DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When you work in a kitchen and the tickets are piling up, a mistake can cause a panic.
For Count and Jessica Foreman, it was the start of a 23-year-long relationship.
The couple met while working at a Don Pablo restaurant. She was working in the front of the house, waiting tables, while he was a cook in the back of the house.
“Her tickets were falling behind,” Count Foreman said.
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“Something happened and didn’t bring a quesadilla,” Jessica Foreman said. “I was like ‘Give me a quesadilla,’ and I kid you not he had a quesadilla right there. I don’t know he probably gave me somebody else’s quesadilla. So, we fell in love with a quesadilla.”
From there, the couple’s relationship blossomed, not just romantically, but also into a business.
“I started a cleaning service a long time ago and Chef used to help me,” Jessica Foreman said. " But I also did it as a concierge. So a concierge is basically — I used to run errands, do everything and then that’s when I introduced Chef and I say, ‘Well, my husband cooks’ and I say, ‘We can do personal chef (catering).’”
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The couple started catering for holidays and special occasions. They also started street vending.
“We would actually pop up a tent — all we had was our 6-foot table and a grill,” Count Foreman said. “That was that’s how we started with the vending. So that’s also how we got our product to the streets.”
Eventually, the couple was able to open a catering kitchen.
“Actually, it was a two-car garage,” Jessica Foreman said. “I kid you not.”
Despite that, the couple had high hopes and determination.
“Everybody that are multimillionaires started from a garage. That’s a sign,” Jessica Foreman said.
The catering kitchen legitimized their business, but the Foremans wanted to give themselves some more exposure. They started entering cooking competitions around Florida.
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“When you participate in those type of local events, it gives you a good connection to your community,” Count Foreman said.
Eventually, they were able to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Saute Kingz, in Daytona Beach — 200 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Now, they are getting ready to expand their business with a food truck.
“We’re gonna be out here hoping that Orlando opens up (its) doors — we’re looking into Tampa, Jacksonville,” Jessica Foreman said. “We’re really ready to travel and bring our food out.”
“To be able to travel around — and that’s one of the reasons why we caterers, you’re always in a different place, and you’re experiencing different people and it’s the same thing with a food truck,” Count Foreman said. “We’re going to be able to meet some different people all over Florida and that’s gonna be fun.”
On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, the Foremans share some of the struggles they went through while trying to build their business. They also talk about their early days in the restaurant industry and their recent run on the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race.
Please follow our Florida Foodie hosts on social media. You can find Candace Campos on Twitter and Facebook. Lisa Bell is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can check out her children’s book, “Norman the Watchful Gnome.”
Florida Foodie is a bi-weekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.