Our Story

Cocoa Chili Restaurant & Catering is an educational foodie experience serving up Afro-Caribbean-Soul fanfare with a sweet and spicy flair including our authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken and signature Cocoa Chili Spice Blend.

Black Owned Business
We are a 100% black-owned and woman-owned business!

We are driven by a social mission to expose our community to unique, sustainably sourced, educational, foodie experiences that expand awareness and access to opportunities.

Our vision is to diminish the effects of exclusion by using delicious food as the catalyst to spark learning, encourage conversation, ignite creativity, and evoke innovation.

We know that people come together through the universal language of food. Food can be a provocative storyteller incorporating all the senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. We also know that storytelling is one of the most effective tools for adult learners since it easily resonates with every learning style be it auditory, visual, or kinesthetic.

Cocoa Chili Foods invites patrons to enjoy new experiences by tantalizing their senses and delivering high quality, tasty, and well-presented meals while simultaneously educating them around a variety of personal and professional development topics such as wellness, entrepreneurship, job readiness, and personal finance.

Our Table Talk Series provides the space for community members to eat, network, and learn invaluable tools they can immediately implement to improve their lives. We also partner with other local small businesses and nonprofit organizations to generate the educational content presented.

We believe that quality food is the gateway to access and opportunity!

Cocoa Chili was born out of chef-owner and operator Niquenya Collins’ passion for unique, flavorful foods and enviable customer experiences. Niquenya began her culinary journey as a major foodie and gourmet home chef. A graduate of the Silver Fork Culinary Program and Sprouts Incubator Program at The Hatchery Chicago, Niquenya’s love of diverse cultures sparked much exploration to recreate her own versions of many popular international cuisines.

Homemade Lobster Bisque by Chef Niquenya of Cocoa Chili Restaurant & Catering

Niquenya enjoys cooking from scratch like this delicious homemade lobster bisque.

Niquenya has over 20 years’ experience as a Master Business Coach, Life Skills Strategist, Consultant, Trainer, and Author. Prior to launching Cocoa Chili, Niquenya focused her time and attention on helping individuals to bridge the gap between wherever they are now and where they need to be to build a happy, successful, sustainable, and profitable life, business and/or career. She loves training in a variety of personal and professional development topics including entrepreneurship, personal finance, workforce development, and other life enrichment skills.

Cocoa Chili combines Niquenya’s love of cooking with her passion to help others. This venture in experiential dining and edutainment connects patrons to delicious food concepts while simultaneously providing opportunities for personal and professional development. Together with her family of trained chefs and culinary arts professionals, Niquenya desires to create a world where financial literacy is the norm and every individual is armed with the knowledge of exactly how to use their unique gifts and talents to achieve success however they define it.