Turon Cummings

Creative Conecepts

Chicago, Illinois

 

It’s only fitting that Turon Cummings was visiting Disneyworld—the quintessential kid’s paradise—when he conceived of the idea for his business, Creative Conecepts. After all, Cummings has spent his lifetime working to create a better environment for his children.

 

“I wanted my son to have a better life,” says Cummings. “That’s what gave me the passion to go to culinary school. When I cook, I’m in a zone. It comes from my heart, and it comes from my soul.” That energy is what fuels Cummings’s appetite for achievement. In 2014, while managing his job as director of dining services at DePaul University, Cummings also launched his own business, Creative Conecepts—yes, that’s “cone” with an “e.”

 

The namesake of the business is a hand-sized cone made of bread that holds various fillings. Cummings first encountered the novelty at Disneyworld and saw the potential to transform it into a gourmet sandwich. Creative Conecepts has been flourishing with the help of a loan from Accion that Cummings used to purchase a food cart.

I want to be a chef who mentors others.

It didn’t take long for Cummings to find success: In 2014, he competed at the World Food Championships and placed in the sandwich category’s top 10. “I wanted to show Accion that I’m a true entrepreneur, a true businessman, and I know what I’m doing,” he says.

 

In addition to managing executive responsibilities, running his own business, and raising a family that now includes two step-children along with his son, Cummings participates in several youth mentoring initiatives. “I want to be not just a great chef,” he says, “but a chef who mentors others and helps other businesses grow.”

 

“My son will be 13 this year,” he says. “I can’t wait to tell him how much he motivated me to have a better life.”