It’s not often that you find a spot where you can stop for gas and grab a bite of soul food at the same time.
Dominique Ian LeeShawn Boykin, self-taught chef and creator of Dinner By Dom, is serving his cuisine inside Akron’s Gas & Save station to address the lack of soul food options in Northeast OH.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Boykin was drawn to the culinary arts industry as a child, watching family members and television chefs whip up savory recipes. The Akron resident began his entrepreneurial ventures in 2015 with his “Not your nana’s” banana pudding recipe, launching Dinner By Dom from his home.
After cooking out of his home kitchen for seven years, a friend presented him with the opportunity to open up in the new kitchen space a month ago.
“I do everything on my own. I cook alone. Nobody is with me in my kitchen. I have no training, just a gift,” he said. “I’ve never gone to culinary arts school so I’m running off support and word of mouth.”
Dinner By Dom presents a modern take on traditional southern classics. Boykin describes his business as “soul food with a flair.”
Customers can choose from soul food dinners and sides that include pot roast, mac and cheese, green beans, cornbread, wings, and loaded fries. Additionally, Chef Boykin offers catering services for events and businesses.
“I would say my company’s success is evolving. I’m a humble, passionate, transparent, spiritual business owner. I want to franchise and be able to employ people from all walks of life,” he said.
Boykin has accumulated over 48,100 social media followers across multiple platforms.
“I’m just a keeper of the garden and I’m here to plant a seed, a seed of mindfulness, a seed of positivity, and a seed of you are worthy and can be whatever you’d like to,” he added.
Gas & Save is located at 863 W. Exchange St.