We had the good fortune of connecting with Dekyla Alonzo-Dupree and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dekyla, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ll start out by saying starting my own business was laborious. Growing up I was always told “you gone be a lawyer” I had the loud mouth I was talkative and could persuade anyone. All my life I heard that but that wasn’t me. I never really knew exactly what I wanted out of life , I’m always learning new things so at first I thought maybe i could be a cosmetologist / Hairdresser. That wasn’t it either. Every now and then I’d say things like “I’m going to have my own restaurant some day”. Everyone around me knew how to cook . I watched everybody from my mom , my dad , my grandfather and aunts cook. As I grew older I started to make meals for my family , friends, and coworkers. I’m 20 years old and the meals I was making from age 13 until now you’d think someone’s grandmother had cooked. After so long I came to realization this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Cooking isn’t just about making a meal and serving it. You have to put your soul into it. Food is the #1 thing in this world that makes people happy and if I can put a smile on just one persons face i can eventually have the whole world happy about my food. I just want people to see my creativity , my passion and love I have for my calling. I want to be remembered by my delicious recipes. So , my thought process behind starting my business was I’m going to be one of the biggest catering businesses of Arizona and soon after of the world. I have to start now ,I have to show the world how passionate I am about this and the soul I put into cooking at such a young age.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I don’t want to be one of those places that over prices my food just because I can. I’m an amazing cook but the goal is to give back to the community. I want to give splendid quality food for affordable prices. I’m excited about eventually opening on multiple restaurants and giving people an amazing experience with Dk’s Soul Food. I love to hear feedback from my customers, it keeps me going. There’s been plenty of times I felt like I should just give up and I thought I couldn’t handle but if I give up is this really my passion ? You don’t give up on something you really want. Having your own business especially in the food industry is not easy at all. The easy part is cooking the food , I have that in the bag but those days when your not getting too many customers or times when you do have a bunch of customers but it’s only you , gets challenging. I feel like anything you do In life will take you through phases and challenges, if your passionate about it you can over come those and that’s exactly what I do. Nonetheless , I’ve learned how to properly serve and prepare large amounts of food for events , I’ve learned that no event is too big , always show up and show out no matter what ! You never know who’s watching. Dk’s Soul Food came about from a young girl who knew nothing about starting business I just knew that I could serve the community and would receive phenomenal feedback. There’s always going to be 1000 + more people doing the same exact things your doing but what stands out is I actually want my name , my brand to mean something to the people and bring warmth into their hearts.
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?
So let’s just say I’m not one of those people whose seen much about Arizona what I can say is my favorite thing to do here is go hiking and look for great sceneries. If I had to plan things to do for a week we’d definitely go to a few brunch places such as first watch , sugar jam the southern kitchen , lo los chicken and waffles and let’s not forget Dk’s Soul Food. I love the scenery At west gate. Id have us spend two days in Sedona to get a feel of a more forest part of Arizona and we’d be learning and trying new things together as we go. Arizona is beautiful from what I’ve seen the past few years I know there’s so much more to see !
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout my mom and sister , for just believing in me. I’d also like to shoutout my girlfriend. A lot of her encouraging words pushed me to live out my dream , through the challenges and all. NiaB Productions. She’s a photographer. She’s helped me a lot along my journey. Especially with photography tips for my social media , pushing me when times were harder than I could bare and just being there.