Highest ever funded restaurant project globally on Kickstarter – ‘Soul Mama’ – opening in Islington

By Angela Green

Restaurant News is sponsored by Newbridge Software

l r yolanda brown obe dl alongside adetokunbo t oyelolaL-R: YolanDa Brown OBE DL alongside Adetokunbo “T” Oyelola


Musician, broadcaster, author and philanthropist, YolanDa Brown OBE DL, alongside music manager and creative entrepreneur Adetokunbo “T” Oyelola have raised a record-breaking £248,148 for music venue and restaurant ‘Soul Mama’ – the largest ever amount raised by a restaurant on Kickstarter globally.

With a wealth of experience in the leisure and hospitality sectors, the co-founders are excited to bring their Soul Mama brand to Islington Square, London.

Opening in late Autumn 2023, the brand-new London-based grassroots music venue and restaurant will bring high-quality cuisine fusing the authentic tastes of Africa, the Caribbean and South America alongside Jazz, Soul, Gospel, Reggae and much more to Islington.

Whether it’s through performances from emerging artists, supporting local talent through development grants, or live events with established artists, YolanDa and T’s goal with Soul Mama is to create a music venue and restaurant grounded in community.

soul mama

Filling a gap in the live music and restaurant space, Soul Mama’s menu is inspired by mamas from around the world who have passed their recipes down through generations. Embracing a strong social and environmental responsibility too, all ingredients used will be sourced ethically, and dishes will make sure to give an authentic nod to the origin of the cuisine.

As woman-led start-ups, particularly those founded by black women, continue to be underfunded, YolanDa has broken boundaries with the most successful restaurant Kickstarter ever. With black women receiving only 0.35 percent of all VC funding, the London-based entrepreneur took matters into her own hands and engaged the community to bring Soul Mama to life – a music venue for musicians and music lovers by a musician.

Speaking about the Kickstarter and Soul Mama, YolanDa said: “Throughout my career I have always had to think out of the box, innovate, find creative ways to be heard and seen, change perspectives all for the dream. My dreams are big, to add joy, light and laughter to as many lives as possible using music, education, food and more.”

CEO of Kickstarter, Everette Taylor underlined the achievement saying: “What we’ve seen YolanDa Brown and T Oyelola achieve with their Kickstarter project is a perfect example of what we want for every creator that comes to our platform: to be brave enough to pursue a dream and in return, get the community, support and funds they need to bring that dream to life. The Soul Mama project is now the highest funded restaurant project ever on Kickstarter, which is an incredible feat. We want to see more creators of color thrive on the platform and I’m hoping the success of these two incredible entrepreneurs will inspire creators of color and creators in the food/restaurant space to chase their dreams.”

Restaurant News is sponsored by Newbridge Software

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