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“My goal is to open stores all over the D.C. area, parts of Maryland and employ the young people. I want to employ our young people at an early age so they will want more in life instead of walking around here and not wanting to do anything. Where I come from it was a struggle.  My story is a success story.  Really, I could either be in prison or dead.  The fact that God saved me and saved me for something bigger, my job is to make things better for people.” ~ Rick Johnson

 

The Story Behind The Man:

When Richard Johnson speaks, people listen.  Born in Buffalo, N.Y.,  Johnson is the owner of a wing restaurant, Metro City Wing House, located in Prince George’s County, .

Richard Johnson has owned and operated the Metro City Wings restaurant, for over 11 years. He has a plan and the mission is simple: Help The Youth!

Johnson is not your typical wing house store runner.  No, Johnson is much more than that.  Ask any of his younger employees and they’ll tell you he’s more of a mentor than manager.  More of an encourager than an employer and more of a builder.

Johnson operates the wing house through the employment of troubled teenagers and welfare-saddled mothers, providing a true place of equal opportunity where other companies fall short. Johnson not only provides a place of employment, he also provides a tutorial of sorts, where he can relay personal instructions to help others grow and blossom once they leave his covering.

Johnson says, “I want to employ people that others have given up on. When I get these young people, they don’t even know how to talk or shake your hand.  So I teach them skills to one day become self-entrepreneurs for themselves.  When they leave my business they have the mindset to be something more, one day.  Somebody has to give them a chance.”

Through Johnson’s helping hands, some of his employees have gone on to new heights from owning their own businesses to working at Radio One – one of the most prominent Black-owned broadcast companies in the nation.

His Beginnings:

Richard Johnson wasn't always on the straight and narrow. Growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., he got involved with the wrong crowd and lived a life "in the streets," as he puts it. It's a reality from which he doesn't shy away; instead, he addresses it and uses that experience to shape his business acumen.

In the early 1980s, "I got into a little trouble, so I had to move," says Johnson, now a professional chef and owner of Metro City Wing House in Temple Hills. "My cousin told me 'come to Florida, because I don't want anything to happen to you.'"

 

But once Johnson made it to Florida, he looked for work in the "Help Wanted" ads and realized he wasn't qualified for work. He eventually found a job washing dishes because of its association to the culinary arts. So he's not like the chefs you might see on television: Johnson,  is self-taught, having done a little prepping and line cooking while also washing dishes.    "I knew I could eat," Johnson says. "When I got into it, I said, 'I can do this!' I just wanted to be the best at what I do. My passion for it grew because good food leads to good conversation."

 

 

 

 


 

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