A plethora of small businesses were forced to close their doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of these businesses were unable to pick up where they left off when things started to get back to “normal." Whether it be from lack of funds or simply a crushed spirit, many entrepreneurs left their hopes and dreams in 2020. However, Trueman McGee’s story serves as a reminder that these hardships can be a blessing in disguise.
In the latest episode of The GoGedders, host Richie Burke sits down with Trueman McGee, founder of Funky Fresh Spring Rolls. They reflect on what they’ve both learned as entrepreneurs and discuss Trueman’s insane journey: from cooking the OG Funky Fresh Spring rolls in his parents’ kitchen, to partnering with Palermo’s Pizza.
When undergoing trials and tribulations, you can either turn sour or inspirational. Our friend Trueman McGee took the latter. He’s persevered where many have quit, and he’s joined us in our latest episode of GoGedders to inspire fellow entrepreneurs to do the same.
In 2012, Trueman’s world came to a screeching halt when he was laid off from his job. At the time, all he knew was the trade work he went to school for, and he wasn’t sure where life would take him next until an old dream resurfaced. Trueman had always dreamed of becoming a chef. Though he didn’t know any Black chefs, nor did he know where he should even begin, he just began. Because ultimately, you can’t get anywhere unless you start somewhere.
He spent his days perfecting the original Funky Fresh Spring Rolls and cooking them out of his parents' kitchen while coaching high school wrestling on the side. He kept up this hustle until he saved up enough money to open his first retail store in the Grand Avenue Mall in 2018. Though it wasn’t as successful as he hoped it would be, he persevered and opened a new location in the Sherman Phoenix later that year. With this new location, Trueman found success and finally felt all of his hard work was worth it – until 2020. An all too familiar song.
Due to the pandemic, Trueman was forced to close his retail location. However, he wasn’t ready to roll over. So Trueman hopped into his car with his son, turned on Facebook Live and began taking orders. He and his son drove all over the city of Milwaukee, hand-delivering these orders just to keep the revenue coming in. And so the hustle continued – and is still going – and a big event occurred: Palermo’s Pizza offered Funky Fresh Spring Rolls a deal. A light at the end of a long tunnel.
And that’s just a very brief overview! Be sure to tune in to today’s episode to learn from other entrepreneurs’ mistakes and receive some truly inspiring advice.
As always, we hope you’re enjoying the show as we spotlight different guests and topics around Milwaukee. If there’s anyone you’d like to see on the show or anything you’d like to hear us discuss, let us know by reaching out directly to Richie Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, if you’ve got a moment, please take a minute to subscribe to the show, leave a review, or share with a friend. All of those things really help us out, as they help others like you find our podcast.