We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaquin Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaquin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I honestly didn’t have specific plan but life happened and everything fell into place magically. My Daddy was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer March 6, 2017 and my life changed forever. I moved him in with me and began to take care of him. As his health declined, I took a leave of absence from my accounting job. During my leave of absence, my job politely fired me. On the morning of April 23, 2017, I awoke at 6am and like every morning, I checked on my father as soon as my eyes opened because I slept on the chair right next to his bed. This time I noticed his eyes were open but he wasn’t responding. He was transitioning. I called the Hospice nurse and she told me it could take a few hours or days but the hearing was one of the last things to go. I told him I loved him and that I would spend my life making the catering business a success like we planned together. I got up and began to prepare a meal for a 200 person wedding event I was set to cater that afternoon. I called my immediate family to share the news about my Dad and they all came to my house. I whipped up peach Cobbler, hugged loved ones, stuffed chicken, kissed my Daddy, chopped potatoes, shed tears, stopped to check my father’s pulse, and this routine continued until I watched my Daddy take his last breath at 1032 a.m. I felt like a piece of my soul died that day…I felt like he gave his life in exchange for my dream. I would never have stepped out on faith to start a business. I spent my entire savings taking care of funeral costs and a few days later I was wondering what I would do….how I would provide for my kids…I stopped by Blessings Thrift Store because window shopping was therapy for me. While there, an employee said, “Maybe you could deliver lunch to us one day until you decide about going back to work.” The next day I sold my first $7 plate and it has been a whirlwind of a dream since then. I cook with love….I volunteer with love…I make sure I do His will and I put my SOUL into everything I do…hence the name- Soul To Table Catering. ❤
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The unique fact about my business is how I serve those in my community. The name of my business is Soul To Table Catering so I try to live out the name. I personally provide complimentary meals and serve veterans, police officers, and frontline personnel on a monthly basis. Also, due to the shortage of Meals on Wheels volunteers, I give homecooked meals to the elderly citizens in my community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So because I’m such a foodie, we are gonna eat all week long honey! We will definitely grab some of those delicious Slutty Vegan Burgers, the fried okra and eccentric atmosphere at Louisiana Bistreaux, Sudo Bar for the amazing mixed drinks and packed dance floor. Next we will swing by Jeju for some relaxing spa time. I’m an avid thrifter and love a great deal so we will check out Blessings Thrift Store in McDonough and Alexis Suitcase in John’s Creek. 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?
Amanda Bae, owner of The Painted Nest, was the lady who suggested I provide lunch for them some days when they couldn’t leave the office. After I posted a pic with me delivering lunch to her, it went viral in our little town. She constantly shared my story, recommended me, and continuously encouraged me through the ups and downs.
Linkedin: Shaquin Thomas
Facebook: Soul To Table Catering