KeAndre’ Jordan started as an engineer in Houston’s oil and gas industry, and as his career started to flourish, he was laid off. After being laid off a total of six times, he was drained spiritually, mentally, financially and emotionally. But with hope for starting anew and insulating himself from layoffs, he launched My SOUTHERN Brand social media page.
How did you persevere after so many setbacks?
With the resilience that my ancestors possessed, I was able to overcome. I decided to start my own business that involves me helping and being an important asset in the Black community.
What sparked the idea?
As an African American, I realized that we’re extremely influential. Whatever we touch turns into gold. In contrast, we don’t get the credit we deserve, especially within the food industry. The lack of culinary press and accolades within Houston’s Black food scene, intertwined with my love for our food and our culture, inspired me to birth My SOUTHERN Brand, which highlights Houston’s Black food establishments and gives a voice to the voiceless.
You highlight more than the food scene in Houston. What else is included?
I highlight Houston’s Black cultural scene, including homecomings, balls and other Black events that have gone on in the city.
How important is the HBCU experience to you?
Whenever I do have kids, I want them to have that experience. HBCUs are like the only place that you’re not the minority. You have that family experience. I have friends and family members that went to HBCUs and I was in heaven. I grew up on “A Different World,” so I wanted to have that experience. It’s like no other and it seems like an out of this world experience that doesn’t even feel like it’s completely real.
What are some of your favorite restaurants around town?
Grooves, Craftburger, Drunken Corner, We Dats, Kid Kreole, Cleo Lounge, and Chill Works Frozen Treats, which is a dessert spot in the Third Ward, are some of my favorite places.
What’s next for My SOUTHERN Brand?
I want to get more brand deals. I want to be able to see myself and my brand in publications and TV. I just want to be able to showcase Blackness in a positive way. A lot of people see us in in a negative light, and especially being a Black man doing this, I know it speaks volumes. I want to be able to show people that Black folks are not as bad as y’all think. We have morals, we have we will, and are law-abiding citizens. We can cook our tails off. We like to have fun. So, being able to show what we’re all about on a larger scale is what this is all about.