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Rising Stars: Meet Carol Hampton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carol Hampton. 

Hi Carol, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
The Date is a full-service catering and party planning service. 

About 18 years ago, I read an article in Essence Magazine titled, “40 Things a Women Should Have Done by the Age of 40”. One suggestion stood out, it said, “You should have a 2nd stream of income, even if it’s selling your grandmother’s 

sweet potato pies, that will at least fill up your gas take”. 

I started to think, what can I do to generate additional income for me and my family? Just like that, The Date was born. I have always loved to cook and I have cooked for free for years, so let’s see if anyone will pay me money to cook. And I have found out, yes, people will! 

I so enjoy having my own company and seeing the joy on my customer and their guests when they eat my food. It makes my heart melt. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
COVID was a major setback. We had about 20-25 events booked, but when the world shut down, that went to zero. 

The Date did pivot like most businesses. We begin to do “pop-up” meal events. We would take orders based on a “pre-fix menu” and our customers would pick up their meals at specific locations throughout the DFW area. But I also had to get at 9-5 to keep me afloat. 

Prior to COVID, the challenge was getting friends and family to understand that The Date was a business and not a side-hustle. They couldn’t understand why I wasn’t around a lot and missed out on some celebrations and family events. Being an entrepreneur, you will spend a lot of time getting the business up and running it will/should take up most of your time. 

Today The Date is busy as ever. Everyone is getting back to life celebrations and we are definitely “here for it”. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a full-service caterer and event planning company. The Date is known for its’ delicious food and extraordinary presentation of the food. 

I am most proud that all of the work that I have put into this passion is paying off and really getting on the radar of clients that I never thought would hire me. 

What sets me apart from other catering and event companies is my service. No matter what the budget is for the event, my clients will get the same level of exceptional service. 

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is being at my paternal grandmother’s home and helping her in the kitchen. This is where I learned how to season food. She didn’t have all of fancy ingredients that I have access to. She used salt, black pepper, and chicken broth in most of her dishes and they tasted amazing. 

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