Today we’d like to introduce you to Antoine and Farah Artis.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and spent my teenage years in Virginia Beach, VA. At a young age, I developed an affinity toward cooking. Spending countless hours in the kitchen with my mother, grandmother (dietitian and chef), and grandfather (an Army chef), I developed the passion which later sparked my decision to enter the culinary world.
I’m a Navy veteran of 13 years. I’ve lived abroad and traveled to many different countries. My natural creativity in the kitchen was further inspired by the different cuisines I ate abroad, and sometimes even learned to cook them from natives. After my time in the military came to an end, I received formal culinary training at The Art Institute of Virginia Beach. In 2013, I accepted a job position and moved to Asheville, NC. While working, I enrolled in college courses to complete my Bachelor’s Degree, which I’d been working toward since before joining the Navy. In a 3-year time frame, I’d earned process improvement certifications, and Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Quality Systems Management (Business Degrees).
Since childhood, I’d pondered the idea of having my own business and working in my passion, Culinary Arts. Early 2015, I took the first step toward doing so. I had a contest in which I gifted the winner who could give my business a name. In May 2015 Artistic Soul Catering (ASC) was born, and officially incorporated a month later. While working full-time in Electronics, part-time as a Bouncer at a brewery and also completing a Master’s Degree, I still made time to get ASC up and running. In 2016, I left my jobs and moved here to Atlanta.
My wife, Farah has been baking since childhood and attended technical school for Pastry Arts. She started True Joy Bakery in 2016. Since relocating, we have joined forces in business; Farah with baking wonderful creations, and myself on the cooking. Currently, along with catering and baking, we are both certified ServSafe Instructors and Proctors.
Has it been a smooth road?
Business challenges were plentiful. We first had to find our niche in the ATL market. Early on, we took certain catering jobs to gain exposure. This was a detriment as accepting gigs at a lower rate never got us the exposure we were looking for. Also, having the capability of carrying out larger catering jobs was also a challenge until we were able to lease kitchen space. Next was the creation and also learning how to appropriately price our entire menu. Our last challenge of many was learning who our customer base was. The hardest, but the most valuable lesson we learned was that everyone we interface with regarding business is not our customer.
Personal struggles also had their place in my story. When I left my job and moved here in favor of growing my business, not many were excited to hear the news. I put a halt on earning my Doctorate Degree months after arriving. Within a year, I was involved in 3 vehicle accidents (none my fault). I had deaths in my family, including one of my first culinary influences, my grandfather. He passed away last year 2018. I found out during a catering event. No emotion I’d ever experienced could match the feeling that day of being overwhelmed with grief while at the same time maintaining my professionalism.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Artistic Soul Catering – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Artistic Soul Catering (ASC) is a full-service catering company serving the metro Atlanta area. We offer a customizable menu and a unique variance of mouth-watering cuisines, sure to impress! Global Cuisine, Locally Sourced in the Atlanta Area and Beyond!
What We Provide-
Our Corporate Events and Small Business Menus are tailored toward corporate luncheons, churches, and the real estate industry; all events that require frequent demands for food. Offered are box lunches, drop-off, and buffet-style luncheons.
Our Parties and Social Menus are tailored toward all engagement related activities i.e.- bridal showers, and rehearsal & reception dinners. It’s also popular amongst baby showers, retirement parties, galas, graduation parties, and company holiday parties.
Offered are action stations, buffet style, and plated style with servers available.
Who Are Our Clients-
Our clients are those seeking diverse menu options and flavorful catering as a professional and convenient alternative to cooking.
We can service anywhere from 2 to 300 people currently and market to audiences such as administrators, event planners, venue owners, and film production crews.
Our unique services include food, desserts, event coordination and vendor referral.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta is a city historically known for it’s contribution to the civil rights movement. What attracted me the most is the entrepreneurial spirit that exists here. Seeing successful people here who look like me was something I’d always admired.
What I like the least is when people come here and fail to show respect to those born and raised here. Something I learned in my travels abroad during my time in the military was to acknowledge, respect, and learn from those local to the area. It’s helped me understand the history, people, and why things operate the way they do here. Also, it seems there has been a false narrative created that just coming to Atlanta alone will bring success. Planning and preparation is required when making a transition anywhere.