I must have texted GRACIAS in all caps several times when Khary Blackmon, owner of Sit, Good Dogs, a specialty food truck familiar in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, agreed to let me interview him for Phind out Phriday. I was looking forward to talking with someone who was in the art of food, especially since I like to indulge in the art of eating.
We weren’t able to meet up and talk food preparer to food eater. So I made myself comfortable in my University City flat. Turned the tv on mute, pressed call once “Khary” was highlighted in blue on my smart phone, hit speaker, and about ten seconds after He said hello I began with
Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
KB: Awe man. Only 5 words. I need like 11. Okay, okay. Focused, driven, big dreamer, and average. I like to think I’m just your average dude.
Phreedum: What is the most fulfilling thing about the work you do?
KB: Being my own boss and working for myself.
Phreedum: Who has been influential in allowing you to phreely pursue your dreams?
KB: My mom. The truck was her idea and she bought it. She’s wanted to start a family business and is full of ideas. I just backed her up on this one. Mom has the ideas, I do the follow through. I’m a workhorse.
Phreedum: What advice would you give to the Khary of 10 years ago?
KB: Don’t be scared, just go for it. Successful people are just people so I can reach success, so don’t be scared. And, don’t go to college. It’s a waste of time. Pursue your business venture full time. The money for college could have been put into business. But I wouldn’t tell any young person that.
Phreedum: How would you say you’ve evolved as a person?
KB: I’ve always been a hard worker, but this has challenged me to be an even harder worker. It really stretches me. I have a full time job as a substitute teacher. I’m a dad. I’m also a full time Master’s in School Counseling student at Holy Family. I also want to have my own bar someday, and starting in the middle of June I will be bartending at this new place on South Street.
Phreedum: How does the work you do change the lives of others?
KB: It inspires people. Especially young Black males and that’s important to me. A lot of young Black men don’t get to see people who look like them doing positive things. I get asked a lot if I work my truck for someone and I say ‘No, it’s mine.” Teaching is also a chance to be effect positive change and show people that I am a positive young Black man.
Phreedum: What’s been your proudest moment thus far?
KB: Just getting the business of the ground. It took me about 16 months to get it started and working with the city was hard but necessary to make the dream a reality.
Phreedum: How do you handle all of the stress that comes with all that you do?
KB: I like to distress by being alone and listening to music.
Phreedum: What kind of music?
KB: I like everything.
Phreedum: Even country?
KB: Even country.
Phreedum: So who’s the last artist you added to your ipod?
Phreedum: Cool. What’s your favorite song by her?
KB: I liked Hometown Glory from her first album a lot. But uh from her last one, Rolling in the Deep.
KB: Oh and I added Big Sean to my ipod.
Phreedum: Gotcha. Alrighty. So, What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
KB: I’m shy. I’m really good at acting like I’m not shy, but I am. But with business there is no time to be shy.
Phreedum: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
KB: Take full advantage of all opportunities and education that you can. (I focus more on the opportunities part.)
Phreedum: Where do you want to see your company in 5 years?
KB: I want to see a couple of things happen. I either want at least three more trucks throughout the city or a 1 gourmet lunch truck. The gourmet truck would only sell chicken and waffles, and it would be organic.
Phreedum: Wow, that is very specific, but that’s cool. If Sit, Good Dogs was a sport what sport and why?
KB: Golf. There is a lot of strategy involved. There may not seem like much is going on, but it can be intense.