We had the good fortune of connecting with Augustine Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Augustine, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. I was raised in the foster care system due to me being taking away from my family at a young age. Growing up living in these homes, not only did I experience poverty, neglect, and a shortage of mentorship, there were days where I had to make a way to feed myself. Having to provide for myself at a young age, as a teen mother, my goal was that I wanted love and a stable family. I wanted to make sure that my life and my daughters life would be better than what was presented to me and I didn’t become a statistic like the ones around me. All of those things has impacted who I am today because I am a chef and my goal for creating my brand was to bring families together thru love, laughter & good food. Also, I wanted to create mentorship for other people (women especially) 4 things I never got to experience growing up.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What has always set me apart from others is my passion to help people and bring families back together! I am most proud of being a great mom to my daughter and being able to give her a lifestyle I never had thru my hard work. I got to where I am today because of my Character and having a PLAN! Every week I write down my goals to make sure i get further than I did the week before. This method has been able to keep me focused and motivated because each day I know I serve a PURPOSE. The biggest lesson that I have learned is SACRIFICE….if you wanna get somewhere u never been, you have to do things others are not willing to do. That in itself takes Character and belief. No one will believe in you more than you do! Also, to take control of my current situation, good, bad or ugly. I’ve learned thru every storm there is a rainbow, you just have to keep pushing forward and keep those goals front and center. I have been able to overcome my challenges by listening to people like Eric Thomas to keep me motivated and consistent prayer. I watch old videos of me being homeless and riding the bus as a Reminder. It keeps me humble! In 2020, during the pandemic, I Started selling dinners out of my moms kitchen in Ohio to make ends meet. 6 months later, I got my LLC and turned Southern Smackins into a catering company. I have been in business a little over a year, currently residing in Fort Lauderdale. Since then I have expanded my brand from $10 meals to 5 star cuisines. I am currently working on launching my cookbook, seasonings and virtual cooking classes. We also offer a luxury fine dining experience called “A moment in Time” for private dinners, birthdays, anniversaries and more, where we transform your home into the perfect moment! In the beginning, it was extremely hard because I was promoting my meals on Facebook with no clients, no marketing experience, no personal or business credit for funding and little to no help in the kitchen. I hired family and it didn’t work. My business had gotten so big I had to stop selling dinners because anyone I hired after 1 week it didn’t last. I had to shop for the food, prep the food, handle orders, deliver the food & little to no time to spend with Harmony. The world needs to know that I Have Arrived!! Chef Tina and Southern Smackins is going to bring back not only good healthy food, but unity, love and Leadership. We a creating a brand that will motivate other young men and women that has experienced poverty. Bringing back H.O.P.E (Helping other people Exist) to families, children, and communities. We want to show kids in the Foster Care system, YOU CAN DO IT!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would most definitely eat at Southern Smackins! Outside of that, hibachi would be next on the list. I would take them to Miami or maybe even Orlando. We would hang out at my favorite spot…..The beach. I would also go to a few waterparks if we went to Orlando. Next, we would go to the outlets to go shopping. Florida has so much to experience, im still learning new things myself. They have fashion museums, arcades, horse back riding, swimming with the dolphins and even yacht clubs that I really enjoy going to for ladies night or a nice vibe and dinner off the water. We would go to the spa, and take some tourist tours of celebrity houses in Miami while sipping mimosas. If we are in the mood to party, I would go to Las Olas, or brickell in Miami, Downtown Fort Lauderdale or any Caribbean club.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My personal development has been inspired by my spirituality! I listen to people like Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Tony Robbins and even Pastor Steven Furtick. Rich Dad Poor Dad is what I used for mentorship internally, and externally I was able to see my older sister Bianca Young become that leader that I always needed. She went to college, got married and always tried her best to do the right thing. At that time of my life, I used her motivation to help push myself to become a better woman like her. My mother also played an important role because she believed in me and helped me start my business.
Other: email; Southernsmackins@gmail.com