We had the good fortune of connecting with James Mullis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In Hawaii we never show up empty-handed, it is customary to bring a favorite dish when invited to another’s home. At the age of 21, California called to me and I accepted the invitation. I love the beautiful islands and the warm, rich culture of Hawaii, but the diverse cities and eclectic lifestyles of California offered a new adventure. With appreciation for my upbringing and gratitude for this new opportunity, I wanted to bring California something tasty and unique – something that I grew up craving. Our menu and the flavors that we use are inspired by the many dishes that I had back home and that is what drove me to open the shop.
What should our readers know about your business?
The way I got where I am today can be summed up in two words, prayer and grit. The business was not doing well in the beginning, in fact, the earlier times are a story of failure and not success. I am blessed to have a tremendous support system and myself and those close to me were praying for things to turn around and it’s because of answered prayer that I still have a business. The grit factor came in the 100 hour weeks that went on for close to two years. It took relentless work to pull the business out of failure to break even, and eventually profitability.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
While there are so many people that I have tremendous gratitude for through this journey, the person is my wife, Caitlin Mullis. She had no idea what she was getting into when we opened the business and I say we because she helped me physically and emotionally through it. The amount of time and work that goes into it was not she expected, but she understands the life of a small business owner now and I absolutely would not have made it without her support and free labor 🙂