If you’ve seen the business news lately, you’ve heard the good news: Funky Fresh Spring Rolls has formed a joint venture with Palermo’s Pizza. Palermo’s is committed to bringing owner Trueman McGee’s frozen spring rolls to a national scale. A huge success story for any local entrepreneur, but Trueman’s story is unique.
Trueman discusses what it’s like being a black entrepreneur and how he wants to set a good example for the black youth in the city. Trueman wants to show others that though black entrepreneurs are underrepresented, you can achieve success if you work hard and follow your dreams.
In 2012 Trueman hit hard times when he became a 28-year-old laid-off construction worker with the weight of raising a kid on his shoulders. He spent his days cooking the original Funky Fresh Spring Rolls (out of his parent’s kitchen) and coaching high school wrestling on the side. He kept hustling and eventually saved up enough money to open his first retail store in the Grand Ave 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 that would succeed later in 2018. Then most recently, in 2020, he was forced to close his retail location due to the pandemic; however, he wasn’t ready to roll over, so he started taking orders over Facebook Live. He and his son drove all over Milwaukee hand-delivering these orders to keep revenue coming in. The partnership with Palermo’s is a year in the making. Make sure to tune in, as this episode is packed with inspirational lessons for anyone looking to chase their dreams.