We had the good fortune of connecting with M&M’s Comfort Zone Megan & Amanda Brock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi M&M’s Comfort Zone, how do you think about risk?
It’s ironic that our name is M&M’s Comfort Zone, when we’ve been pushed outside our comfort zone since we started this business. The decision to launch a pop-up to sell food and then advance to going full-time in the restaurant industry came from answering the simple question: “if not now, when?”
Someone once said you miss 100 % of the shots you don’t take. If we’re too fearful (and actually call this being “careful”), we’ll grow older with dreams that grow wild in our imaginations. We daily take a risk to open the business and operate knowing we’re understaffed but we’re committed to continuing to make our imaginations our reality. Many people have lost everything in this last year–businesses that were much older and larger are gone now. We see the reports and closed buildings and chose to try again every day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets us apart is the fact that we’re biological sisters coming from two very different industries. Mandy, the younger sister, earned a degree in culinary arts from LeCordon Bleu. Her career started in fine dining, where she served in the best restaurants in Atlanta. Dr. Megan Brock is a full-time faculty member at the University of Georgia. In her free time, she’s an amateur baker. Together, we make up M&M’s Comfort Zone,
We bond over the love of cooking and eating together; most of our memory of joy was in our mother’s kitchen. We learned to cook and show love through food. We feel it’s our mandate to share good food with those we encounter, to provide moments of sweet and savory comfort during the challenging times of life. It certainly hasn’t been easy. We both come from male-dominated industries and launching a business is totally new to us. We learned it was best to remain teachable, to glean from any person with expertise. We spent much time just talking to people and learning how to survive. We’ve learned that in this industry people want good food (consistently) and excellent service.
Oftentimes people focus on catching a WIDE array of customers when we really focus on developing DEEP connections with our community. We’re family-oriented and we want to inspire people with our food. We hope that’s captured from our brand and service.
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.
We believe that you must capture the essence of the city–the things that make Atlanta unique. We would definitely start with learning about the resilience of the people of the city–we’d have to go to the Civil Rights Museum first. We would definitely swing by so they could see the historically black college and university cluster as well; we cultivate black excellence right in our own city. We’d definitely have to walk through Centennial Park and Underground ATL (for nostalgia sake–because who doesn’t remember running through the water chasing their siblings in the Georgia summer sun?!). We also probably also take them to some major places like the Botanical Gardens, Aquarium, and the World of Coke (to make them a believer)
As far as food goes, we would start with feeding them our own restaurant’s food. However, since we’re not open for breakfast, we’d definitely eat Waffle House or Atlanta Breakfast Club.
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?
We give all credit to the good lord, Jesus Christ. Without Him, we would be nothing. He gave us awesome parents who cooked their butts off and cultivated the gifts within us.
Milk & Butter Social took the majority of these pictures