Fatisha Evans, University alumni and former Caribbean Student Organization member, opened a Caribbean restaurant in August of last year called Fazmoz to provide the community with Caribbean-style food and culture.
After graduating in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Evans stayed in Wichita Falls and began selling food to Caribbean students and locals from her apartment in 2016.
Evans said she did not originally plan on going into the restaurant business after graduating.
“My intentions were to own a business. What kind of business I could not tell you,” Evans said. “I was into a kind of marketing company. That was my main thing. Even though I was cooking, I was still wanting to go into marketing.”
Although Evans enjoyed cooking good food, she said she never had a passion for cooking until she started cooking for locals.
“It was motivating to see Caribbean students and local people coming to an apartment to buy food — good food,” Evans said.
Evans said she did not have intentions to buy a restaurant until this year. She was driving around the plaza where Fazmoz is now located and saw the building was for lease. Evans did not have the funds at the time of discovering the building but had been saving for four years and “decided just to go for it.”
When Evans saw the opportunity to open a restaurant and decided to sign the lease in January of 2019. Evans opened the restaurant in August of that year so she had five months to prepare and open the restaurant.
Brooklyn Stone is a high school senior working at Fazmoz. Stone started working as a waitress at the restaurant before the opening.
“When [Evans] was interviewing [the employees], she was still making changes to the restaurant. I was able to watch the progress,” Stone said.
According to Evans, there was nothing in the building and no equipment. Redecorating and buying the necessary equipment for Fazmoz took all of her savings to get the restaurant where it is.
Rather than buy all new equipment, Evans sourced out for used equipment. Emerson, her husband, owns a pressure washing company so the company cleaned all of the equipment.
Evans changed the interior of the building to match the traditional Caribbean style with painted walls to match the different colors of Caribbean flags as reggae-style music plays in the background.
“If you would have come here when the restaurant was still Fuzzy’s Tacos, you never would have expected it to look like this. [Evans] redid the floors, the walls, the decorations. All of the straw walls, she made them herself,” Stone said,
Mercy Yermo, an exercise physiology senior, was interested in Fazmoz because it was a unique restaurant.
“[Fazmoz] brought the atmosphere the owners were hoping to create,” Yermo said.
Evans wanted to provide the city with fresh ingredients and good service. Evans said that although the city has many restaurants, most of them are fast food chains and lack fresh food.
“A lot of people from Wichita Falls have visited my country and visited the entire Caribbean and love the Caribbean. The only time they get to experience the food and that vibe would be if they had the chance to go back to the Caribbean. [Aside from] Caribbean students, the locals love Caribbean food,” Evans said.
Before working at Fazmoz, Stone did not know there was a Caribbean organization on campus. Stone did not expect a city like Wichita Falls to be home to many foreign students.
“I found out about the Caribbean organization because on Sundays, [Evans] provided free delivery to that organization. I wondered why she was delivering to specific people. I always figured [foreign exchange students] would go to a bigger city and not Wichita Falls,” Stone said.
Evans admitted that she does not want to remain in the restaurant business for the rest of her life. She is thinking about going into real estate after she finds a manager to take over Fazmoz.
“I’m a person that believes in being multi-talented and using all of your talent to the best of your ability,” Evans said. “Being that type of person, I can’t sit around in one area.”
Evans is interested in opening up restaurant chains from the support of the community. Even though she may leave Fazmoz, Evans wants Caribbean food to have a presence in the community.
“I will not be in this business forever, but I’m going to ensure that Caribbean food is always served in Wichita Falls and throughout Texas,” Evans said.