Success story: Daysha Woodley reflects on her small business success, running Thumb Coast Kitchens

Growth.

That is the true sign of a person or thing becoming better, expanding and prospering in success. Entrepreneurship isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme, or fly-by-night success story. When you see the growth of a business, it most likely came about by working long nights and days interrupted by moments where you just want to give up on it all. The growth comes from perseverance.

Daylicious Drinks and Treats is one such success story, its owner having gone from being a former 9-to-5 employee to being the first ever manager-consultant of one of St. Clair County’s newest entrepreneurial services. Port Huron’s Daysha Woodley, owner of Daylicious Drinks and Treats, has been featured in many local community publications since starting her business back in 2020, a result of her becoming a major figure in the Blue Water Area and its entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Since starting Daylicious, I have resigned from my job at the United States Postal Service and have been operating my business full time,” Woodley says. “I have also taken on the new position as the manager/coordinator for Thumb Coast Kitchens, and have become a licensed chef as of February this year.”

Thumb Coast Kitchens is a new service located in Port Huron which allows qualified business owners access to commercial-grade kitchen facilities to launch and grow their food-based businesses.

[Read “Thumb Coast Kitchens opens to the public: ‘An integral part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem’” on The Keel.]

“The community kitchen is the first incubator kitchen in St. Clair County and Daylicious Drinks and Treats is the first business to be licensed to utilize the Atrium location of our facilities. Business owners and local entrepreneurs who wish to use the kitchens for storage or for a cooking/meal prep space can rent one of our two locations to do so,” Woodley says.

Operating a first-of-its-kind service is no small task that is bound to come with a few challenges and a learning curve of its own. The jump from entrepreneur to managing multiple new tasks comes with new responsibilities as well.

“Learning the licensing, procedures, and processes of a shared kitchen space has been challenging. Learning how to direct people and things of that nature has been a new experience, not only for myself, but for all involved with the project,” she says.

Inside Atrium Kitchen, part of the Thumb Coast Kitchens network. (Photo: Harold Powell)

The former Atrium restaurant is one of two incubator kitchens open to the public. Woodley not only manages the space; she’s also a tenant. She started utilizing the space for her own business, Daylicious, this March. Opening day saw Woodley serving up something outside of her normal menu of drinks and treats, and kicked things off with Taco Tuesday and her famous peach cobbler nachos for dessert.

“The first day I was nervous and anxious; I didn't know what exactly to expect. Since I’m more so known for my sweets, stepping out with an actual meal was a bit intimidating. However, it was very rewarding and I enjoyed every minute of it. I received a lot of support from the local community which made me very pleased to see,” Woodley says.

In the future, Woodley plans to continue venturing out, growing the Daylicious brand and expanding her offerings.

“My plans are to continue operating from the incubator kitchen for the time being — Taco Tuesdays and Fish Fry Fridays are going to be a regular staple,” says Woodley. “I’m planning on getting my food trailer up and running, hopefully by sometime this summer, so that Daylicious can be a part of local events such as Boat Night and the carnival.”

The past couple of years has seen Daylicious Drinks and Treats go from a dream to an ever-growing reality that has success written all over it.

Growth.