The Original New Orleans Po-Boy & Gumbo Shop in Austin

by admin
  • Darold Gordon had a good position to open his restaurant in Austin, Texas. At the age of 17, he learned to make Cajun Cuisine in New Orleans. This prepared him for a career as an entrepreneur. Here’s his story of how he is coping with the economic impact and rebuilding after the pandemic.

    Darold rose through the ranks of the food service industry, first becoming a chef and then an Executive Chef in a Planet Hollywood restaurant. Darold developed his business acumen by managing both the front and the back of the house. He opened a restaurant that was successful, but Hurricane Katrina destroyed it and forced him to close. He and his family moved to Austin, Texas where he purchased a food trailer that offered his New Orleans-style food. In 6 months he bought another food truck and opened his first brick and mortar store – the Original New Orleans Po-Boy & Gumbo Shop, LLC.

    Darold was selected as one of four recipients for the SmartBiz (r) Boost a Small Business in Need Grant Program, created to empower Black-owned and minority-owned business in Austin and San Francisco.

    His small business, like countless others has been severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

    Darold says, “We have seen a decline in sales.” We’ve been forced to lay off staff. We have also been using a generator since my restaurant caught fire in April. “We are only open to take out orders and barely stay afloat.”

    Darold’s business, a small one, was eligible for the SmartBiz grant.

    It was a great blessing to us. We were able pay a maintenance employee who had been doing much-needed repairs for the restaurant. We want to continue to serve good authentic Cajun cuisine to the great community in Austin and nearby areas.”

    Darold was able to retain staff with the help of his family. Due to the fire damage, they hired back two employees who cook out of food trucks.

    Darold started his business from scratch. He didn’t receive a PPP and does not anticipate needing debt refinance or working capital any time soon. He is interested in a loan for commercial real estate.
    One of my goals is to buy the building that I am currently renting.

    He is eager to bring back live music to the restaurant patio, and to offer his popular drinks such as the Frozen Daiquiri Hurricane.

    I also want to continue expanding the business by hiring more employees in my local area.Darrold knows that keeping employees working is a difficult task for any restaurant. Due to his extensive managerial background, he faces few challenges in the business world. “Everything is now fairly routine. “I’ve got this down.”

    Darold offers some inspiring advice to other entrepreneurs. “You have to keep your focus and dream.” He suggests that you should treat everyone with respect. When you are going through a tough time, these same people will help you.

    Darold’s personal formula is the key to his success. God blessed me with three daughters and a wonderful wife. “Without them, this business would not be possible.”

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