“We just understand there are not a lot of opportunities in this community for jobs and there are not a lot of opportunities for young children and teenagers to see people that look like them succeeding in business. We wanted to bring that here,” Derrick Moore said to USA Today in his 2017 interview. Moore along with fellow Tennessee State University graduates, Clinton Gray and Emanuel Reed, launched their own Pizza Beeria in Nashville that same year. The restaurant was a huge hit locally, and took off to a point where they’ve already expanded before their second anniversary. The trio had a solid business plan, a knack for a good marketing strategy, and understood the importance of inclusion every step of the way.

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There have been a few times in my life, if ever, where I wanted to wait in a dimly lit parking lot standing in the rain. I had never been to this area before and was beginning to wonder if I had typed in the wrong address on my GPS. After driving thirty minutes to the outskirts of Atlanta, I ended up in Doraville, GA following a winding street, a row of parked cars, and the promise of the sluttiest cheeseburger in Georgia.

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The restaurant buzzed with excitement as hungry guests waited to be seated. “You see how bright it is,” one woman commented as she pointed at the rustic brick walls that had been painted white. “It’s kind of modern and kind of industrial at the same time,” she concluded. Her friend, rocking an auburn afro, nodded in agreement. “Of course it is. You know Kandi’s got style.”

Although the restaurant has been open for more than a year, it was still the place to be. Located at 177 Peters Street in Castleberry Hill, one of Atlanta’s trendy artistic neighborhoods, the restaurant has gained an increasing amount of popularity for its connection to reality tv star Kandi Burruss. But as I waited in line, seduced by the smell of home-made soul food and staring at pictures on the three family members turned managers on the wall, I couldn’t help but feel warmth of home. Despite her fame, singer-songwriter, actress, record producer and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss-Tucker’s restaurant seemed authentic and down to earth. “Welcome to Old Lady Gang,” an upbeat server announced as she escorted me to my table. A lively group of young adults sitting at the bar laughed heartily as I followed the waitress, wondering what all Old Lady Gang had to offer.

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