Got flavor? At Flavor Rich, partners Christopher Fletcher and Angelica Finley do! Inspired by the home-cooked goodness of their parents’ kitchen, the culinary-trained duo found a mutual interest in bringing delicious flavors to the metro Atlanta area, creating satisfied customers whether they visit the truck or a permanent location. We got the chance to speak with Angelica about Flavor Rich and learn a little about what goes into keeping up a food truck:
We know Flavor Rich has an awesome Food Truck; what inspired you all to branch out into an actual brick-and-mortar location in Suwanee?
“The food truck was established first. We opened the truck in April of 2018. Although the restaurant and expansion was always the goal, we felt like starting with a food truck would be the best option. We wanted to learn the industry and serve people amazing food without a lot of overhead. People love great, flavorful food—especially in the South—so we knew we would be successful. As we started growing and people started hearing about us, that’s when we decided it was time for a restaurant. The restaurant opened in August of 2020, by God’s grace in the middle of a pandemic.”
We’ve seen the phrase “Chef Inspired” used in both branding and descriptions of your restaurant. How would you describe Flavor Rich in terms of being “Chef Inspired?”
“I think our food and service style sets us apart from other food trucks being that it is ‘Chef Inspired.’ All our dishes are carefully crafted and made with love. We’re not just selling burgers, fries and wings or things you would normally get on a food truck. Our goal is to give people a different overall food truck experience, and I think we’ve accomplished that. Chef Chris is a graduate of The Art Institute of Atlanta, and his training and experiences working in the industry gave us a good example of how we want to operate both the food truck and the restaurant.”
In your experience, what would you say are the advantages of running a food truck?
“The advantages of running a food truck are being able to get out and connect with different people while doing events and catering. That’s probably the best part of being a food truck owner. We’ve done festivals, lunches, weddings, birthday parties, engagement parties and many other events. It’s just cool when we can change people’s day or mood with our food and service.”
Do you have any interesting stories from your time on the road?
“OneMusic Fest 2018 and SuperBowl Live 2020. Those were the largest festivals we’ve participated in and the longest days ever but to have people stand in line for hours back-to-back days for our food was amazing. No matter how challenging the day may be we do our best not to let our food or service quality fail. It was also great meeting all the people that traveled from around the country to attend those events.”
With the recent social climate, there’s been an emphasis on finally giving Black-owned businesses the attention they deserve. As such, how do you feel you have been impacted by the Black community, and what do you feel has been your impact on it? Have you received any honors or special recognition?
“The Black Community has been so very supportive, and we’re so grateful and blessed for our people. Even in the middle of a pandemic, they still traveled wherever we were to support us, and they still called to book us for events. We’re so blessed to be able to provide job and growth opportunities, and I also see that it makes our people feel good when they see us being successful. I would like to send a special thank you to Gwinnett Women of Color and Suwanee Mom’s Club. Those women have been supporting us since we opened, and they are outstanding with their word of mouth. Also, we received the Black Plate Award for ‘Best New Restaurant’ from Black Restaurant Week last September. That was a cool accomplishment.”
Do you have any advice for individuals in the Black or any community who wish to get to work on their own dreams?
“Networking is very important; find a mentor. Always be willing to listen and learn from others who have accomplished what you’re striving for. Every day is not going to be easy or successful in your eyes, but it will work out if you put in the hard work and trust God.”
For anyone who hasn’t stopped by Flavor Rich or the truck, what would you absolutely have to try from it?
“You have to make your way through the entire menu; I promise you will not be disappointed! But you must try the Fried Chicken Sandwich, Lobster Roll, Shrimp & Waffles and the Honey Glazed Brussel Sprouts.”