We had the good fortune of connecting with Andre Webley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andre, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve always wanted to start a business and I’ve started a few different ventures but always ended up fading back from as I grew in the restaurants I worked at. I mainly just wanted to create something that I know I enjoy and brings people together. And sitting down and enjoying a good meal with the people you care about is a great feeling and that was my thought process to starting this business, Frenchiesfoodworld .Creating a good time and experience through food. That may be with cannabis infused dishes , sweets , cookies, or just creating a special menu for a dining party. Just starting business that makes you feel good.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I always had a interest in cooking which became a love later down the line in my life . Being raised in a carribean house hold, having family gathings was a normal and I always enjoyed those times and one thing that stood out to me was the food. It was focal point of the night and you can tell that care was in every dish. As I got older watching my father and mother cooked. I always enjoyed and start to cook myself here and there. Then I start to realize I like this and I think I’m good at it.
Which lead to changing my career path in college from physical therapy to culinary arts. Thats when the journey began and with support of Nedra, I jumped in the culinary world. Working for smaller restaurants, mom and pops, high volume like pf changs. But when it really opened up for me was working at the Westin Diplomat at Satine with a friend Mike and thats when I would meet mentors and friends Tommy Nuygue and Joshua Bartram really taught me a lot and made me take this seriously and just became more amazed with food. From there my next jump that molded me was working for the Gansevoort Hotel. I grew even more and started learning more , learning tons of lessons good and bad . But a light switch went on and learned alot from banquets, running the pool side restaurant, in room dining, assisting STK which was down stairs. Chef Kiren i learned banquets and planning and move with purpose. The next was Trulucks where I grew the most and spent 9 years there and accomplished a lot, lots of growing pains and great moments also but my creativity grew more there and learned more of the business and politics of the industry and the restaurant itself, when that your ended in my of 2020. I realized then that I always knew it was time to do it, start your business ,just create it and it will grow. So I did and when I did it felt good and building it with support from love ones has been great. Learning and developing cannabis Infused sweets and dishes. Planning dinners ,hosting and creating a event. Has been something that lites spark when I’m doing those things. I wanted to honor my grandmother Ruby, who has a special place in my heart. She has a nickname for me “Frenchie” so thats where name of the business Frenchiesfoodworld comes from.
The lessons and things I’ve learned is ,you’ll meet great people in this industry and business of culinary. I have life long friends and family. But you will have to .are sacrifices because the world is hard and you’ll see people from all walks a life and having tough skin is a must. But I would change it cause it help me create and shape me as chef and a man .
Creating this journey, may have just started a year a go but I feel like I’ve been working up to this point ,meant for more.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m in Chicago right now but Miami is home. One of my favorite spots to eat is G&B oyster bar. Julia and I love that place. Great seafood , drinks, and a view of the beach. Perfect for me. Grab some pho in sunrise, dim sum off 163st, grab some Haitian food in north Miami, some sushi in Fort Lauderdale. So many gems and my favorite jamaican food from my mom and dad.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitely my family and friends. My Fiance Julia, my kids Aj and Sophia, my sister Brittney,mother,father ,my 2nd mom ,my brothers and other family and friends have all played a part and supported in different ways.