By DeAnna Taylor
Turner Francis is the epitome of the Black expat. As a British-born, Jamaican woman she has had the opportunity to live all across the globe. From London, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Dubai, and most recently Tulum.
Francis and her husband had plans to make Belize their next home after their exit from life in Dubai, but as fate would have it, they ended up in Tulum.
“We didn’t really choose Mexico, Mexico chose us,” Francis told Travel Noire. “In 2017, the plan was to head to Belize to check out a property there. In order to get to Belize from Dubai, we needed to transit through the US.”
Her husband, who is an avid scuba diver, spent some time diving in the Red Sea in Sudan. Because of this, it prevented the couple from being able to enter the U.S. and go on to Belize. So, they shifted their plans and found a different way.
“We decided to fly to Mexico and drive ourselves to Belize. Long story short, we discovered Tulum. After a few days in Belize, we returned to Tulum and bought a home there instead.”
While living in Dubai, she quit her corporate banking job to launch her vegan dessert company, Coco Yogo Dubai. Right before the move, she sold the business to prepare for the next chapter in Mexico. But, if you are in Dubai, you can still purchase vegan treats from the business.
Now, Francis is the face behind Boho Vegano, a fun vegan culinary experience that she hosts through Airbnb.
“Boho Vegano is my new identity in Tulum, and I use Airbnb as the platform for this business,” Francis explained. “For now, the brand is more experience-based with private offerings for small groups such as retreats and personal orders. My specialty is raw vegan desserts and treats.”
The classes are offered from her private home in the jungle. As of now, she has temporarily paused operations because of COVID. But, there are plans to be up and running again soon in a new format.
To shift with the times, Francis will soon offer a new outdoor foodie experience that will begin sometime in October. She also owns Mercado Eco Verde, a non-profit slow food market that she runs with a team of volunteers.
We asked Francis to offer a little advice to anyone looking to start a business outside of their home country, here’s what she said:
“Never rush into a business venture in a foreign country where you do not know or fully understand the law. Take your time to do as much due diligence, and always bear in mind that as a tourist or visitor without the right paperwork and documentation in place, you’re putting yourself at risk. Get advice from professionals and immigration personnel before you decide to venture out.”