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Ebony Mangum is a mother of two and a Reimbursement Case Manager here at TrialCard. In her free time, Ebony doubles as a culinary enthusiast. With a penchant for flavor, she was inspired to pursue her culinary degree and graduated from the Durham Tech Culinary Institute in December 2011. Alongside her culinary career, she researched how to start her own business to feed her passion. Just months after receiving her degree, Ebony successfully launched a catering business (London D’s Catering) in February 2011. Starting small, she initially focused on creating her (now famous) cupcakes and fruit trays. With the confidence of her early success, Ebony’s skills and passion quickly evolved into offering hearty, home-cooked soul food, which she had learned at her grandmother’s side.
During her teenage years, Ebony was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Growing up, she struggled to feel accepted by her fellow classmates and often felt alone. It was in her junior year of college that her condition took a turn for the worse. Her dependence on a feeding tube was critical for almost five months. Fast forward to today; Ebony will soon be celebrating her 10th year in remission from her reliance on medication. Ebony credits her past with her dedication to helping the greater good, as she can relate to those who feel alone and struggle to get the healing nutrients they need to survive.
Filling the Hearts and Stomachs of the Homeless
Ebony incorporates her dedication to caring for others as well as her passion for culinary arts into her business initiatives. By creating time to prepare and serve meals to homeless families at the Salvation Army and Urban Ministries in Durham, she acts as a role model to her daughters and inspiration to those around her. Life lessons that Ebony embodies are to be thankful for her own blessings and continue to strive to help others in need. Initially serving the homeless on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, Ebony says nothing gives her more gratitude than “seeing their faces when they taste my food” and when those she serves say “Thank you so much!” or “You made my day!”
TrialCard’s Support of Ebony’s Passion
When asked about her experience at TrialCard, Ebony expressed, “I have never worked in a place like this (TrialCard). They are so passionate about their employees and their community. I have never had a job that cared about London D’s Catering, or cared that I’m feeding the homeless, or who wanted to contribute to helping me feed the homeless. And I think that’s big! TrialCard doesn’t only care about my work and my work ethic in the company, they (TrialCard) also care about what I have going on outside that will affect my work within the company. And I appreciate that, too!”
Ebony’s Plans for the Future
Recently, another local catering company, Kale’s Kitchen, contacted Ebony in hopes of creating a collaboration to give back to the local community on a regular basis. Currently serving 100-150 individuals in need, the catering duo teams up monthly on Saturday mornings to prepare nutritious and nurturing soul food. Through the power of social media, others in the community express their support by offering a helping hand and donating supplies. In the near future, Ebony and Monica (Kale’s Kitchen) hope to start a nonprofit where they can extend their efforts to provide meals more often and to reach even more families in need.