Many students in the journalism program at Florida A&M University have personal businesses. However, not many are in the food business.
Ryan Mohorne, a graduating public relations major from Pompano Beach, is the owner of RyePies Southern Kitchen.
Growing up, Mohorne was never too far from the kitchen while someone else was cooking. His watching turned into learning.
“I’ve always been a child to be in the kitchen. I’m always going to be in the kitchen and I’m always going to be watching,” Mohorne said. “When my grandma was alive I always used to watch her cook so that’s how I started learning. Nobody ever put anything in my hands and showed me at first.”
Mohorne’s true passion is cooking, but the inspiration for starting his business came from his group of friends and their money-making mindset.
“When I first met one of my really good friends, Chaquoya Raiford, she was just an individual that was on an ‘I’m going to make money through my talents’ mindset and she was starting a business doing faux locs. She would come to me for graphic design, and eventually I told myself, ‘Since you’re out here doing this for others you might as well do it for yourself.’”
During the process of creating RyePies, one of Mohorne’s first challenges was coming up with the name.
“I was writing and writing thinking, ‘What am I going to name it? What am I going to name it?’ Then it hit me. All of my friends call me Rye Pie, I cook Southern food, and I do it in a kitchen. RyePies Southern Kitchen.”
In the beginning his clientele mostly came from his job at The Social at Tallahassee — cooking out of his home for his co-workers and events at The Social, and through word-of-mouth his business started to grow.
With 20 different custom wing flavors and three different rices, Mohorne’s next step is to upgrade RyePie’s from an in-house operation to a food truck to an established business chain.
“My goal is to start with a food truck, then from the food truck, we would transform into RyePies In-n-Out–similar to an A-Town Wings, and then eventually RyePies Southern Kitchen, the chain restaurant,” Mohorne said.
As time passes and Mohorne reaches his goals, his sister Ivory Denson sees his biggest development in his variety of dishes.
“I think his biggest development has been in his experimenting and making his menus. There’s a lot more variety in the food that he’s actually tried [to make] and he makes all of his syrups and sauces from scratch and everything is pure,” Denson said.
According to @ryepies on Instagram, the menu ranges from soul food, to wings and fries, and even to hibachi.
Mohorne hopes to have RyePies food truck up and running by next summer along with more custom sauces and up to 12 different rices.