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DYNAMIC DUO—Audryanna and Richard Hatcher working in tandem at Lettuce Eat at Monroeville Mall. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)

Richard said he and Audryana take great pride in offering only the freshest produce for their foods. “Every day we bake our chicken, create the soup of the day, and cut all produce purchased from the Strip District and local farmers markets.”

An assortment of drinks and desserts are also a part of the menu.

Lettuce Eat originated in 2015 out of the couple’s quest to lose weight and a personal desire for quality vegetable and meat options. “The experience at the Pittsburgh Mills helped us perfect our services and menu choices,” Richard said. “When the mall began to decline, we decided to leave when we did, opposed to being at risk of having to scramble to find a location if the mall closed. Monroeville Mall management wanted a healthy option-type establishment in their food court. Our timing was good. Since we have been here our business has tripled.”

Pleased with the success of Lettuce Eat, the Hatchers plan to offer a lunch catering service by the summer in Monroeville and Penn Hills for small businesses and other facilities, with an expansion next year to cater larger events. Within three to five years their goal is to franchise their concept.

A former manager in the retail industry with a decade of experience, Audryana is a strong believer in customer relations. In charge of the eatery’s five employees, her directives are to have a pleasant attitude and always strive to please the customer. The Woodland Hills High School graduate said her goal is for Lettuce Eat to provide tasty and fresh options for all shoppers and mall employees. She enjoys being an entrepreneur because it affords her the opportunity to control her own life and schedule. “I’m able to focus on my young son and husband all while working at something I like,” she said.

Richard also is a strong believer in customer relations. “Our number one priority is the patient; we dedicate time so that we can provide one-on-one services during visits,” he said concerning his other business, R&R Eyewear Excellence. Services there include eye examinations, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses, screening and monitoring for different medical conditions. Richard noted that they carry a wide variety of eyeglass frames.

A graduate of Hampton University, Richard has 11 years in optometry, eight as a manager, nine as an Ophthalmic Technician and three years in a surgery center.

Thrilled that he and his wife are entrepreneurs, Richard, a 32-year-old Penn Hills native, said he always knew that he didn’t want to work for someone else all his career. Feeling this is a good time to start a business with the right idea and product, he suggested anyone considering entrepreneurship should have a passion for what they are doing. “Be creative. Dare to be different because people are tired of the same things.

“Audryana and I have sacrificed and don’t live beyond our means,” Richard said. He indicated they started their businesses with their own resources and no outside assistance. Admitting that they lean on their faith and have a lot of patience, he said if they can operate their businesses, anyone can.

“All you have to do is be dedicated,” Richard said, “put your mind to it and not limit yourself.”

 

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