THE SWEET­EST THING

Caterer Middle East - - News -

John Sey­mour’s orig­i­nal con­cept Sweet Chick took New York by storm be­fore gain­ing in­vest­ment from rap leg­end Nas and tak­ing the western se­aboard. We met him at its first in­ter­na­tional pop-up at Sole DXB What’s the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind Sweet Chick?

The con­cept for chicken and waf­fles, which is what we’re known for, started in Har­lem in New York. A lot of peo­ple think it’s from the west coast or the south, but a jazz mu­si­cian in 1920s in the old jazz clubs in Har­lem went into the kitchen at 4am af­ter a set and said to the cook “I don’t know if I want break­fast or din­ner”. The chef said “well, I’ve got fried chicken left over and I can make waf­fles” so that’s how chicken and waf­fles was birthed. So mu­sic has in­flu­enced us so much and we’ve done a ton of live per­for­mances at the restau­rant. It re­ally au­then­ti­cally flowed into what we did.

What lo­ca­tions do you cur­rently have?

I opened the first restau­rant in Wil­liams­burg about five years ago. Quickly af­ter that we had some early suc­cess and opened in the lower east side of Man­hat­tan. I’m orig­i­nally a New York guy so it was very fa­mil­iar. Af­ter that I ended up link­ing up with Nas who was my all-time favourite rap­per and he re­ally con­nected with the brand. We opened in LA, we opened an­other one in Prospect Heights in Brook­lyn, and we just opened our fifth lo­ca­tion in Queens.

Would you bring Sweet Chick to Dubai per­ma­nently?

Af­ter com­ing to Sole DXB, do­ing this, and see­ing what the feed­back is al­ready we’re en­ter­tain­ing the idea to open here, so that could be next. I’ve met with a few groups be­cause we want to part­ner with some­body on the op­er­a­tions side and peo­ple can re­ally ex­e­cute here in Dubai. I’ve seen a lot of peo­ple and what they’re op­er­at­ing so it’s all about build­ing trust in a part­ner­ship. We want to make sure that the same ex­pe­ri­ence you would have in Wil­liams­burg in Brook­lyn at the orig­i­nal spot, you would have in Dubai.

What about Sole DXB helped make you de­cide to come here?

I came to Sole last year and re­ally our cus­tomer base is the same cus­tomer base as Sole so to see that those peo­ple ex­isted out here in Dubai was su­per dope. Dubai is so ex­pe­ri­en­tial, ev­ery time you turn around it’s an In­sta­gram pic­ture, and just see­ing specif­i­cally the crowd that sup­ports Sole, it’s good for me to come to a sin­gu­lar place and say “Oh wow, our crowd ex­ists out here”, that’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing.

What does the fu­ture hold for Sweet Chick?

The fu­ture for Sweet Chick is in­ter­na­tional Sweet Chick. We’re go­ing to grow at home in the States and we’re go­ing to go out­side of New York and out­side of LA and prob­a­bly into some new mar­kets in Amer­ica, but we’re def­i­nitely go­ing to ex­pand glob­ally. Look for us in Lon­don and Dubai com­ing soon.

John Sey­mour

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