derrick hayes, big Daves cheesesteaks

Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks Brings A Philly Flair To Metro Atlanta

A prominent Black-owned business in Atlanta, known for its delectable sandwiches from the north, is Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks. However, its impact extends beyond crafting mouth-watering meals.

In a profile with Fox 5 Atlanta, Big Dave’s owner, Derrick Hayes, only hopes to give back all that he has received from the Atlanta neighborhoods that have embraced his food. After bringing “A Taste Of Philly” to the Southern city in 2014, his business is now a franchise and is one of the most profitable vendors at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“I’m Philly-born and raised,” Hayes said. “West Philly is always going to be in my blood, but Atlanta gave me a shot. Atlanta gave me hope and opportunity.”

However, his latest collaboration is with a fellow rising star in the Atlanta restaurant scene. In June, Hayes married “Slutty Vegan” founder Pinky Cole, forming an entrepreneurial power couple.

Their alignment extends to servicing the community. Over the course of one day, they gave out over 1,000 meals to feed families in Atlanta. Currently, they’ve partnered to provide life insurance to working class homes with incomes under $30,000 a year.

While Hayes has made a name for himself and his brand, he wants to inspire others, especially young Black men, to not count themselves out even if the dream seems far-fetched.

“A lot of these kids are geniuses, and they just don’t know what direction to go,” he said. “I was that same kid with the tattoos all over my body, and I was being stereotyped. But, some of us have a mind so sharp, the world don’t know what’s missing until they see it.”

Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks has five locations in Atlanta, and has franchising opportunities available for those wanting to embark on their own entrepreneurship journey.

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