In 2019, Melissa Harris opened Lickety Split Southern Kitchen & Bar in Hapeville, Georgia bringing her passion for food and serving others to life. Founded on strong family values and comforting Southern hospitality, Lickety Split specializes in Southern cuisine.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
MH: I’ve always had a passion for cooking. I’ve been working in the food industry for about 30 years and ran 7 different restaurants in that time period. I retired back in 2018, but that only lasted for 3 months! My family and friends had always encouraged me to open my own restaurant, and after cooking for 75 people on the Fourth of July one year, I thought: “The next time I do this, I better be compensated!”
Q: What made you want to start Lickety Split?
MH: The constant encouragement from family and friends. In fact, the name “Lickety Split” came from my younger brother. His nickname was “Lickey”, and I used to always cook and do stuff for him. I always told him if I ever opened a restaurant I would name it after him. Since I’m a person who keeps her word, I did it! He thought I would forget, but I never did.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a female business owner?
MH: This might be corny, but as a Leo zodiac sign, I’ve always had it my way and been “the boss” my whole life. My favorite part is being able to be that strong, independent boss. I’ve always been in leadership roles, so I love being able to teach and inspire others.
Q: Do you have any female mentors or figures you find inspirational?
MH: Michelle Obama! Not only is her life story inspiring, but she’s such a positive, compassionate woman who is a role model to all.
My Grandma and Mom were amazing female mentors as well. They really inspired me to get into cooking. They loved to cook and serve and never asked for any help from anyone while doing so; they were selfless.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
MH: If I could give any advice to an aspiring female entrepreneur, it’s that you gotta believe in yourself first. You have to be confident! We’re all put on this Earth for a purpose and a reason. It might take some longer than others to find that purpose, but it’s there.
Q: What makes Lickety Split unique?
MH: You know, we never closed during the pandemic. I think people just love to eat good food. We really put our own love in it; you can come in and see the open kitchen and just see the hands taking the time to train someone and how we taste all of the food before it ever reaches the table. We’re very hands on with everything we do to give our customers an incredible experience. Nothing comes out of a can - everything is all grown in Georgia. These recipes come from the bottom of my heart.