Smoke rolls off of the grill and the fragrance of barbecue fills the air. Cars pull over to see what is going on, and they are greeted with a smile from Cedric Davis.
Every day during lunch hours, Davis hand crafts ribs, chicken and corn on the cob. His favorite part about being on the smoker is getting to know people from different walks of life.
“There is an excitement in meeting new people from our community. This area is underrated, it’s actually very busy,” Davis said.
Hospital workers, law enforcement and anyone from the neighborhood can be found talking to Davis as they buy their meals.
For the past twelve years, Davis has lived in Portsmouth, and has grown to love the town and the people in it. Currently, Davis is making a living from selling his one-of-a-kind meals to those who are lucky enough to get a bite before he runs out for the day.
Being on the smoker every day for lunch hours brings him enough opportunity to be successful with some hard work, but it wasn’t always a smooth road.
“I was actually one of those kids who grew up and didn’t have a whole lot,” Davis said. “It either gets you to a point where you’re really negative about everything or it teaches you how not to be back in that position again. My motivation was watching my mom have three jobs to take care of three kids. She did what she had to do.”
There are many sources of motivation that has led Davis to where he is today. He accredits being a deacon in his church, as well as following the example of hardworking men in the community to keeping him well grounded.
“There’s a lot of great people who are not in it to be in the limelight, not trying to have a ‘showy’ display so to speak,” Davis said. “They give back to the community, they love on the kids. There’s a lot of good encouragement here. Portsmouth has been known as a lot of negative things, but man, when you get down to the grit of it, you see a lot of people going in and putting in behind the scenes work.”
Apart from the business side of things, Davis spoke of the Serve Day this upcoming Saturday. Several churches are getting together to give back to the community. People serve in many different facets, but Davis will be found handing out meals to those who are hungry.
“Serving is needed and you don’t see enough of it in the world,” Davis said. “So why not start it here?”
When reflecting on the town of Portsmouth, Davis offered his advice,
“The way we approach things – if we approach it expecting the worst, the worst is more possible to happen,” Davis said. “But if we approach things in a positive way, already feeling like you’ve succeeded, then the majority of the time, you’ll succeed. Now, we’ll have our bumps in the road, but it’s all about how we approach things. We need to stay positive.”
If anyone is ever in need for lunch, follow the smell to the parking lot of MasterWorks Jewelry Studio. A unique meal and warm personality awaits.
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