Hale found cooking after losing her brother to gun violence. At the time, she was in college in southern Illinois getting her bachelor’s degree in psychology. “He was shot seven times,” she said. “And they got it wrong, he wasn’t even the target.”
After getting her master’s degree in social work, Hale started working with schools in the city, teaching children about healthy recipes and hosting cooking workshops there. In 2013, she opened her own catering business, Dreamvents Catering, worked as a caterer and personal chef.
But the pandemic hit Hale’s catering business hard. She now only has two or three groups of customers every week, and spends the rest of her time cooking in the kitchen for families to whom she delivers food every week, and for various food distributions in the city.