Perrysburg, Virginia A local woman’s dreams of opening her own restaurant in the New River Valley came true, and she ended up making history in the process.
Teasha Watkins is the first black person to own a restaurant in Giles County. Watkins opened Silver & Salt on Main Street in Pearisburg in May.
“I’ve been cooking forever,” Watkins said.
Watkins, a native of Giles County, said she loves the community in which she was born and raised.
She did not intend to be a pioneer when opening her business but said she was honored to hold the title.
She discovered that she was the first when the Ministry of Health came to inspect her new job.
“I’m going to be the first black-owned restaurant in Giles, which is a wild one,” Watkins said. ‘There was absolutely nothing there. I was like dang, I’m 36 and I’m first. I love it.’
It’s an important moment for her family and the entire black community of Giles.
“At the ribbon-cutting party, it was so cool when Mayor Robert was here, and I was like Dang, we’re all here for this,” Watkins said.
It’s an exciting mentor, said Will White, co-owner and manager.
“It’s amazing,” White said. “It’s a good thing the community is getting some black cooking.”
Watkins said clients showed up to support one.
“Everyone here is good. Everyone has a kind heart. Anytime you need something, all you have to do is post on Facebook and everyone is willing to help. No matter what. It’s what it is. It’s like a big family,” Watkins said. .
Watkins said she is proud to give back to the community she has spent her entire life in and hopes to inspire other young blacks to pursue their dreams too.
“You can do whatever you want, for real,” Watkins said. “Do it. Whatever you have in mind, go for it. Because someone will support you.”
You can check out Silver & Salt’s Facebook page or website to learn more.
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