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Exploring Life & Business with Waleed and Quiana Shamsid-Deen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Waleed and Quiana Shamsid-Deen.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Our family has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years. My father-in-law, Lawrence Shamsid-Deen, founded Supreme Fish Delight (www.SupremeFish.com) in 1980 and was one of the first black-owned franchises in America. Supreme Fish Delight is known for its fish & fries, bean pies, and famous Fish Supreme sandwiches! We were official partners for the ’96 Olympics and most recently Supreme Burger partnered with the 2019 Super Bowl Tailgating Experience.

We currently have 9 Supreme Fish Delight Franchises and 1 Supreme Burger Restaurant in Atlanta. We also have a Supreme Burger kiosk that we operate in the GICC and the Gateway Arena. Supreme Burger is a “Throw-Back” concept, paying homage to my father-in-law and his early restaurant days. My husband and I are charged with building on the foundation that Supreme Fish Delight has laid and continuing the family legacy. Supreme Burger is the newest “gourmet burger” concept, which features Beef, Lamb, Veggie, Vegan, Turkey, Jamaican Jerk, Salmon, Chicken, Shrimp and of course, our original Supreme Burger. As second-generation business owners, we wanted to introduce a better burger to our neighborhood. There were limited options in Decatur, so we started a test kitchen to develop the flavors, sauces, seasonings and taste of our gourmet options. Quiana, being of Jamaican descent, developed a recipe for our Jamaican “Jerk Burger, which is a customer favorite. Given my husband’s Muslim background, we wanted a halal concept that included a Lamb Burger for the sophisticated pallet.

We recently created a shrimp burger (Developed by one of our partners) and added a Salmon and Chicken burger to round out the menu. Supreme Burger prides itself for having a burger for everyone and a signature sauce to top it off. However, we are more than just a burger. We aspire to be a movement. Purchase with a purpose. Our mission is to develop a successful business committed to making an impact in our community. We desire to create a model that allows us to address the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship and assist in eradicating food insecurity amongst our senior citizens and youth. This initiative led us to repurpose our non-profit Supreme Family Foundation. Supreme Family Foundation (www.SupremeFamilyFoundation.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community-based organization founded in 1996 under the name Youth V.I.B.E.

Our Mission has been “to expose youth to the skills and experiences that teach and encourage business leadership.” We have recently changed our name and expanded our Mission, “to Educate, Empower and Engage seniors and youth in our community.” Our foundation’s primary focus is food security and youth/senior services. During COVID, we were forced to pivot and are excited to have successfully: 1. We launched a Halal Meal Program for Muslim Seniors in Metro-Atlanta Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam 2. Certified our Meals on Wheels Program, delivering meals to over 1100 Senior Citizens weekly in Metro-Atlanta 3. Set up an Emergency Food Distribution site for K-12 students in MetroAtlanta, serving over 2500 meals to 500 kids weekly. 4. Partnered with Frontline Food to provide meals to hospital and frontline heroes in the community 5. Partnered with FOODA to provide pop up locations around corporate business throughout the city.

Through our collaborative, we are currently providing over 15,000 meals per week for youth and seniors in our community. Despite the success, we have had a number of challenges, most prevalent the impacts of COVID on our restaurants. Additionally, the challenges of having access to capital for growth and expansion. Our intent is to launch a Crowdfund campaign this year to raise capital to open additional locations and to grow and expand our brand. We know that currently, only 1% of venture capital goes to Black-owned businesses. Access to capital is the main detriment to the sustainability for Black-owned businesses, especially restaurants. We are grateful for the partnerships and opportunities that have allowed us to keep our doors open, our employees employed while also serving the community. My husband and I intend to continue to build a company that is not only surviving but thriving. Economist project that the net wealth of Blacks will be at zero net wealth by the year 2053. Additionally, it will take 228 years for Blacks to catch up to the wealth of our white counterparts. We don’t have 228 years. Through business, we can build wealth for our families, our community, and for generations to come. And we are committed to fighting for that, one burger at a time. Purchase with a purpose.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Access to capital, Employee retention, technology, marketing and logistics. Most of these struggles are related to access to capital.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Supreme Burger and Supreme Family Foundation?
Waleed Shamsid-Deen is president/CEO of Supreme Foods Worldwide. He is driving by his passion for creating other entrepreneurs and business owners. Over the past 20 years, he has worked as an empowerment ambassador, represents athletes and entertainers, teaches youth about entrepreneurs and giving back to the community. Quiana Shamsid-Deen is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Social Work, specializing in addressing the racial wealth gap. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Supreme Family Foundation, Owner of Supreme Burger and is passionate about bridging the gap between social work and entrepreneurship.

We are most proud of being able to create jobs for our community, in most instances including 3rd and 4th generations in the business, and our work within the community. We were honored to be the official burger for the NFL Super Bowl LIII official tailgate party. We are also honored that we were nominated as Mazda Heroes for our work in the community and gifted a 100th anniversary Mazda Miata that we converted to a donation for our foundation. Additionally, we also awarded $20,000 from the Discover Eat It Forward Program, this was also a nomination and lastly, we were awarded $10,000 from the McBride Sisters, She Can Thrive Grant program. We are excited about the team that we have, who are committed to the vision of the company. We are a brand that is about more than selling a product. We are about creating a legacy, generational wealth, and economic equality for the disenfranchised.

How do you think about happiness?
Happiness is the freedom to use business as an opportunity to explore the world, freedom to be your own boss and to be build teams and systems. Additionally, the freedom to have the opportunity to create a balance between opportunities, businesses and family life.

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