BYRAM, MS (WLBT) - La’Kiaus Moore opened her own Steak Escape Sandwich Grill Restaurant franchise on Friday in Byram.
“I really haven’t had a chance to soak everything in. Even the opening, I missed my first customer. I was working,” said Moore.
Moore was born in Hazlehurst and raised in Byram. She is the first woman and African-American to own a Steak Escape franchise in the Jackson-Metro Area.
“That really didn’t hit me until yesterday when I was asked that question,” she said.
However, others like her employee Devion Williams, have noticed.
"You don’t see many black women that start their own business. It’s a big thing -- a big positive thing for our community,” he said.
Moore has no formal background when it comes to running a restaurant.
She said, "I worked in restaurants in high school, through college, but after that I went on to Jackson State and Belhaven with my master’s degree but I actually work for the state of Mississippi as an accountant.”
Yet, she still made the investment.
“June or July of 2017 I decided to go all in. By the end of the year, I purchased the franchise. I invested in what I love," she said.
While she had to acquire the franchise on her own, the community has shown lots of support.
“The city of Byram, the mayor, the chamber of commerce, other businesses -- I’ve gotten so much support from the area,” she said.
Williams said, “I’m really proud of her and I know she’s gonna do a good job with the restaurant and I’m just glad to be a part of the team.”