We had the good fortune of connecting with Enjolik “Jolie” Oree-Bailey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Enjolik “Jolie”, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business came from seeing my mother as an entrepreneur. Growing up she always told me if I could make a living doing something I love, I’d never work a day in my life. I really took that to heart because I feel like life is too short to wake up and go to a job that you hate everyday. That just never made sense to me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It surprises people when they hear that I did not go to culinary school. My love for food, cooking and entertaining started when I was a young child. My family is from Charleston, South Carolina, the Low Country. Coastal South Carolina and Georgia are both considered The Low Country. However, over 80% of the Africans that were first brought to the US passed through Charleston, thus leaving this area so very culturally rich. From the dialect which is called Gullah to the food and cooking techniques. I spent a large part of my childhood from birth through early adulthood with my grandparents who were both excellent cooks. My grandmother worked in the culinary field for over 30 years and so did my grandfather. I learned many dishes and family recipes by watching them and of course eating! If I had to describe food from the Low Country, I’d say it’s Southern Comfort Food with influences from Africa and the Caribbean. This is my history and heritage. This is what keeps customers coming back again and again to Low Country Quisine. The same techniques that I learned from my Grandparents, I apply to every cuisine I make today. It doesn’t matter if it’s authentic Indian, Italian, Tex-Mex, or Vegan food. I say all food is soul food if you cook with love! This is what I want people to know about my story and the Low Country Quisine Brand. It was not easy to get where I am today and I still have a vision to go further. However, the bumps in the road along the way were made easier when I remembered that my goal was to share the culture of The Low Country with the world. I think I’m well on my way to achieving that goal.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My mother and sister come visit me most frequently and although they typically are coming to help with a big work project, we do take the time to get out when we can. It’s no surprise that when we do head out, it’s typically on a journey to find great food and drinks. Lately, we’ve spent a lot of time visiting Legacy West because everything is there. Great people watching, good food, drinks and shops. We can literally spend the whole day and evening there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have had so many mentors along the way. Some I’ve actually met and whom I can call on for advice any time. Others, who I have yet to meet. Still I consider them to be mentors from afar. My belief has always been that it’s much easier to learn by listening to and watching others. Even if that means learning what not to do in some cases. There are many successful people in every industry and some keys to success will always remain the same, so why reinvent the wheel? My mother would have to be my most constant and consistent source of encouragement and support. As you grow as a business owner and become more and more successful, it’s vitally important to have at least one person that you know has your best interest at heart at all times. Who fits that bill better than a mother? I’m blessed to have a mother that not only has an understanding of business and entrepreneurship, she just so happens to be a mental health therapist. While she’s not my therapist, her expertise in this area does give me the ability to see the world and people in a more open and understanding way. I’m in no way saying that I have any credentials in the mental health field. I guess what I’m saying is, growing up with a mother that’s a therapist gave me an advantage when it comes expressing myself and most importantly being able to see people for more than just who they present on the surface which is vitally important as a business owner.
Youtube: At Home With Low Country Quisine
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