The Mentor Network Founder Feature – Rollin’ Grocer

Welcome to 2018!  This week, we have another Founder Feature!  Within this series, we chat with the founders of the 5th Cohort of The Mentor Network to learn more about them as individuals, as well as their entrepreneurial journeys.  They have some great wisdom and experience to share with the rest of the community!

Being the start of a New Year, many people have made resolutions.  One that tops the list every year is being more healthy and, more specifically, eating more healthily.  However, in order to do that, you first would need access to healthy and affordable grocery options.  Food deserts are a real problem, even in KC. A food desert is an area, especially one with low-income and minority residents, that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food.  Rollin’ Grocer is working to tackle this issue!  Rollin’ Grocer (RG) is Kansas City’s 1st mobile grocery store. Rollin’ out its first truck in early March 2016, the founder and staff are dedicated to serving the food deserts of Kansas City, Missouri as well as neighborhoods that desire their services.  Rollin’ Grocer has been mentioned and featured by AJ+ Media and Forbes Magazine.  The team is made up of Jessica Royer, Natasha Ria El-Scari, Jason Kelso and Theodore “Priest” Hughes.  Today, we chat with Co-Founder, Natasha Ria El-Scari to learn more!

What did you do before you were the Founder of your startup?

Higher Education (College Prep Programs)

Why this startup?  A.k.a. what is your ‘why’?

I have a deep connection to creating access to resources. That is my focus!


What was your first milestone/win that let you know you were on the right track to build this business?

The look on people’s faces consistently when they step in the store.  Also, our business being recognized in an article by Forbes Magazine.

Why did The Mentor Network stand out to you as a positive program to be involved with?

It assisted us in truly becoming connected with others in the startup world plus a ton of practical and helpful advice that we actually used. We actually grew along the journey even with our ups and downs within the company.

What have your big wins been so far within The Mentor Network?

Fine-tuning what we wanted for our business and meeting people connected to our industry.

How do you maintain sanity in this crazy, insane startup world?

Children always keep you grounded. I have 2 of them. In addition having a spiritual community and alone time.

KC has so many resources and people to help entrepreneurs.  What are we still missing?  What gaps do you think we need to fill?

I think there is still a glass ceiling regarding race and gender as well as educational attainment. We need to be able to move through all those to see there are some great ideas in the world!

Regarding the KC startup ecosystem, what has been your favorite service/resource that you would like to share with other founders to take advantage of?

I have really appreciated how Ari kept everyone super connected! I appreciated the DiSC Work of Leaders assessment, as well as having time with the mentors and the seminars.

If you could go back to the day you started this journey and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?

Have $3 million dollars in your pocket before you start. 😉

Follow Rollin’ Grocer via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Also published on Medium.

About the author: Ari DeGrote