We had the good fortune of connecting with LaNicia “Chef Smiley Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi LaNicia “Chef Smiley, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my business is staying consistent with my customers. I make sure I follow up with my customers and just check up on them. Customer service is the support you offer your customers-both before and after they buy and use your products or services which helps their experience with you especially if they have questions. I want to stick to five core values of my business, which is, INTEGRITY, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, AND QUALITY.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My career started when I was 15 without me realizing it. I’ve been in the restaurant industry for 19 years from employee to management. There have been many challenges, up and downs, and even stepping away to start another career. Let’s just say the food industry is my passion and gift. I am mostly proud of teaching and training others in cooking. I love cooking and connecting customers to their favorite dish. If it wasn’t for Ed Reynoso, who now owns his own restaurant in Maryland, I actually don’t think I will have even taken the challenge of cooking in front of people. He actually made me get out my comfort zone of just being in front of the house while working in restaurants. Some days were harder than others and challenging. Those days, I will come up with a master plan and execute without panicking. When you panic, you will make a mistake. The lessons I’ve learned mostly is staying grounded and humble. I always want to have an open mind regardless of who is around. It doesn’t matter how young or old someone is in any career, you can learn from them. Don’t become egotistical and arrogant. Behind my brand, is about using fresh herbs, spices with coffee, and herbal Tea blends. Indigenous meaning is originating or occurring naturally in a particular place. I am big on herbs such as basil, burdock root, parsley, dandelion, fenugreek, and so on. There is a lot of people who don’t know the benefits of herbs while enjoying them either cooking with or drinking the herbs. my job is to educate them and creating that environment for my customers once I open a store front in Atlanta Ga. Honestly, making craft drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and other commodity drinks are easy. The biggest question is what is going to set you apart from any other coffee shop.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For breakfast I would take them to Park 75, Cultivate Food and Coffee, and Ms.Icey’s. Some of the places I would hangout during the day is the aquarium, the botanical gardens, ponce city market, canoe (great view), tiny doors Atl, the high museum of art. However the nightlife is s a dope vibe in Atlanta. Some of the places I will take will take them is Rock Steady, Apt. 4B, The sun dial bar and view, the painted duck, Ticonderoga Club, cafe circa, and the S.O.S Tiki bar in Decatur.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Its easy to take all the credit of my success but I will definitely like to shoutout my family and friends. A very important person who help build my website is Juanita Freeman. She made sure that it was up and ready and still helps me out on top of all of her endeavors. I definitely have a big support system for sure. My parents make sure everyone they run into go to my website and support.

Website: www.indigenouscoffeebar.com
Email: indidigenouscoffeebeansandherbs@gmail.com
Instagram: @indigenouscoffeeherbs
Facebook: Indigenous Coffee Beans and Herbs
Other: Google – Indigenous Coffee Beans and Herbs

Image Credits
credit : Sohen Grier Brandon Noah Hobby

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