When Tony Washington moved from his small town of Delhi, Louisiana to the Houston area in 2005, opening a seafood restaurant was not on his mind. Fresh out of high school, Washington attended DeVry …
When Tony Washington moved from his small town of Delhi, Louisiana to the Houston area in 2005, opening a seafood restaurant was not on his mind. Fresh out of high school, Washington attended DeVry University where he majored in electronic engineering, before working in construction. His journey toward opening Sucking Good Crawfish and More started as a weekend gig, catering for weddings and other large events.
“On March 3, 2017, I decided to go out and buy a food truck to start selling food, but it wouldn't be ready until April. So, I actually bought a 15x10 tent and I set it up in a gas station parking lot. And from there, we started to grow,” Washington said.
To promote his business, Washington used social media to attract customers. His posts quickly gathered thousands of shares and millions of views, bringing “non-stop business” to his tent. Finally, in March of 2018, Washington was able to open his food truck. But soon after, Washington dreamt of opening a full-scale restaurant.
“I took my food truck to Louisiana (for homecoming), that’s when it really kind of opened my eyes to see that I would like to really have a restaurant,” Washington said. “We had a line of 100 to 200 people from maybe 11 o'clock in the morning to like two o'clock in the morning. And on my way back to Texas, that’s when the light went off my head; this might be something bigger than when we started.”
Shortly after returning from his trip to Louisiana, Washington and his wife agreed the next step for their business was to open a restaurant. A lease was signed in April 2019 and construction began. Washington pointed to his wood-paneled walls and said he did all the work on the inside of his restaurant himself. The doors of the restaurant opened November 23, 2019.
Washington said he hopes his restaurant can become “one of the best restaurants in Katy that offered real Louisiana Cajun food.”
“Being a new business financially is really tough. I mean, me and my wife took our whole life savings and put it into this business. We didn't take out a business loan. It was all cash and credit cards that built this place,” Washington said. “And just being able to see the people come in and enjoy it and have a good time is really fulfilling to me.”
Since opening the restaurant, Washington said the whole operation has been a learning process. Having never worked in the service industry, he had to quickly learn how to manage day-to-day operations, from managing employees to keeping inventory. However, seeing his business grow from a small tent to a full-service restaurant has been his favorite part of the whole process.
“I wish (customers) really knew the history of the restaurant. The way we really started; a lot of people come here, and they don't know the history of the restaurant, they don't know that we started in a little tent,” Washington said. “In a matter of three years or really two years, we now have a restaurant. And it was all due to the support of our customers.”