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November 17, 2020

Westbrook food truck entrepreneur wins Fork Food Lab’s ‘empowerment’ scholarship

Courtesy / Atlantic Federal Credit Union Tina Nop of Westbrook plans to start a food truck featuring Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese comfort foods.

Portland-based Fork Food Lab has awarded its first Entrepreneurial Empowerment Scholarship to an entrepreneur who plans to start a food truck business featuring Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese comfort cuisine.

Fork created the scholarship to address the racial-economic gap that inhibits Black, Indigenous and people of color from starting food businesses in Maine, according to a news release.

The scholarship will cover the cost of membership at Fork Food Lab for up to six months; licensing fees; access to free legal, tax, business planning; and marketing and brand support from iBec Creative, a digital agency in Portland.

The scholarship went to Tina Nop of Westbrook, who said she will call the food truck Sok Sabai, which translates to “peace and happiness” in the Khmer language. Her menu will include beef and chicken skewers, egg rolls, noodle bowls and wings. 

“This is just so huge for me and my family because I’ve always dreamed of running my own business,” said Nop, whose mother is a refugee from Cambodia.  “It’s such a blessing to be a part of the Fork community and to have access to their resources.”

The scholarship was funded through private donations and a $2,500 sponsorship from Atlantic Federal Credit Union.

“Atlantic is very proud to support the Entrepreneurial Empowerment Scholarship,” said Scott Chretien, Atlantic’s president and CEO. “At Atlantic, our mission is to help people do better. It is exciting to help provide a boost to Tina Nop as she strives for a bigger, brighter and better future.” 

Fork Food Lab is a nonprofit food business incubator and commercial shared kitchen at 72 Parris St. in Portland. Fork supports the growth of sustainable Maine-based food businesses by providing entrepreneurs with workspace, equipment, resources and access to locally sourced ingredients.

Since its merger last year with York County Federal Credit Union, Atlantic is Maine’s largest credit union, with over $840 million in assets and over 49,000 members. It has nine branches, in Biddeford, Brunswick, Cumberland, Freeport, Saco, Sanford, South Sanford, Topsham and York. 

In February, Atlantic bought a Class A office building of nearly 100,000 square feet at 600 Sable Oaks Drive in South Portland to become its new headquarters.

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November 17, 2020

Congratulations Tina, and welcome to FORK Food Lab!

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