Solange isn’t the only BSB taking a seat at the table. Ashley “Lebelle” Hardesty not only is taking a seat but also creating an experience at tables throughout Winston-Salem. Her company, The Table Experience, creates at an exclusive dinner party atmosphere at various venues. Learn more about her intimately beautiful events in the feature below!
Ashley “Lebelle” Hardesty
The Table Experience
North Carolina State University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Website Link: ashleylebelle.com
What services do you provide?
We are an organic farm to table dinner series who specialize in organic & delicious four-course meals held at exclusive venues in Winston-Salem, NC.
Why did you decide to start a business?
I decided to start The Table Experience because I love cooking and hosting people. Most of all I am dedicated to educating others on health and wellness and informing especially people of color, that healthy meals can be delicious and healing to the body.
Before you owned a business, what did you do?
Before I started The Table Experience, I co-owned and operated my family’s seafood restaurant for 4 years in Winston-Salem, NC; Forsyth Seafood Market & Café. You can still find me at the restaurant daily.
What is your favorite client story?
My Favorite client story is receiving an email from a woman who overheard me talking about The Table Experience dinner, while I was waiting in line at a local grocery store. She took a picture of my business card and sent me an email that night requesting more information. I thought that was so cool. We’re working on a private event for that client today.
What is the most interesting client request you have had?
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business? The most important thing I have done to build The Table Experience has been investing the time into building a team. I’m a very independent person but realizing I can’t do everything alone has been the epiphany. Continually building my team has helped the business process tremendously. Now I can focus on getting one or two things done correctly versus getting everything wrong. The interesting part for me was realizing that I can be humble enough to say I need help, and that’s ok. It’s worked in my favor.
Who are some of your business idols?
Some of my business idols are Myleik Teele, who is the founder and creator of CurlBOX and Hey Fran Hey, who started her successful health and wellness platform via Youtube. They both have great podcasts that offer sound advice when it comes to business, wellness, and life choices.
Do you have any mentors?
Yes, I would say my mother is one of my business mentors. She and my late father have created a business model that has been successful for the past for 34 years. She’s more than qualified for business help. I go to her for all of my outrageous business ventures and dilemmas. I also have entrepreneurial friends in my city who are considered mentors. We gather to throw ideas off each other quite often.
What is your favorite thing about being southern?
My favorite thing about being southern is having southern charm. Southerners have that ability to make anyone feel warm, welcomed, or good about themselves. I love complimenting someone with a kind southern gesture. It’s such a great feeling.
What is your favorite southern entrees or sides? Why?
My Favorite southern side has to be collard greens! I’m obsessed. They’re so versatile, they are considered a superfood providing you with tons of nutritional value, they are easy to prepare, and you can have them with anything. I love having two fried eggs on a bed of spicy collard greens for breakfast. It’s the best thing that has happened to my breakfast routine.
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business?
My favorite item to use while prepping for my dinners would be my iPhone. I love videoing the cooking process for my personal Snapchat and business Instagram.