Kathija “Kat” Ahmed Fostering Growth and Empowering Future Leaders

Kathija “Kat” Ahmed Fostering Growth and Empowering Future Leaders

Kathija "Kat" Ahmed has emerged as an exceptional force, blending determination, familial aspirations, and a profound commitment to community upliftment. With an unwavering passion for creating a lasting legacy, Kat, alongside her husband Basem, embarked on a transformative journey by establishing BasKat LLC. At its heart lies Munch Hut Deli & Store , an alluring culinary destination nestled in the vibrant tapestry of Downtown Athens, Georgia. Prepare to be captivated as we unravel the remarkable narrative of Kathija Tricia Ahmed, a trailblazer shaping the local economy through her unconventional strategic outlook and steadfast dedication to fostering community growth.   

Resilience and Transformation   

In life, we often find ourselves faced with difficult decisions and challenging circumstances, especially in today's complex world. Kat's personal journey resonates with the resilience and strength required to navigate such trials. Born into a West Indian family, Kat experienced a nomadic upbringing along the East Coast, encompassing nearly 40 moves and a diverse range of cultural influences. However, it was during her parents' divorce, after nearly three decades of marriage, that she truly experienced the profound impact of such life-altering changes.   

Kat went through her own divorce just a year and a half later. At the time, Kat held a leadership role as the Director of Education for a nonprofit organization empowering hoteliers nationwide. Her personal and professional growth, particularly as a woman of color, opened doors to new opportunities and allowed her to educate and impact lives on a broader scale.   

In the midst of her triumphs, Kat encountered a pivotal moment that would shape her life’s journey. Though doubt and uncertainty cast their shadows, she remained resolute in her pursuit of a radiant tomorrow. It was at this decisive crossroads that she embraced the profound importance of envisioning one's own destiny—an empowering catalyst for personal growth and ultimate fulfillment. With unwavering faith, and the support of her family, Kat took a leap of faith, embracing the opportunity to forge her own unique path.   

Finding herself as a single mother to her three-year-old daughter, Nyla, Kat embraced the challenges that lay ahead. The desire to create a happy and stable environment for Nyla propelled her forward, igniting a renewed determination within her. She wanted her daughter to witness firsthand what happiness looks and feels like, free from the shadows of past struggles. As Kat emerged from the darkness of her own journey, fate intervened, and she met her current husband, Basem “Felix” Ahmed.   

United by a shared business mindset and a desire to pursue their passions, Kat and Basem embarked on a transformative journey together. The onset of the global pandemic only served to reinforce their conviction that they could no longer settle for anything less than their true potential. Recognizing the unique blend of their skills, experiences, and complementary strengths, they made a bold decision—to establish BasKat LLC, a venture that would bear their combined names as a testament to their shared commitment.   

Crafting Culinary Magic    

Within the realm of BasKat LLC, a dynamic and diverse business landscape unfolds. Basem and Kat embarked on their entrepreneurial journey by launching "On-Time COVID Supplies" under their parent company. This endeavor capitalized on the high demand for personal protective equipment during the pandemic, showcasing their resourcefulness and adaptability. However, their true culinary passion found its expression with the birth of Munch Hut Deli & Store   

Located across the street from the University of Georgia, a college town that thrives with youthful energy, Munch Hut Deli & Store catered to the vibrant student community. With the university's winning streak in collegiate championships, the eatery gained significant attention and became a hub for champions. Their slogan, "Where Champions Eat," resonated with the students and fostered a sense of pride in being part of the community.   

Recognizing the need to expand their offerings beyond the late-night college crowd, Kat and Basem introduced BasKat Catering. This sister venture aimed to create a stream of revenue by targeting a new audience who need catering for corporate events and elegant affairs. BasKat Catering became Basem’s ultimate stage, where he can showcase his culinary fitness and passion for crafting exceptional flavor combinations.   

Nurturing Future Leaders    

When envisioning a restaurant and its workforce, one often conjures images of servers and chefs, limited to a few defined positions. Kat, however, sheds light on the expansive world that lies within a startup, where technology, marketing, content development, finance, and data analysis intertwine under the umbrella of operations. This comprehensive approach forms the foundation of BasKat LLC and Munch Hut Deli & Store, transforming the notion of a traditional restaurant into a multifaceted learning playground.   

For Kat and her husband, hiring interns and collaborating with students means offering them more than just cashier or cook positions. They strive to tap into their passions and talents, creating opportunities beyond their immediate roles. For instance, one employee who excels at cashier duties also possesses a deep passion for photography. This employee was encouraged and empowered by having time each week allocated to capture captivating visuals for their social media platforms. By nurturing their employees' passions, they enhance their work experience and equip them with valuable knowledge that will serve them in their current and future endeavors.   

Working with the Munch Hut owners provides individuals with a unique chance for personal and professional development. Known for their innate ability to impart knowledge, they become natural mentors, constantly sharing insights on various aspects of business, including structure, technology, and overall growth. Kat emphasizes the importance of fairness and respect in their roles as employers. They embody the ideals of a rare "unicorn" employer, genuinely caring for their staff's well-being and ensuring their safety.    

The Power of Self-Awareness    

Kat's advice resonates with the importance of self-motivation and setting clear goals. She emphasizes the need to truly know oneself and work according to individual strengths and preferences. As she wisely states, "Know yourself, know yourself, know yourself." Understanding peak productivity times and aligning work schedules accordingly can yield the best results. Whether through exercise or other self-care practices, taking care of personal well-being ensures that one shows up as the best version of themselves in every endeavor.   

While embracing automation and efficiency, Kat offers a crucial reminder: nobody will do things as well as you do. It is not because no one else is capable, it is because of the intention behind every action. An owner has different levels of intention and commitment, this feeds into everything we do. Each individual has unique abilities and approaches. Comparing oneself to others only leads to unrealistic expectations. Instead, Kat urges entrepreneurs to reset their expectations to align with true capabilities and realities.    

With their commitment to pushing boundaries and crafting flavorful, delicious food, Kat and Basem continually strive to outshine the traditional and conventional. Through a commitment to empower the next generation and being recognized as a business of the community, these business owners are transforming the hospitality industry. Kat Ahmed’s impactful journey has created a lasting legacy built on the pillars of self-discipline, compassionate leadership, and a guiding path for others to follow.   

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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