Name: Shem Adams
Business Name: Phillys A Taste Of Philadelphia, 1008 Chapel Street, New Haven
Year Business was started in New Haven: New Haven started in May of 2022 ( Phillys started in 2010)
Why did you start your own business?
I was previously an entrepreneur (Barber Shop/Music Engineer/Night Club owner) but never tried the restaurant industry. Since a lot of my Connecticut friends were starting to get hooked on the food I brought back from visiting home I figured it was worth a shot. So, I put the same energy as I did my other businesses and this one really took off.
Why did you choose to start your business in New Haven?
New Haven always was a dream for the brand. I felt like this city felt closest to Philadelphia in Connecticut. Its rich foodie history was also enticing. The fact that Yale is here didn’t hurt either.
What challenges did you have to overcome in starting your business?
Proving authenticity was our biggest hurdle. Being from Philly just wasn’t enough. So, importing all of our products was key in validating our brand. The problem with that is it becomes extremely expensive to maintain that quality. This would scare most off or prompt them to substitute cheaper products. The good news for me is I’m not in this for a quick buck or trying to get rich. I believe in this brand. I know the long game. The long game is to create a brand that makes generational wealth for all that are involved. Knowing that I’m able to keep patient and keep on grinding to the goal.