"I build greenhouses for Lowe’s. I travel with a crew from state to state. We take the roof off the garden center and put on a new one—usually takes about a week or two for each store. I’ve been in Rio Grande, New Jersey; Brooklyn, New York; North Carolina; South Carolina; Detroit, Michigan. I just moved here from Orlando in November. I love traveling, but it’s hard. I’m just sick of the road. We get paid for driving time, but 10 hours one way, 18 hours another? My crew just went to Chicago, and I was like, I’m gonna sit this trip out. I’ll catch you on the next one.

Here’s the thing: when you’re on the road you don’t really eat that good. When you’re traveling from place to place, and you’re working 10-12 hours a day, you’re doing mostly like fast foods. What I really like to do right now is cook. I started cooking when I was 17. Little places like Burger King or McDonald's, but I worked hard and made my way up to chef. Most of the places I’ve worked have their own recipes, but I made up a few dishes of my own. Soul food—collard greens, stuffings, things like that. I was tellin’ my crew. I said, man, you know what? I don’t see no soul food restaurants around here in Troy. Nowhere. I see all different other type restaurants, coffee shops, bagel shops, bakeries… but no soul food. The closest you can get to that is this Jamaican restaurant down by the 4th Street Market. I need to find somebody to invest in a good soul food restaurant. Small building, set it up like a mom-and-pop kitchen.

I can’t complain though. Life is pretty good. I just thank God for every day. Once I see the sun, I’m like, okay, I’ve got a chance to do something different than I did yesterday. I’ll make things better than they were yesterday."