Sanders Mobile Shop

Brian Sanders wants to be the first person to tell you he’s been incarcerated – because then he can be the first person to tell you how much it changed his life for the better. 

While in prison, he took every class he could, ranging from leadership to parenting, but what really stuck was the training he received in the culinary arts.

Brian quickly became the head cook for 1,400 inmates, and along the way learned a lot about food and food seasoning. “Out in the world we tend to over-season our food – especially with salt. I believe that results in health problems such as hypertension and high cholesterol,” he said. Brian explored salt-free and alternative seasonings in his recipes and recorded the best of what he liked to cook to create his own cookbook.

Upon his release, Brian’s mission in life became two-fold: 1) to gain employment to support his family and 2) to give back to the youth of his hometown, Muskegon. 

To address his goal of employment, Brian teamed up with his daughter Bre’Onna with the business idea of sharing his recipes with the world. They reached out to the Michigan SBDC for help, and got connected with Business Consultant Jay Martinez. Jay helped them with their business plan, make community and event connections, run financial projections for their plans to finance and purchase a food truck, and prepare for a local pitch competition – in which they won first place and a $6,000 prize. The father / daughter team has since landed their first catering contract as Sanders Mobile Shop and has attended larger community events such as the Muskegon Air Show.

As for giving back, Brian took the suggestion of his pastor and liberally tells his story at youth outreach programs in his neighborhood. His message is clear: the choices you make have consequences, and can positively or negatively impact your life and the lives of others. Brian also hopes to offer training and employment programs through his business to teach young people how to become independent and self-sufficient.


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