KEYSHA NIKKI SEARLES
SUNSHINE VEGAN EATS
An entrepreneur at heart, Keysha “Nikki” Searles is in full steam with the changing shift to a vegan lifestyle. Her creative self taught culinary skills is changing the dynamics at her new restaurant in the heart of the eastside of Buffalo.
Born and bred in Buffalo, NY, Nikki grew up in a middle class neighborhood with her parents and two older brothers. Nikki’s parents were both successful and hard working. Nikki’s mom was strict parent, and her dad was one everyone loved. Nikki states “I grew up having great opportunities to carve out my own special place in society.” A Daddy’s Girl from the start, Nikki’s father taught her a lot of hard-knock life lessons with no filter. Parents are children’s first role models and Nikki has taken the lessons and successes of her parents and ran with it.
As a child Nikki initially wanted to be a nurse but eventually realized it wasn’t her dream job or profession. She graduated from Buffalo Traditional High School in Buffalo, NY. Very popular and active in basketball, dance, and drill, Nikki knew entrepreneurship and real estate was and still is in her DNA. Nikki’s first entrepreneurial launch was BabyCakes Daycare on November 11, 1996. It represented her first taste of life as a certified business owner. Next followed the opening of a marketing agency. The agency quietly grew a formidable real estate empire which eventually developed into its own entity and then another. The ‘spirit of hustle’ from her dad was in Nikki.
One of Nikki’s passions is cooking. Cooking for friends and family, turned into cooking for the masses and Chef Nikki was born. An emphasis on healthy lifestyle, Nikki created healthy meal prep options that spreaded through word of mouth and social media. The success and Nikki’s dedication to working out led to her embarking on a path of food exploration and knowledge.
Part of the exploration was a 21 Day mind and body detoxing and a personal journey into veganism. Nikki has been vegan for three years. Her successful journey and the taste of her offerings made her customers push Nikki into creating a lane for Sunshine Vegan Eats. “I knew I wanted to be on Jefferson Avenue, investing and renovating a space in the heart of our community. So in the spirit of revitalization and progress I created a black owned vegan restaurant for all” Nikki says proudly.
A typical day for the mom of two, and grandmother of three is very busy. Juggling running a restaurant, personal needs with family and business obligations and her dog Bentley is Nikki’s daily grind. For Nikki mornings are very important and to set the tone for the day she always tries to start the day off as with her slogan, “GREAT & AMAZING MORNING.” A trailblazer and true Queen of Buffalo, Nikki wants everyone to remember every morning is amazing when you wake up and have breath and Life.
Nikki is a true beauty inside and out. Nikki says “I believe in living a great life, taking care of self, and living out dreams. Surround yourself with people that inspire growth, which is the most powerful aspect of time development in life. I feel that in order to keep up and keep advancing one must always reinvent yourself! Explore the world and enjoy life!”