While licking my wounds, I remembered a late night call from my baby sister a few days before. She said, De De, I know you are in the blessing business and I know just the small business. She went on to tell me it was a young family business with all hands on deck. They had a perfect product, delicious southern BBQ. The owner and most of his family worked in some way or another in the business. What she may not have known is this young business was struggling to stay ahead of the expenses versus revenue. They closed their doors for a few days because the air conditioner broke in the peak of summer. Gator, the 30ish year-old owner and father of six young children, was in trouble and he knew it.
On a whim, I decided to follow my sister's suggestion and go find Gator's BBQ & Soul Food. I found him alone sitting at his empty small BBQ shop one Friday evening. The first thing I noticed were his many trophies won from BBQ competitions displayed so proudly. I knew nothing of his troubles, but in any case, his fate was about to change.
I liked Gator instantly. He told me the name Gator came from constant teasing when he was young due to his eczema. He said, "I took a negative and turned it into a positive!" Over the next 4 1/2 minutes I directed a video on Gator and let him tell me about his business. The rest is history!
What is so beautiful about this story is God led me to Gator. His wife told me by phone that just two days before Gator was at his lowest point. He said, God usually sends me a sign that everything is going to be okay and I haven't seen any signs. I am worried this business may not have been the right thing to do.
HIs sign came on 8/5 at about 5:15 PM. Our paths crossed and now Gator's business has been seen by over 600,000 people in the first two days. It has been shared nationally on FB over 9,000 times already. The afternoon after the video went live so many people came near and far to support him, he ran completely out of food. YES! But people waited and so many said they would be back again.
I wrote a book along with 31 other women telling of our personal challenges and how through our faith we overcame them. The book, "This is my story, but it is not my life", has been well-received. With those profits, I have been able to give back. I left Gator with a hefty seed check to help him along his way and get him over the hump. I simply put my money where my heart is. We all did a great thing working together!
THE VIDEO LINK I WILL TRY TO ADD pic.twitter.com/6HdI4a6v35
GATOR BBQ & SOUL FOOD 2195 Brockett Road Clarkston, GA