HOUMA, La. —
A glass ceiling has been shattered for a local business owner.
According to the NAACP of Terrebonne Parish, the owner of Mimi’s in Houma is the first female African-American restaurant owner to have a spot on the town's historic Main Street.
“To be the first African-American woman to open a restaurant on Main Street is very exciting to me. I feel it’s an honor,” said the restaurant's owner Michelle “Mimi” Foreman.
Now 55, cooking has been Mimi’s passion since she was kid, growing up just outside of Houma. Her mom’s recipes are still on menu.
“When everyone was outside playing, I was inside watching mom cook,” said Mimi.
Mimi’s husband, Charles ‘Chef Nola” Foreman, is a world renowned chef. To call his charbroiled oysters mouth-watering would be an understatement.
He credits the restaurant's success to his wife, calling her an inspiration.
“My wife is awesome, she’s very dedicated, she’s committed,” said Charles. “She empowers young women that they can achieve what they enjoy doing.”
Mimi’s husband isn’t the only one who calls her an inspiration. The NAACP of Terrebonne Parish says Mimi’s accomplishment serves as an example to young kids of color.
“It’s good for our children who are coming up to see other African-Americans who are doing something very positive in their community,” said chapter president Jerome Boykin Sr.
But for this entrepreneur, her ultimate goal is to continue to make the restaurant a place for all people.
“There’s a blend of people in the here,” said Mimi. “We are all one here at Mimi’s.”
Mimi and her husband hope to one day expand and open up restaurants all across the country. Her dreams are big but says you’d be surprised by the power of food.
“Some people say is it soul food?,” said Mimi. “I say it’s food for your soul.”