Shaquin Thomas is the CEO and owner of Soul To Table Catering. She is a personal chef and event planner. In addition to serving food, she also selflessly serves her community. Hence the name; Soul To Table. Her accomplishments include being an author of two published cookbooks, Cooking with Soul To Table and Soul To Table Soup which is available on Amazon. Even though she has accomplished so much, she is still human and has those moments so to speak.
Sometimes she wrestles with changing the name of her business and getting a new logo but then she starts thinking about how she started her business and came up with the name. Shaquin’s father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on March 6, 2017, and her life changed forever. She moved him in with her immediately and began to take care of him. As his health declined, she took a leave of absence from her accounting job. During her leave of absence, her job politely fired her! On the morning of April 23, 2017, She awoke at 6 am & like every morning, She checked on her father as soon as her eyes opened because she slept on the chair right next to his bed. This time she noticed his eyes were open but he wasn’t responding. He was transitioning. Shaquin called the Hospice nurse and she was told it could take a few hours or days but the hearing was one of the last things to go. She told her father she loved him and that she would spend her life making the catering business successful as they had planned together. She got up and began to prepare a meal for a 200-person wedding event she was set to cater that afternoon. Shaquin then called her immediate family to share the news about her Dad. They came to her house. I
She whipped up peach Cobbler, hugged loved ones, stuffed chicken, kissed her Dad, chopped potatoes, shed tears, and stopped to check her father’s pulse & this routine continued until she watched her beloved Daddy take his last breath at 1032 a.m. She felt like a piece of her soul died that day. She felt like he gave his life in exchange for her dream. Shaquin would never have stepped out on faith to start a business. She spent her entire savings taking care of funeral costs.
A few days later Shaquin was wondering what She would do, how and how she would provide for her kids. She happened to stop by Blessings Thrift Store b/c window shopping was therapy for her. While there, an employee said, “Maybe you can deliver lunch to us until you decide about going back to work.” The next day Shaquin sold her first $7 plate & it has been a whirlwind of a dream since then. It is 5 years later and she is still sharing her soul to her table and She has even published a few cookbooks and created a line of seasoning blends. Her father was a giving person and she pays homage to him daily through her random acts of kindness. Shaquin was once featured on the local news stations like ABC and CBS for catering a wedding with 200 guests completely free for a beautiful woman diagnosed with stage four lung cancer just like my father. She has been so blessed so she pays it forward by providing home-cooked meals and personally serving the police, firefighters, EMTs, and veterans once a month for free locally in her hometown of McDonough, GA. She even packages hygiene kits and she and her kids walk around Atlanta giving them to the less fortunate.
Shaquin was once featured on CNN for giving homecooked meals to a 90-year-old veteran on her birthday as well as feeding the homeless. She does random pulse checks on the elderly and the sick and shut-in. Because her network has grown so much when there is an immediate need for a citizen like getting a ramp built for a disabled veteran or having a leaky molded roof replaced completely free of charge for an elderly woman, She is able to post it on social media and the job gets done ASAP and It warms her heart. She loves being able to help. The local community including the firefighters and American legion volunteer and work on these community projects and She serves them complimentary meals daily until the job is complete. Shaquin aspires to be an inspiration to those ready to give up on their dreams! She would say to them-You got this and NOTHING can stop you!
Who is Shaquin Thomas outside of entrepreneurship?
Outside of entrepreneurship, I wear a plethora of hats. I’m a mother of three beautiful active children. I’m also extremely active in my community, serving complimentary meals to police officers, first responders, veterans, and the less fortunate on a regular basis. I’m very involved in community affairs as well. Because of my busy schedule, vacation time is always much needed.
When did you realize you had a passion for culinary arts?
I realized I had a passion for cooking once I started cooking for company potlucks and they were enjoying my food so much, that they started requesting dishes. They would request items I had never cooked and I would always say, “Of course, I know how to do that!” Surprisingly, all my dishes were a hit so I realized it had to be a God-given talent because I had never even thought of culinary school.
How did The Soul To Table Catering company come about?
It was a full-circle type of experience the way it came about. My father would always assist me with cooking for my events and he told me to step out in faith and do it full time. When you have a 9-5 job, the cushion is so comfortable. When my father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, I took a leave of absence from my job to take care of him. I was on a leave of absence for less than two weeks and my job asked if I could return but I declined because I was taking care of my father 24/7. They let me go and stated I could reapply if my father passed. My father passed ten days later. Soul To Table was birthed when my father transitioned while I was preparing food for an event. I had an epiphany. My father gave his soul while I was cooking in order for my dream to fruition…Soul To Table.
What has been the highlight of your journey thus far? What has been the most challenging lesson you’ve had to learn?
The highlight of my journey was being recognized on CNN for serving veterans complimentary meals on my birthday. The most challenging lesson I had learn is that others in the same industry will always consider you competition.
What can women expect when supporting Soul To Table Catering? What is the experience like?
The experience is like no other. When utilizing my services, we talk, and ultimately we bond. There are so many facets to me and I have never met a stranger. I share my testimony, encourage them on their current journeys, and it’s always like this sisterhood, you know? I’ll be in the kitchen cooking up a homecooked meal and then I’ll give them a complimentary Soul To Table spice for simply booking my services.
What is your favorite summer go-to menu?
Salads of course! When it’s hot you want something light. Besides, there are so many ways to make salads every day of the week- from a blue cheese wedge salad to a pulled pork BBQ garden salad.
What is a quick and easy meal mom’s in business can make to incorporate healthy eating habits?
Salmon and broccoli will always be the quickest go-to meal for moms in business. 15 minutes in the oven and you have dinner on the table. Not only is this a healthy option but it also gives
you more quality time with the family.
You have published two cookbooks since launching, can you share the message in your projects?
My goal in both cookbooks was to create easy-to-follow recipes for anyone, especially working moms. Feeding families daily can be quite a task and oftentimes, we find ourselves cooking the same meals over and over. In my cookbooks, I share classic recipes with a twist as well as some eclectic options tossed in for a little razzle-dazzle!
Where do you see your brand in the next 3-5 years?
I wholeheartedly believe in manifestation and the power of the tongue. I see myself collaborating with major brands, having my products being offered on major store shelves, and eventually having my own cooking show on a television network!
If you could collaborate with any brand, who would it be and why?
I have never had the opportunity to collaborate with any brand so my quick answer would be any of them! Hahaha. Honestly, though, I would love to collaborate with brands I actually use like Lawrys, McCormick, Reynolds Foil, Betty Crocker, Old Bay, Kraft, and more.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
I believe that a pretty woman who hustles is strong and independent, and we are always rocking the best outfit- self-confidence and a bright smile. More importantly, we know our worth and add tax.
Social Media Handles:
FB: Soul To Table Catering
Shaquin’s accolades include a line of seasoning blends, sweatshirts, kitchen cookware, an herbal immunity tea, and more available on her site soultotablecatering.com