From prison cell to selling potatoes: Flint entrepreneur shares story of overcoming adversity

Published: Aug. 13, 2019 at 4:51 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(08/13/19) -- Keysa Smith owns the Spectacular Spud inside the Flint Farmer's Market. It's a booth where the possibilities seem endless when it comes to baked potatoes and all the fixings.

"Since I was a kid,I always knew I wanted to go into the restaurant business, right, I just didn't know how," Smith said.

But a little inspiration came from her sister about 5 years ago.

"My sister got married. Literally, she had her reception here at the market. The idea was in my head the next day."

And her idea quickly came to fruition. The Spectacular Spud opened at the market about 4.5 years ago. But getting there, was a bit of a bumpy road, and it started when her mom moved her and her family to Los Angeles in the 1980's.

"I learned some different things when I was living in California, and picked up some habits and brought them back to Flint, so as a teenager and into young adulthood, I was selling marijuana."

That eventually landed her 4 years in federal prison. But Keysa didn't lose sight of Keysa.

"When I was there, I really wanted to hone into who I was and create a purpose for myself, and really just following what God wanted me to do."

And for her, God's plan, clearly is evident today, with her success at the Spectacular Spud. She offers this piece of advice for others who may be on that bumpy road she was on.

"You can do anything. I always say dreams have an expiration date. In a sense, some people helped me get here. A lot of people did believe in me, I got a lot of No's but I got a couple yes's in the process too."