Shrimp & Grits Cafe
Small Business Loan (Blue)
Small Business Loan
Chef Carlos Brown’s enthusiasm for crafting Gullah-inspired dishes from the heart is the result of spending his childhood inside of the Charleston kitchens of his mother and grandmother. Watching the women in his family express love through food inspired the Chef to pursue a culinary career that highlights the importance of hospitality and community. “The food they made was the passion that brought my family together,” he said. “I’ve seen my mom and grandma put a lot of love into their food and that love was the thing that always brought us back together.”
This fall, Chef Carlos will be giving the West Ashley neighborhood of Charleston a taste of his family’s special recipe, as well as many other Geechee inspired dishes, through his Black-owned business Shrimp & Grits Cafe. “I wanted to bring to the area a healthy food business and a new take on mall food,” said Chef Carlos. “All the ingredients I will use will be fresh and local. That is how I grew up! I would go and pick vegetables from the garden and we will have a meal from that.” The restaurant is set to open this fall in the Citadel Mall.
“This is a good way to awaken the malls again and to promote fresh authentic foods,” he said. “When you go to one mall you basically have had all malls food. I’m going to change that.”
He contacted South Carolina Community Loan Fund for a Small Business Loan because he wanted to work with an organization who valued community. “It was a big deal for me to work with someone that is going to also help the community,” he said. “When I heard about SCCLF, I knew that was who I wanted to work with because, just like me, they really cared about giving back to the communities."
Shrimp & Grits Café is Chef Carlos first restaurant. He has more than 25 years of culinary experience. “I come from a family of chefs. Although my Mom and Grandma didn’t go to culinary school, I considered them both to be chefs,” said Chef Carlos. “I dedicate this restaurant to them.”