Cooking From the Heart


Falcon Media Staff

Meal from TriggaMeals

Laura Sandlin, Reporter

With the unexpected passing of his mother in 2016 and his desire to help his family, DeAnte Shivers created TriggaMeals. 

The 2017 Bowling Green State University alumni had $47 left in his account, and in his last year of school, he decided to create a business out of his studio apartment. When he initially created his business, he did it to help his family during financially difficult times. 

“I started [TriggaMeals] in July, and my family and I were faced with hard times. I was trying to help out and earn a couple of dollars. My mom used to help me out with bills, and once she passed, my dad and my brother picked up her half of everything. I wanted to ease that burden off of them,” Shivers said. 

Shivers comes from a family of chefs who use cooking for the holidays and grocery runs as times to bond over their shared love of food. 

“Being the younger child, I was always stuck going and getting everything for my mom and  I learned how to cook from watching her,” Shivers said.  

In the beginning, TriggaMeals was a place for students and the community to come share a meal, be themselves and act as an ear for those who needed someone to listen. 

Over the years, TriggaMeals has served thousands of customers, and Shivers says that he has been able to form relationships with his customers even outside of work. 

“I meet so many people from different places, different backgrounds, and being able to connect with them not only as a customer but as people has allowed me to establish a relationship with them,” Shivers said. “Sometimes, when people come up, I can see they’re having a bad day, and so I appreciate that I get to be that ear for them.” 

As TriggaMeals has grown, Shivers remembers times when he was worried about where his next meal came from. As a college student, he says he often struggled with food insecurity. However, with the success of his business, he has been able to give back to the community that has done so much for him. 

“At a point in time, I was a student, and I love the things that this business has allowed me to do. I remember when I was that person who needed that ear or a free meal, or whatever the case may be. Now that I’m in the position to provide the things that I needed when I didn’t have anyone,” Shivers said. 

Shivers explained that he struggled with the difficulty of being a student and business owner. He didn’t always know he was going to go into culinary. 

“Once I graduated college, I realized that this is what I was going to do. I had a hard time accepting that this was my calling. I graduated with a communications degree. I had no idea I would be in the business of cooking. I’ve always wanted to go into sports broadcasting,” Shivers said. “I don’t regret it for one second.” 

In 2018, the owners of Ziggy Zoombas, a local bar and now the location of TriggaMeals, signed a deal allowing Shivers to run his business out of their kitchen. The dramatic change in space created new opportunities. Shivers said this changed his life forever.  

“The day I moved into there, it completely changed my life. Not only has it allowed me to take care of myself, but it has allowed me to give back to the community,” Shivers said. “From free meals to connecting with people and everything else in between, it has one thousand percent changed my life.” 

As he reflected, Shivers told others to be patient for the future that awaits them. 

“My biggest advice to students would be to be patient with yourself. So many people want what’s right for them right away, but you have to be patient with yourself and have to realize that sometimes plans can be different,” Shivers said. “Even if you don’t believe it right away, if you accept it, you’ll learn that this is where you were meant to be in life.”