Updated: Sep 18, 2021
In addition to my mental health advocacy, the restaurant industry has also been a calling of mine. In my view, both fall into the category of service. One of the more enjoyable perks of working in the industry is my daily interaction with people. People from all over the city, state, country, and the world. Meeting new people comes easy for me, I enjoy hearing stories about where they are from, why they are dining with me, who they are with, and who they are. Over the years, I’ve developed great relationships with some of my customers, and they stop by to visit every time they are in the area. These visits are nice because we get to catch up in person and see how each other’s family/children have grown. Although the visits aren’t frequent, we also connect over social media and keep in touch. Food definitely brings people together, I mean who doesn’t love food and great conversations?
For over a decade, I’ve wanted to open my own restaurant. Last year at the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic I decided I would finally kickstart the process. I created a logo, designed a menu, established my LLC, had a fundraiser, and scouted locations. A word on my fundraiser — the support I received was beyond expectation and I am extremely grateful. My family and friends are so generous, purchasing t-shirts with the Tommy Don logo and giving monetary donations because they believe in me and my dream.
As I was preparing to sign a lease, something in me said to pause, it’s not the right time. Covid was having a significant global impact on the restaurant industry, with restaurants (and businesses) of all sizes suffering economically and closing their doors. The pandemic also took a huge toll on the mental health of millions all over the world, including myself. How could I open a restaurant when I couldn’t even keep myself in good spirits? The timing wasn’t right due to a global pandemic and struggling economy. I also couldn’t in good faith take that gamble and let myself and everyone else down.
Opening a restaurant is still a dream of mine, however, I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge my mental health challenges. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, because it’s still very much in my heart, but I’ll know when it’s the right time... I’ll know. It’s not easy and it took me a while to get here, but I’m proud of myself for acknowledging my mental and physical health are priorities right now. For everyone who has supported me, I promise it wasn’t in vain. Don’t give up on me because I’m not giving up on myself. That said, Tommy Dons coming soon...
I have decided that Instead of pushing my dreams back further and further I will continue with I follow my dreams. With that being said, I am excited to announce that I will be launching Tommy Don’s as a pop up shop to get started. This will give me more flexibility, financial freedom, and a lot less pressure that comes with a restaurant.
For those who donated and bought a Tommy Don’s shirt, exclusive discounts will be available ❤️
Be sure to follow Tommy Don’s on Facebook & Instagram
Thank you everyone for your continual support and I look forward to seeing you all at my pop ups.