Family is at the heart of Janice Hudgins – Advice Eating

Little Miss Ha’s owner, Janice Hudgins, didn’t cook much Vietnamese food before opening her restaurant on Houston’s Northcutt Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.

“My mom lives 20 minutes away and as a Vietnamese mom she just cooks food for us all the time,” Hudgins said. “So it was like, well, why do I have to cook Vietnamese food? Mom makes it even better.”

But after returning to Charleston from Atlanta in 2009, Hudgins began exploring new career opportunities. She worked in sales and real estate before becoming a homemaker after having four children with her husband Johnny.

While researching potential employment opportunities after working as a caregiver for decades, Hudgins began posting photos of meals inspired by Food Network chefs to Facebook. And people (metaphorically) ate it up.

In 2016, at the request of friends and acquaintances, Hudgins began hosting private dinners and catering events and serving her mother’s Vietnamese food.

“It was hard because she doesn’t write down recipes,” Hudgins said. “The only time we really cooked together in the kitchen when I was little was rolling egg rolls. We used to roll egg rolls for a local caterer in Moncks Corner and he ordered hundreds of us from us in a week. So we had an assembly line with Mom making the filling, I rolled the spring rolls, and my brother Ryan, who is now my chef, peeled all the spring roll wrappers. That was his only job because he was only 5 or 6 years old.”

As demand for private dinners increased, Hudgins had to go into the kitchen with her mother and learn how to master her recipes. And she put them in writing.

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