S1E15 | John Demestihas of Po Boy’s Low Country Seafood Market

SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 15

EPISODE GUEST: John Demestihas

Born and raised in the restaurant industry, Po Boy’s Low Country Seafood Owner finds ways to give back to the community that has supported him

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Want to start a business?  “Clear your schedule,” says Po Boy’s Low Country Seafood owner, John Demestihas.

Born and raised in the hospitality industry, Demestihas grew up in diners with his dad.  Originally raised in South Jersey, he’s been in Charlotte, NC over 20 years.

Demestihas got his first job at 14, bussing tables.  And he’s been working in the restaurant industry since.

“I like to call it the illness,” he says about working in the restaurant industry.  He opened a pizzeria in Rock Hill, then began opening more restaurants.  After his 5th business, he realized he was working way too much.  His daughter started to not recognize him.

He scaled back.  But still kept his eyes on the location that Po Boys is in now and eventually the illness struck again — and he had to buy it.  

It wasn’t easy.  The building had sat empty so long that it was like building an entirely new restaurant.  After 10.5 months, he opened the business.  

“Start slow and grow into it,” says Demestihas, who believes in the power of building relationships over spending money on advertising.  

And to the community that’s supported him along the way, he’s chosen to give back.  He started with a book drive and now holds a turkey drive for thanksgiving.  Each year, he’s been able to give more and eventually hopes to move into scholarships. 

“Start slow and grow into it”

– John Demestihas, Po Boy’s Low Country Seafood

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