We had the good fortune of connecting with Marco Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marco, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I opened my first business, I wanted a place that I would go to everyday to eat that I didn’t think existed at the time in the city where we lived. I had spent a decent amount of time working for other people and I felt that I was ready to have my own voice.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was the only black cook in nearly every kitchen I worked in across the country. Not seeing any people that looked like me in a leadership role could have been discouraging. Fortunately, I was able to work for some extremely high profile chefs that supported my growth, encouraged me to work hard and learn. Getting to where I am right now has been overwhelmingly difficult. I am still overcoming the challenges but everyday I get better at ai. I’ve learned to ask questions incessantly. I’ve learned that I have to outwork everyone around me to get the respect that my skill set deserves. I’ve learned to expect more of my self and less of those I rely on. I want people to know that I have succeeded in spite of the challenges set before me and excelled because it gave me drive.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We take people to all of the places that we find to be quintessentially Atlanta. We visit the following: Ponce City Market Krog Street Hugh Museum Buford Highway The BeltLine Dekalb Farmers Market Buford Highway Farmers Market (if they cook) Piedmont Park Red Top Mt. and The Chattahoochee (if they are outdoor people) Homegrown for Breakfast I take everyone to Gunshow because it is so unique World of Coca-COla if they have children
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?
There are a lot of people that contributed to my initial success. My parents always encouraged me to be my own person, graduating from college and jumping backwards into the service industry never phased them. My aunt Pat bought me my first knife and always talked to me about food and restaurants and encouraged my passion. The chef at my first restaurant job talked to me about the importance of learning how to run a restaurant by the book and encouraged me to get a degree in restaurant management. Tons of cooks that I worked with in 8 states over 20 years inspired me to learn and get better daily.
Other: I have zero social media
We own them