We had the good fortune of connecting with Clarissa Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clarissa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was freedom. I became a parent at an early age, straight out of high school pregnant with twins. My son passed away at two months; however I couldn’t give up there, I still had a daughter to live for.
A month after my son passed away we also buried my grandmother, Louise Johnson. My grandmother kept me in the kitchen with her. We prepared food for all of the family reunions and holidays. From chopping onions for the scratch made gravy to peeling eggs for the potato salad, she most definitely had me doing it all!
Fast forward to 2010, I gave birth to another girl. I had my fingers crossed for a boy, but I didn’t get that lucky.
With a couple of tragic events at such an early age I needed a breakthrough fast! In 2013 I packed up my two children and moved to Houston TX in hope of better career opportunities.
As a single parent in a new city things didn’t always come easy. I was able to land a good job working in the oil and gas industry for the accounting department, that still wasn’t enough for me. In 2014 I enrolled in college and studied business management with a specialization in business administration, I still did not feel fulfilled. I always felt there was more for me, like was supposed to be doing something else. I just couldn’t put my finger on it, what I did know was that I hated working for others.
Fast forward to 2016, I sat down and asked myself, what was I extremely passionate about so that it could generate a second income for me. I always loved cooking from a very young age. People loved to come over and have me cook for them, but they were eating for free. That’s when the idea came to me, I needed to start selling plates.
I took the money I had and brought all the food and supplies I needed to start selling plates that very weekend.
I got online and figured out how to apply for a DBA and I applied for an EIN with the IRS. While thinking of a name for the business, I figured what better way to keep my grandmother alive in my life, other than to name my business after her. She lived in the country, we ate country style food; and that’s how I came up with Louise’s Country Kitchen.
Once I saw that I was able to sell plates to local businesses in my area, I knew I was in business. I had several ups and downs, working full time, going to college half time and a full time single mother.
All I knew back then was that I needed “Freedom.” I needed to be financially free so that I could supply myself and children with what our hearts desired and not be boggled down with how was I going to do this and that. I knew I needed to be debt free so that I could use credit for personal and business ventures. I knew that I needed to break several generational curses that I felt plagued my family for a very long time. With all of those things in mind I knew that once I became successful in whatever I put my heart in, I would eventually experience Total Life Changes and create total freedom for my children and their children.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a caterer and now own a food trailer. I like to use the tag line; “We food different.” I feel that we food different because I don’t go for the cheapest products in the market. I use organic produce, fresh ingredients, and we make all of the sauces and seasonings homemade.
I plan to start my own produce garden soon that I can use all the veggies on my food trailer right from my garden.
I got where I am today by hard work and dedication. I never gave up even when I said I would. Nothing has ever came easy to me so I have had to literally grind hard for everything that I have now. With two attempts for a food cart and trailer that failed. I now have a food trailer this third time around.
What I’ve learned along the way is to never think your goals and dreams are too big. I have learned that I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I’m willing to put in the work!
I want the world to know that we are not in the food service industry just because it can be lucrative, Serving is my passion and purpose. I cook with purpose, with every customer in mind. I specialize in flavor, doesn’t have to be salty to be packed with infused spices and flavorful. I serve my customers how I want to be served good and plentiful. Prepared with love that feeds the soul.
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 would take my friend to the Galleria to shop
then we would go to Grand Lux for lunch across the street from the Galleria
For night life we would go down to the heights area to White Rhino bar for drinks. I cater there sometimes so we would try out the food truck that is there at the time.
The next day we would go to Top Golf for games and drinks, they have great food as well. For dinner that night we would go to a very classy restaurant in Katy TX by the name of The Rouxpour for great upscale Cajun cuisine.
I also like to go bar hop downtown. Downtown on Washington Ave there are too many bars to name, I like to just walk and pick a few,
We would also go to Davenports on Richmond for good food and drinks. That’s a nice bar/lounge.
On their last day we would go to Asian town in Katy TX , it’s a full shopping center full of Korean and Asian food, ice cream and desserts.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My deceased grandmother Louise Johnson & Elijah Auston my deceased son.
Facebook: Louise’s Country Kitchen
Youtube: Louise’s Country Kitchen