Taste of Soul Nation, welcome our newest husband and wife team, and co-owners of Not Your Mama’s Kitchen (NYMK) Derrick and Mia Lewis.
After one year in business, the pair is ready to bring back simplicity to soul food.
Derrick runs the kitchen and the menu, while his wife Mia works behind the scenes, handling the administrative side of the business. Everything on the menu is made from scratch. From the catfish and macaroni and cheese, the food trucks best-selling items, to the oxtails, greens, and corn bread.
Although Chef Derrick, began his career as a computer analysts for So Cal Gas Company, he always knew he would become a business owner.
“I always had a passion for cooking since I was seven years old,” said Derrick Lewis. “When I went to school, it was more about chasing the money, paying bills, and being stable. Now I tell kids, follow your dream, and don’t chase the money. The money is going to be there if you enjoy what you are doing. Even though my job helped me to get where I am at, I could have been doing what I am doing now sooner, if I would have been following my passion instead of looking for a dollar amount.”
Throughout Derrick’s life, friends, family and clients always encouraged him to share his dishes with other people. Later, the duo decided a food truck would be the easiest way to get started in the business.
What makes NYMK’s food stand out from the average soul food truck? One word—flavor.
“I see a lot of people trying to do different things with soul food,” said Derrick Lewis. “Some work and some don’t. I just go back to my grandmother’s, my mother’s, and my auntie’s recipe and just keep it simple. We don’t try to get fancy with it, to me that really makes a difference.”
When our TOS vendors aren’t in the L.A. area serving up home cooked meals to customers on their food truck, you can find them running around with their two children and working on future business plans.
“We definitely want to keep the food truck going. We would also like to eventually open a restaurant,” said Mia Lewis.
“We don’t want a big mainstream restaurant,” said Derrick Lewis. “We want people to be able to come in [the restaurant] and feel like they are at home. We want them to be able to relax, and not worry about being too loud. Just a nice home feeling environment.”
Be sure to stop by NYMK food truck Saturday, Oct. 15. For the latest updates on Not Your Mama’s Kitchen, visit their Facebook page @NYMKitchen and follow them on Twitter @NYM_Kitchen.