For Los Angeles native Ines Johnson, one could examine her life and conclude that she was destined to be exactly where she is today as a non-profit chief executive officer and business owner of Evolve, a catering and events company.
Johnson was declared gifted as a child and was attending Loyola Marymount Elementary School by 3rd grade, eventually went to middle school in Hollywood before being graduated from Hamilton High School.
She recalled a childhood of homelessness, living in a car with her mother and siblings and relied on public transportation to get to and from school.
Not one to be deterred by her circumstance, Johnson was determined to be successful.
After all, this is a woman who was cooking Thanksgiving dinner from scratch by the age of 11, inspired by her grandmother, so not having a place to live was a small road bump on her journey.
“I think between watching the Food Network and being with my grandmother who was not a classic trained chef, but she was an amazing cook and I sat back and watched cook everything from scratch. I believe that being able to cook and create flavor is a gift,” Johnson explained to Inglewood Today.
After Hamilton, Johnson attended a vocational school where she became registered nurse and licensed child care provider and by age 25 earned enough to purchase her own home.
However, her passion was cooking, a DNA she was born with from the bloodlines of parents who came west from Louisiana and Texas infusing New Orleans, strong southern roots that prepared her for what she specializes in today, Cajun Creole Cuisine, Full Flavor American Classics and Innovative Meal Prep. She enhanced her skills at the Le Cordon Bleu Academy.
Her gift became both a blessing and a curse, as she candidly admits that she suffered from an eating disorder causing her gain weight excessively, thus affecting her self-esteem.
“I was well over 300 pounds and I decided I needed to take my life back and truly start loving myself so I started a health journey,” she emotionally declared.
Johnson says that she gained as much as 334 pounds before she lost 160 eating her very own cuisines.
And now through her company Evolve she teaches others how to lose excess weight and also offers services such as health coaching and meal prep.
Johnson is also the founder of BeYOUtiful Minds, a non-profit organization that serves as a collaborative hub for Black women owned businesses.
Through BeYOUtiful Minds, Johnson provides grants to small business quarterly the organization will present their first grantee on March 27 at L.A. Grind Coffee And Tea Bar located at 1412 Redondo Blvd. in Los Angeles
The mother of four adult children, Johnson aspires to help as many people and business possible.
With Evolve and BeYOUtiful Minds, Ines Johnson is more than doing her part to improve the lives of others, all because she made the commitment to do something about hers.