We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef Esco and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chef, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was born to be an entrepreneur. In middle school, I sold Big Texas cinnamon rolls to make money. During this time, I was able to build key skills and a level of hustle that every entrepreneur needs to survive in this hyper competitive world. Such as the sales skilI where I sold a stick of gum for $1.00. With both my parents being business owners, I understood that freedom means entrepreneurship. I always lusted after the idea of controlling my own destiny and time. As I got older, I worked jobs where I saw people coming into work miserable and I never wanted to live that way. This showed me, whatever you do with your time make sure you love doing it. This is the reason why I started Esco Eats. It is important to build an environment where people love coming to work and their creativity is embraced. It is reflected in our mission to bring joy and happiness through media and art. Through business, I’m able to impact lives through content creation centered around food as my canvas.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The main thing that separates Esco Eats apart from other companies is simply the creativity. We pride ourselves on thinking outside the box and continuously strive to bring new ideas to life. Our goal is to discover new restaurants, learn about new dishes and entertain.
Business wise I got here by simply refusing to lose. The pandemic offered a unique time and space to start a new food entertainment series and persuade people to try my World Famous Apple Cobbler Pie. I can’t say it was easy because we are carving out our lane in the culinary space, not following someone’s footsteps. Fortunately for me I have a great team and support system around me to overcome any obstacle.
As much creativity I had to put into starting Esco Eats, I had to put even more into brand awareness. This was and still is the main challenge today. I’ve learned you must persevere when people tell you no and continue to pursue your dream. I want the world to know to always chase your dreams and passions no matter how big or small. The world and your life is what you make it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting Atlanta, I would say the FIRST stop to make is definitely to purchase the Esco Eats World Famous Apple Cobbler Pie which can only be found in Atlanta. After ordering it on the website, I would definitely move towards a sporting event in the city. All the venues are great experiences from the Falcons, Braves or even the Hawks. Within the next few days I would plan trips for the zoo, aquarium and even the Coke museum. But you can’t come to Atlanta without trying some great food! I’m definitely taking my friend to Sweet Potato Cafe in Stone Mountain Village to try a hidden gem. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Being in the city of Atlanta has been a great asset for my business. The city has a great ecosystem for startups with great resources. All the great brands you know today needed great support before launching and that’s what the city brings to my story. I would like to give a special thanks to the H Restaurant Group, this industry was hit hard during the pandemic. They gave me my first chance to come record at a restaurant.This time was pivotal for me to refine my concept. I called the owner while I was in college with just a vision and concept. He agreed and I took a one way flight home 2 weeks later. Another group that needs a shoutout is the ATDC business program at Georgia Tech. They helped me advance by business while offering a lot of great advice and feedback. I also have to give a special thanks to my President/Co Founder of the company Anita Lamb for coming on board early in the process and seeing the vision. She brings over 15 years of strategic business and leadership skills which partners great with my marketing strength. This has been a collaborative effort by many people to bring this vision of a new type of culinary web series to light and I couldn’t have done it without them.