Name: Donte Habersham, better known as “Mr.Shuck’s.”
Family: Parents, Herbert and Gail Habersham, both of Glynn County; wife, Natalie Habersham, known as my “German Chocolate” and our blended family of eight kids – Zaki, Denim, Kiara, Jamya, Eisa, Destiny, Maddison and Wylle.
School: Brunswick High School
Occupation: Owner of Mr.Shuck’s Seafood – With 20 years experience in cooking southern cuisine.
Favorite spot in the Golden Isles: I love Sanctuary Cove. The views are breathtaking at sunset and the wildlife is fascinating.
Favorite things to do in your free time: One of the most favorite things that I absolutely enjoy doing is fellowshipping with other brothers and sisters in Christ. I also love taking my family to dinner as often as I can. We truly connect as a family over a great meal.
What is some of the best advice you have received over the years? To serve people. The three ways I do that is through giving time, love and financial blessings. We’re all created equal, “All lives matter,” “Change isn’t changed until it’s changed,” and “Make God the head of your life!” Also, be real and genuine.
Give us some information on the background and story of Mr. Shuck’s: Shuck’s was started in my grandmother’s backyard in 2010 with a pot and one bushel of blue crabs. Within eight months, I managed to grow into my current location. Over the 11 years we have expanded our building from one unit to three units, currently having a dining room, takeout and fresh market. Our next project is a food truck, with plans to serve our locals and surrounding counties. A long-term goal is to open four other locations. We truly value our staff, customers and community. This year we were able to take our amazing staff on an employee retreat to reconnect and re-energize. In August, we will roll out our food truck in our community. We are grateful for the support of our community and the growth of our business.
Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit? At the age of 8-years-old, I knew I wanted to be a business owner. As a little boy I remember going to my Aunt Ruby’s cleaners and watching all the hard work that went into her business. There were times I would stay at my grandmother Verdine’s house and cook pretend meals with pots and newspapers. Between the two of them, they allowed me to be a pretend chef. On top of their influence, my father Herbert instilled in me the value, “hard work will always bear sweet fruit.”
What are some of the biggest challenges of being a small business owner? On-the-job learning experiences have been one of my greatest challenges. Not being equipped with the knowledge of what it takes to keep everything afloat has been difficult. Although I’m very appreciative of the lessons learned through my failures, there are some things I wish I could have done better. The second challenge has been overcoming stereotypes. Some people feel because we are not located in the highly populated tourist area our food is not worth trying. In addition, we have been overlooked by great employees for the same reason.