It’s not easy to find Dish One Coffee and Sandwich Shop. The eatery is in the back of a two-story building at 20th and Broadway, and there’s no outdoor signage.
Once inside though, there’s the smell of good food and the smile on Tonya Dishman’s face to welcome you.
After two years, she and her husband/business partner Reginald, believe they are in the right spot to prosper, thanks in part to the construction of the new Passport Health Plan headquarters and the new Republic Bank Foundation YMCA.
Tonya Dishman spent 27 years as a nurse before deciding it was time to try something else. She and her husband, who met 10 years ago, started out catering events and supplemented their income distributing essential oils and other health-related products.
Reginald, who grew up just a few blocks away, got his interest in cooking at an early age, and had established a career that included stops at the Hyatt Regency and The Galt House. But that career was sidetracked in 2015 when he underwent a kidney transplant.
His health issues led to the family’s decision to go into business for themselves. They’ve attracted a steady stream of customers, and there’s a regular lunch and dinner crowd. There are few restaurants in the area that aren’t fast-food operations.
“When we saw this opportunity, I said I could be a positive beacon of life, and hope, that people in this neighborhood could see that somebody who came from this neighborhood is willing to give back,” he says. “If they see somebody that did something positive, then they’ll do something positive. That’s the whole idea of opening up here. It’s been a struggle, but God is in the mix and we feel good about what we’ve achieved so far.”
There is plenty to like on the blackboard menu, including Rick’s Special, featuring grilled cod with sautéed onion and peppers with greens and tomatoes on the side. There are plenty of fish and chicken choices, but Tonya says there’s a focus on healthy foods. Most items can be ordered fried or grilled.
And the Dishmans continue to sell healthy natural products from Africa, like shea butter and black seed. They recently began distributing Organo Gold coffee products, which customers can take home from the store. It’s all displayed near the front counter.
Reginald says he has more ambition for the business, and would like to upgrade equipment, install a sign and advertise more. But for the time being, the family business is doing well.
“With the journey, if there’s no struggle there’s no win,” says Reginald, a man of deep faith. “And to win you have to have victory so you go through the struggle. The storms come and the storms pass but God still holds strong.”
Dish One is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.