MERIDEN — Michael Smith had no idea his Thanksgiving desserts would turn into a successful business and lead to opening a food truck.
“On Thanksgiving when you put the banana pudding out, in a matter of seconds it’s gone,” Smith said. “I wanted to make it individual and put it in your hands. Then I had the idea to deep fry them.”
Smith deep fried banana pudding for the holidays in 2019 and his family couldn’t wait to share what he had done on social media. He said the posts went “locally viral” and for days his family asked him to make it again.
Living with his mom and sisters, Smith said he had no choice but to learn to cook and started cooking on his own at 15.
“Cooking has really expanded for me since then,” he said. “I just really love flavors.”
Deep Fried Dreams menu consists of deep fried banana pudding – his most popular item, deep fried apple pie, strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, sweet potato pie and oreos.
He has recently introduced banana pudding cannolis and beef and cheese empanadas.
Although his business began just before the pandemic, he said things have been great because people ate so much. He also offers delivery to customers’ door.
Deep Fried Dreams is featured on shopblackct.com, a not-for-profit online directory for black owned businesses in the state separated by town, county and industry.
“I’m never surprised but always inspired by the way Black businesses thrive within adversity,” Sarah Thompson, co-lead of the website said. “To see how many businesses have come to life and fruition in the last year, its just amazing.”
“My big thing is I’m trying to bring deep fried items to you every day,” Smith said. “You don’t have to wait for fair season. I want to make sure you can indulge in your cravings any day, week or month.”
Smith will be graduating with his ServSafe Managerial certification in September and said his next plan is to open a food truck.
He said he really wants to be parked at the Meriden Green but also have the flexibility to get to different events and fairs in the area.
“My plan is to go global, food truck wise,” Smith said. “I want my food trucks at every fair. Any fair you hear of, I want Deep Fried Dreams on that list. I want to be everywhere.”