Waleed Shamsid-Deen of Supreme Foods is on a mission to carry his family’s business legacy into the future — and he’s using technology to help the Black community invest from the ground floor up.
“We’ve been in business for over forty years. We’re second generation Black-owned,” said Shamsid-Deen, President and CEO of Supreme Foods Worldwide. “We’re very active in the community. We partner with transition homes, homeless shelters, and second chance programs. That’s the level of passion we have for our community.”
Supreme Foods is the name of Shamsid-Deen’s umbrella of brands, which includes, Supreme Fish Delight, Supreme Burger, Supreme Foods Worldwide, and the Supreme Family Foundation. Recently, the family-owned conglomerate launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to allow supporters to make an investment in the company. In return for their monetary investment, investors hold equity in the company, which can turn a profit when the company goes public. In the meantime, the brand plans to use the funds to scale its franchising operation.
The company was founded in 1980 by Shamsid-Deen’s father, Lawrence, in Atlanta, Georgia. The family’s first restaurant was Supreme Burger, but it wasn’t long before the Lawrence switched to fish, launching local favorite, Supreme Fish Delight. While the Supreme Fish Delight name is still well known locally, Waleed had the vision to bring back the old brand with the dream of creating a “better burger”, made fresh to order without harmful chemicals and additives.
“Supreme Burger is a throwback to what my dad had in the 80s. We’re not a Shake Shack or a Five Guys … but we can be.”
Today, Supreme Burger and Supreme Fish Delight have 11 locations in the Metro-Atlanta area. Shamsid-Deen and his family pride themselves on not only running a successful business, but also helping Black people also become business owners through their franchise program. He stressed that becoming entrepreneurs and supporting entrepreneurs is key to our future success as a community.
“The US just dumped 3 trillion into the marketplace. If you were employed, the most you got is a stimulus check and an unemployment check. But, if you were a business owner, you got access to PPE loans, grants, and other opportunities,” he said. “When we get into business and just build, we can really empower our community.”