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Check Out Paula Sims’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paula Sims.

Hi Paula, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My mother had owned a restaurant/catering business for a good part of my childhood and my sisters and I were expected to help out. Although my sisters didn’t exactly take a liking for the food business and had went on to pursue other interests, I was drawn to this industry. I have worked many years at various restaurants and bars, but in 2019 the offer to purchase Hank’s was made to me and I made the decision to dive headfirst into becoming a sole proprietor… After having 25 plus years working and managing restaurants but I was in no way prepared for how to deal with the bottom falling out of our world six months after I took the leap!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would say it definitely has not been smooth. I knew going into it that it would involve hard work and a lot of sacrifices especially since I was a single mother without a financial fallback if I could not make it work. I purchased Hank’s in October 2019 and in March 2020, the word “Covid “ started making news headlines then suddenly was in our own backyard and we were all forced to either shut down completely or get creative on how to keep doing business. I had no other option but to get creative!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Although I have worked in every job within the food/beverage/hospitality industry, my calling was always to work as a server. Back when I worked on the dining room floor, I was really good at it. I really believe that the years I spent taking care of customers helped to prepare me for owning my own and knowing what direction I wanted to take it. I am proud of how I have been able to keep pushing forward the past two years especially after Covid, even when there were plenty of days that I wanted to give up because I was not sure how I would be able to keep the door open for business but I would put my big girl pants back on and try to start thinking outside of the box and come up with new ideas to draw more interest to bring in business. I knew that being in a small town that has several great restaurants that we would have to strive to become a destination place and so I have really tried to keep the nostalgic 50’s diner theme going along with making sure that not only does our product taste great, it also must be picture-worthy every time we serve a customer…

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
In my younger years, I was definitely a risk taker and lived life on the edge, but after realizing that sometimes those risks can have consequences, I found myself becoming a person who played it safe at all times and stayed in my comfort zone. I almost didn’t make the decision to go into business for myself because of this, it was a decision that I was going to have to just spin the wheel and hope it went in my favor and that made me uncomfortable. But my family kept pushing me towards it, and telling me that everything would work out so I did. I am now really glad that I did it. I still don’t like to just make rash decisions on things but I do think that sometimes in life we have to just close our eyes and trust in God’s will.

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