We had the good fortune of connecting with Malik Rhasaan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Malik, what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by people and community, and I truly believe that food is the connector that builds both. I’m from Queens NY, the most diverse place in the world, and many of the lessons I’ve learned in life happened through food. That’s absolutely inspirational.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m Malik Rhasaan, and the world was first introduced to me through activism. Same as the food industry, I wasn’t immediately embraced into the world of activism, because I didn’t fit the typical mold of what people had come to expect. I was honest, and abrupt in my pursuit of change, focusing on tangible change that could have a direct affect on the communities I worked within. It was a natural transition to food, because I sincerely believe, “you can’t reach the people, if you can’t feed the people.” Food is a catalyst to great things being built. Many a great things have been born from the breaking of bread with others. We opened this business in 2018, and it has been anything but easy. We learned quickly, and sacrificed our normal comforts as we grew our business. We pay attention to people, and the needs of our community, more than trends. Trends change so quickly, but people evolve over time, and so our plan was to build upon that very diverse base and grow with them through their life. We created an experience where people wanted to incorporate us into their daily lives and schedules. That’s really what has attributed to our overall success. We connect with our customers on a very basic and human level. I want the world to know that, “I Cook Better Than Your Muva!” – and I want them to bring their moms to the truck to battle me. LOL. No, seriously, I’d want the world to know that we are a small business in SW Atlanta, looking to build a legacy in the community we reside. Our story is only as good as the people who sing our praises and love our food!
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.
I’d tell them to get off the plane and pull up to the Che Butter Jonez at the MET ATLANTA! While they wait for their food, I’d tell them to slide in Fruition Hat Company and buy themselves something nice. I’d advise them to just explore the city. Atlanta has so many dope things to get in to, and one doesn’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to enjoy them all. Some of our favorites spots to eat when we have a free moment include, O4W Pizza in Duluth, Flava Rich Restaurant, Triple Jay’s Pizza in Midtown(Bae Butter loves their fried Oreos), and Java Saga Coffee.
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?
My wife Detric. I’m Che, she’s Bae. She believed in me so much, and begged me for years to open a restaurant. She would say, “I want the world to experience what I now experience every night!” She says the love affair I have with food is beautiful to witness. That makes me laugh. I just really love creating beautiful dishes that people enjoy eating. So yes, she deserves a Shoutout, because I would have never made this a reality with her persistent begging (lol). Also, my mother Carmelita Fox, who passed away before any of this dream was realized. I learned so much from her about food and cooking. There are still to this day dishes I won’t even attempt to make, because I wouldn’t want to fall short of the greatness she would create in the kitchen.
Alfred Amadu Conteh