantly prepared with love.
Without a doubt, I believe our vision itself sets us apart. We are committed to the black collective and as such strive to rise above outdated generational conditioning. We are more than a color and expect to be held to the same caliber of other great chefs regardless of race.
We at YUPPI want to give back to the community by setting a precedent, shifting the focus solely to our food/spirit, and investing in startups.
However, again this is a movement. We are more than our food, we are a lifestyle, a contagious spread of positivity throughout the community combating stereotypes that hinder personal growth. We believe that with love, an open mind, and optimistic outlook anything is possible.