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Daily Inspiration: Meet Shimikia Hagins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shimikia Hagins.

Hi Shimikia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’ve been cooking since I was around four years old, accompanying my mother in the cooking learning different recipes. As I got older cooking become a passion that I found to be therapeutic. I would cook food for my friends, brothers & sisters, let them try what I was making. It became apart of my routine. Everything I cooking, I like for it to be done with love. My mom would always tell me “you got to cook from the soul, when people eat your food they have to feel good about it” I use to watch when my mother would cook for other people and how their faces would light up when they tasted her food. She would always say “no matter what a person is going through, you give them a good meal, and they’ll feel alright,” And that taught me that anybody can cook, but it’s the love that goes inside the food that brings joys.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, I work a full-time job outside of my catering business so time management and prioritizing has been tough. The main struggle I can currently think of is when I have orders to do during the work week. So picking a work schedule where I can do both is key to making sure that both of these jobs can be done efficiently and effectively. If I have to work from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM, and someone requested an order for 10:00 AM, I’m up preparing and making their order at 6:00 AM, and then head straight to my day job. Once business has been picking up, I am able to hire people to help in those spots that I will not be able to fulfill. My daughter does all of the social media, web design, and sending out invoices and sending me the orders, which is great because that is one less thing I’d have to worry about. Because cooking is therapeutic to me and I love feeding people which makes this all worth it to me.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
About ten years ago, I started making eggrolls for my co-workers and family. One of my most popular ones is called “Buffalo Chicken & Cheese” which is ultimately like buffalo dip inside of an eggroll. And what became a key part in my business is various people would bring me their ideas about what they’d like in an eggroll so I’d make it. I’ve had some very interesting requests such as “Chilli Cheese Hotdog” yes, you read that correctly, a chili cheese hotdog eggroll which is more of the extreme ones. Others, such as our apple pie eggrolls and oreo cheesecake cookie eggrolls are a crowd favorite as well. I had someone ask me “Can you make me a chicken & waffles eggroll?” I was hesitant, it was good. Some of my eggrolls I do not taste, but I tasted the chicken & waffle for the first time, and it was good. One new customization that we have rolled out is pre-packaged eggrolls, this allows for people to freeze and fry their eggrolls on their own time. Our main this is gourmet eggrolls, they aren’t standard small eggrolls, they’re thick and filling. Eggrolls isn’t the only thing that I do surprisingly, I let friends & family name certain items, for example there is this soup I remember from my childhood with okra, and zucchini, shrimp, etc. I used to make it with the stew tomatoes and called it “Liquid Soul Soup”.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
It definitely had a major impact on small business, and our company experienced it first hand, in March we had a booking for April, and this was an order for over $1,000 but due to Covid-19, we had to cancel the entire event which was devastating to a small business. When we make orders for events, we can’t make them for big crowds as we normally would operate. For me, it’s most important to remember that thankfully I have a day job to fall back on, if I were only doing catering events, this would have affected me in the worst ways possible.

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