Dejua Lewis is a senior that has always had a passion for the culinary arts and has had food in her life for a long time. Recently, she has opened a restaurant of her own, Dejua’s Creationz. My sister brought me home some of the food from her restaraunt. It was chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and fries. It was all delicious but I really liked the Mac n cheese. It was just how I love it, creamy, cheesy and hot.
In addition to the good food, Dejua’s restraurant has amazing service and her and her mother were very patient and extremely friendly. The inside was decorated with halloween decor. She is doing a great job and this is very impressive and difficult for a student in high school, so I asked her some questions about her life and the restaurant.
Q: When did you decide that you wanted to open a restaurant?
A: I have been working in food service with my mom for about 9 years now. She was the one who taught me all the ins and outs, since she owns her own restaurant as well. I have co-ownership of hers and sole ownership of my own. When we finally purchased and built it out I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I fell in love with designing and creating and my relationship with my work grows everyday. So my decision to own a restaurant has always been instilled in me but now is the time when I finally was able to bring my dreams to life.
Q: What steps did you take to open the restaurant?
A: The process is very complicated. But what I can say is that it took a lot of patience.
Q: Do you enjoy leading this business?
A: Yes, I do. Food is my entire life. Without it I honestly feel like I wouldn’t be complete. It has really become my entire identity.
Q: What is your favorite part about owning the business?
A: My customers. Little kids come in there everyday, and seeing their faces light up as I’m designing their tasty treats fills my heart with a one of a kind type of joy.
Q: Did you face any obstacles?
A: Yes. Many. Fear of what others would think. Financial issues. Even depression but with hard work you can truly achieve anything. I’m very religious and God is the only reason I’m still standing. I raised above all odds and instilled confidence in myself. That’s the only way I was able to achieve what you all know now as ‘Dejua’s Creationz’.
Q: How do you balance school and work?
A: Trust me it’s not easy. AT ALL. But I feel like I’m managing. I keep all my assignments tracked by using a personal agenda. And when I’m at work if I have a little free time I’ll knock out a few assignments. But I also stay very focused in all my classes so I DON’T have homework. Lastly, getting as much sleep at night as I possibly can.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years ?
A: My mission is to grow. I would love to have a “Dejua’s Creationz” in places like New York , Orlando, Los Angeles, Atlanta and even overseas in areas like Tokyo , Paris , and Germany. It would literally be a dream come true. My food and work is remarkable and it would be an extreme honor to share it with as much of the rest of the world as possible.”
Q: What advice can you give to others who want to start their own business?
A: Stay focused man. Seriously. Because it’s not easy. There is a lot you have to sacrifice and give up to have and maintain a successful business. Time, money, a lot of late nights and even earlier mornings. But just like me if anybody out there dreams, as long as they invest their time, love, and patience into their craft they can be just as successful.
Go check out Dejua’s Creationz!