We had the good fortune of connecting with Count and Jessica Foreman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Count and Jessica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Count Foreman: RISK has been a key factor in my life and my business. I would have not seen any progress if I didn’t take the RISK to bet on myself and build a business without capitol. I was denied by banks for small business loans, pressured by private investors that wanted to control the creative ideas and have a say in the way the business was structure. I had to silence all the noise and we set out to raise the money as a family. We been able to fund our business by becoming Street Vendors and with the income of our cleaning business. Instead of saving or taking family trips, we bought cooking and catering equipment. One of the biggest RISK was becoming a street vendor in 2008, which in many areas are frown upon. When we first started to vend, we had to invest in equipment and gain the trust of the community. There was time where I had to Flip that rent check so we could buy more product to vend another weekend. We took a RISK with implementing our own ideas and style of vending. I created a Live Sauté station that you would normally see in a restaurant, I brought That to streets and I cooked directly in front of the customer on the of Second and Keech corner. We had introduced cuisine that usually wasn’t served as a street food. Also, we were able to introduce different type of vegetables in our dishes which the customer would not try due to the presumption of how they taste. Our Customers also took a RISK in trying our food, that they never had and supporting a street vendor. Being a street vendor have been RISKY on its own accord . We constantly deal with mother nature and making sure that we are able to sellout so we can see a profit and not just break even. When we started we were just breaking even! We gave away more free samples then we sold plates, but we gained future customers. Another RISK is dealing with possibility of being shut down by the city or police, which have been shown more on the news and social media lately. It shows how street vendors are shut down by police because of non-permits or because of location they are selling food or goods. What people fail to realize is that these vendors feed their families and generate income. We need new laws, regulations, and permits so we can Legitimatize this industry that is continuing to be growing. Now fast forward to 2020, which has been the RISKEST year of all! Like most of us, the New year was full of fresh optimism, re-energize and making those New Year resolutions! For us we knew we wanted to expand and find a bigger kitchen and to continue our free Kids cooking Class, Sauté Kingz and Queenz Jr. Chef Academy, our free cooking class for the youth at our own location. On January 20, 2020, we saw the perfect kitchen at 200 S. Martin Luther King Blvd in Daytona Beach Fl, and we fell in love with the idea on being back in Midtown. After long conversation with the family, we decided to move forward by February 8, 2020 we signed the lease and went into renovation mode. On top of still having our first place until May. We had to continue to street vend and were looking forward to the March Event that is known as Bike Week. Which was shut down early due to the pandemic and the state of Florida. Understandable right, but that cause loss of income and now we were in a position that we fought hard to avoid, which was being unemployed! Our catering and cleaning income were just gone! All event was canceled, clients went on quarantine and their business shut down, as well as our shot to being on TV show that we were on the last process of being vetted for. It seems like 2020, was going down fast and we had just signed a new lease, but we were not about to give up! Over the shutdown we continue to sell plates, and my wife Jessica went to Truck driving school and got her CDL. She had to go the over the road. We didn’t qualify for unemployment, no PPP, Or EIDL loan, but we did use the Stimulus for the business and our bills. All of 2020 was a RISK, it was just the unbeknown, but we had to continue to strive any way necessary to accomplish the dream we had been working towards for the last 13 years. Giving up was not an option for us! So now April of 2021 we are here planning for the grand opening. Without taking the RISK we wouldn’t see the opportunity that present themselves through our effort.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Jessica: I am proud that we have been on this journey together as a family. Chef Count has also been able to inspire kids and teach them skills like he has for our sons. I love the fact that the community has embrace us with positivity and we try to give back when we can! I think that our customer service has been a major factor, we treat everyone with the same with respect. We tried to correct our mistakes immediately even when we are not our best. Giving back to our community have been a big factor as well, we cannot ask for support and not give back to our clients or the community. We have our struggles and it has been hard to stay afloat without any help. Everything we have done been funded by ourselves from building the business, to the Free cooking class. Especially during the pandemic, that was the biggest hurdle we had to face. I mean all income had stop the only, we got back to street vending and our customers came out to support. The funny thing was we been outdoor in a tent and now due to the pandemic all restaurants had to follow suit. It taught us all that we all must do what we can do to survive and appreciate what you have. What I want people to know about our story is that we defied the odds and that we did what people said we couldn’t. I’m hoping our story can inspire others to follow their dreams regardless of the circumstances or the naysayers. This entrepreneur life is about taking a RISK! You
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?
Jessica: Personally, I love to explore the beaches and State Parks. I love to have picnic cook on the beach! I also would take them to Wynnwood Area to see the street arts and of course to eat from food truck and Bars. I would take the boat ride tours in Biscayne and rent Jet skis. Also, The St. Pete Pier Is a perfect area for sight-seeing and the restaurants
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?
First we want to give a huge Shoutout to Nulook Barbershop On Second and Keech, Lawton Shaw and Patrick Colley. You gave the first opportunity to Set up at the Shop. To Judy and Joseph Jeter, for believing and supporting us since we met in 2005. To H.E.D Events for the talent and positivity, Jared Thompson, 100,000arts, for capturing our vision on film, To Chef Mango @Chefmango on IG, for helping us, always exploring new recipes and collaborating on The epic MLK event, To our friends and family for sharing our post, texting, supporting us with positivity and referring our services. To Our COMMUNITY and our Customers that have rode this wave with us over the last 13 years on the Ave, you have shared, recommended us, shown up in the rain, and continued to support. We appreciate everyone that supported our dreams not we about to show out a little bit!! #FANCYSTREETEATS #SAUTEKINGZ #FOODPERV
Youtube: Saute kingz by chef count
Xavier Walton Austen Herres
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