Give us some details about you and your story.
In Yoruba culture, when a mother gives birth to twins, the older twin is named Taye (Taiye, Taiwo), and the young twin is named Kehinde. T and K Hospitality Services name comes from the twin brothers that are also chefs.
Our story started many years before there was even a T and K, our story started with our mother, Abigeal, a Nigerian cuisine caterer. I grew up in the kitchen learning authentic Nigerian recipes from my mother, that’s where my true love and passion for cooking grew. As I got older, I decided to pursue a career in culinary hospitality at YABA Tech in Lagos, Nigeria. I also was able to work in multiple culinary kitchens and hotels. In 2014, I had the opportunity to come to United States to fulfill my dreams of attending culinary school in America and excel in my career. Unfortunately, I was not able to afford all the expenses of culinary school, but I did not allow that to stop me from pursing my dreams of being a chef. I continued to cook for family and friends to keep my skills fresh and I never let go of my dreams.
Years after being in the United States, I met my lovely wife, Oluwaseun, I call her Sunshine. She saw how much I loved cooking and encourage me to continue to cook. After we married, we decided to officially start a catering business where I do the cooking and she is so amazing with the day to day business matters. Together we make up T and K Hospitality Services in Dallas, Texas. We have been working together to expand our business to offer many different services in the hospitality field, from food to rentals and decor.
Has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One obstacle I personally faced was not being able to fulfill my dream of attending culinary school in the United States. That was devastating, coming so far to find out that it was financially possible.
Another obstacle was mixing business with pleasure and going into business with my spouse. At times, it is difficult to navigate a new small business with your significant other, but it is definitely possible and a great partnership!
Lastly, being new to entrepreneurship is a HUGE obstacle. I cook! However, learning the business aspect, accounting, marketing, licensing, purchasing, and more, was not easy. In fact, it is an ongoing process for the both of us.
Please tell us about T and K Hospitality
We love making people happy with our food and services. Every event is an experience for people to indulge in food and create a great culinary experience. We love being able to provide affordable, delicious food, but also being able to provide full-service catering. We deliver, we rent plates, silverware, glass cups, linens, we offer waitstaff, and more. Not many caterers offer so many services for an event. It is like a one stop shop, catering service.
We have been catering in the Dallas area for about 2 years, but I have been cooking authentic Nigerian meals all my life. We stay through to our Nigerian roots with our recipes. We love to fuse our roots with an American twist, but we still keep that authenticity.
One thing that I love doing that sets me apart from other caterers is my fruit carvings and displays. I can carve watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins and more. I use fruit as my art canvas, you would be amazed what you can create with fruit. The vibrant colors, and pictures you can create with fruit is amazing.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Some of my fondest memories are back home in Nigeria as a child waking up early to go to my mother’s restaurant back in Ondo State. We would get up early in the morning around 5am with my Twin brother, Kenny to start preparations for the food for the day. It never really seemed like work because my brother and I would always have so much fun joking and cooking together. Even until today, we love cooking and sharing recipes.