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Former pro football player-turned-chef finds success as Black business owner, humanitarian

Chef Ronald Young not only feeds top athletes, he takes the time to feed homeless veterans and partners with athletes who focus on supporting the Black community.

PHOENIX —

There are many Arizonans that make history every day by uplifting and strengthening the Black community. 

And Chef Ronald Young is one of those people.

Young went from a star athlete to star chef in the Valley. He said he has learned to “trust the process,” all while building a Black-owned food prep business.

Young played football most of his life and even went pro in Canada playing for the BC Lions.

But when his football days ended, he needed to find a new passion. And he found it in the kitchen, cooking his way to an associate's degree in culinary arts.

“I feel like it's a lot safer to cook for people than to get hit by a 300-pound man. I’m OK with just cooking,” Young laughed.

“I decided that when I was finished with ball, Like alright, let me start dabbling in this and see where it takes me. I worked at a few restaurants here in the Valley, especially in Scottsdale, and that ignited my hunger," he explained. 

Then one day, a friend and bodybuilder asked Young if he would start preparing healthy meals for him.

“I wasn't familiar with it and my best friend Marcus was telling me how big of an industry it was and how the need for it was really big,” Young said.

Young started doing his research and played with recipes. And soon his meal prep business called Food Vision was born.

Fast forward a year, Young now helps fuel hungry professional athletes such as Phoenix Suns players, Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl champion James Jones and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. 

Along with the roster of A-list athletes he serves, Young also takes times to serve his community

Young helps feed homeless veterans in downtown Phoenix, providing food for family shelters, as well as partners with athletes who focus on supporting the Black community.

"I try to do as much as can for the community as possible," Young said.

Young had some advice to share for those looking to start their own business

“Anybody can do it. It took me a long time, day by day, never happens overnight, but just to be able to flood this market and people to know my brand...I'm grateful,” Young said.  

Join 12 News in celebrating Black History Month! Today in AZ will feature a new story every Monday during the month of February, highlighting the work people are doing in the Black community.

Here are more stories: 

- Where is MLK's dream more than half a century later?

- Calvin Goode, former Phoenix City Councilman and civil rights activist, passes away

- 'Correcting a longtime oversight': MLB officially designates Negro Leagues as major league

- Harris becomes first Black woman, South Asian elected vice president