I was evicted, I never gave up on God
Terra Smith | Contributor
I opened the Bistro in 2006. My credit was bad so I paid for all my shipments in cash. I didn’t have any cash flow. Not having a clue about the restaurant business, I learned along the way. Who I thought was going to support didn’t. I was located in a business area, so they patronize me. I gave away so many meals that I lost a lot of money. Some customer came back and some didn’t. When it was time to pay rent I couldn’t meet that obligation.
Guess what my landlord sued me but didn’t take possession of his property. I was sued 3 times. Thank God for a local trucking and transportation company. I got a contract with them to serve their students that were enrolled in school. Now I was able to breathe and catch up but I still didn’t have any cash flow. Well, I lost my contract because they wanted to go to a cheaper plan. I was charging them 4.99 and they went for 3.99. I couldn’t do it for that.
“We need to have a stronger belief in who God created us to be” DeVon Franklin
I’m Terra Smith the founder of The Bistro Memphis. I was employed with Internal Revenue Service for 21 years. In the last 6 years working for the IRS, I realized that cooking was a passion of mines. I walked out on faith and had every intention to finish school so that I could become a certified Chef. Well, my plan wasn’t God’s plan. Now the journey begins.
I was raised by my mother Pear Hoover. My mother knew I had this in me but I didn’t. I never watched her cook. I was never in the kitchen so I was clueless. My grandparents ran a fruit stand and sold Barbeque plates and I did help my Aunt’s Yogi sell jumbo cookies at the stone soul picnic. Entreuptership ran in my family.
I met my boyfriend which is my husband (Nelson Smith) now. I started cooking for him and he enjoyed it. My mom had to tell me what to do. She never was in the kitchen with me. They say a way to a man heart is through his belly, well I guess I won. We had our first child Tenel. We got married four years after her and then came Johnathan and Terrence. Being a mother I cook for my family but never thought it was quality enough to cook for the public.
While working for The IRS, I would cook for CFC (Combine Federal Campaign). My fellow co-worker would stand in line for my food and I would always sell out. My husband didn’t like me doing all that cooking. I told him that when I get my business and they will know what it tastes like. I was speaking life into my future and didn’t know it. I thought I would have retired from there. Again my plan isn’t God’s plan.
I later joined WOOMC ( World Overcomer Outreach Church). After being a member I later join the Culinary Ministry. I later became the Leader of that ministry. I didn’t think worldly of my cooking, I thought it was okay. When I realized that cooking was my gift from God, I didn’t take it lightly. I started my catering business (El Shaddai Catering). I knew it was time to go to that next level. I attended Southwest Community College. I was on FMLA and was forced back to work so I quit school. I started selling salads from beauty shop to beauty shop. My job made it very uncomfortable for me to be there, so I turn in my resignation papers. My plans were to back to school, well that didn’t happen. The Bistro was brought to life.
The Eviction Continues . . .
By this time I built my clientele and we outgrew that location. I moved to 2945 Millbranch to a larger facility but it was too big for me. I fell behind on my rent and the landlord wanted me gone. I filed bankruptcy to stop the process. I couldn’t be late but I did a year later. My sales dropped 70 percent when the hotel was on the news. The health department shut them down because they had legionnaire disease. They own the restaurant too so my customers thought I was linked to them. So I really couldn’t meet my rent, they didn’t care. So I was evicted. I never gave up on God.
I believe that God didn’t bring me this far to leave me. Check out Terra’s website and see how you can help this talented young lady reach her goals! Click Here!
My faith level was so strong. I had exhausted all of My funds. I humbled myself and worked went to work for someone else. I believe that God didn’t bring me this far to leave me. I thank God for my loyal customers that believe in me and my dreams. I thank Felica Bean Barnes for the food trailer and David Gaulmon for bringing it to his pastor so they can help me get back on my feet. So that’s why I need your support, I appreciate it very much.
I’m currently in School at Lecole Culinary and on the Dean’s list. I must say I’m doing an exceptional job. I was chosen to be a Chef.
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Owner of The Bistro Memphis
A restaurant built on heart & soul where you can get deliciously seasoned food. At The Bistro serves Rightly seasoned Soul Food, Signature Sandwiches, & Scrumptious Salads. Trust and believe your taste buds will be satisfied.
Join Terra for Sunday Dinner Service
Terra will be serving dinner at the Union Valley Baptist Church. Dinner Service is from 11:00 to 4:00. The church is located at 1051 E. Mclemore Ave Memphis, TN 38106. Call Terra today at 901.474.5275 to place your order today and join her for dinner on Sunday. Orders must be placed by Thursday at 5:00. You can also pre-order Family Dinner 4 Packs for pick-up! Terra is now also serving salads during the week. Call for delivery. Help Terra get her new Food Truck by joining us for Sunday Dinner!