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Michaila Lawter, 28


   Huckleberry’s, was founded in January 2011 by 16-year-old Michaila Cowles. Since grade school, Michaila had her heart set on becoming a chef and baking “pretty things.” As early as fourth grade, she wanted to attend Johnson & Wales to study culinary arts and pastry. In 2011, at the beginning of her sophomore year at Polk County High School, she began working toward making her dream come true; in the spring of that year, she was accepted by early admission to Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte.

   Michaila began her freshman year on campus at age 16 in September of 2011, majoring in Culinary Arts. During all her semesters at Johnson & Wales, she maintained a position on the Dean’s List and National Honor Society. She was a member of many campus organizations and clubs, including Tomorrow’s Emerging Leaders and International Food Service Executives Association. During her winter semester of 2012, she became the first female intern at the award-winning Bon Appetite Restaurant in Dunedin, Florida. She was also accepted into SHARP (Special Honors & Rewards Program) at Johnson & Wales and excelled through the Culinary Arts program in just 18 months. Michaila was graduated in February 2013, days after her 18th birthday, with an A.S. degree in Culinary Arts. Then in May of 2014, she received an A.S. degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Lastly in the summer of 2015, she received her third and final, degree from, Johnson & Wales University, a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Food Service Management.

   In the early mornings, you could find Michaila in the kitchen at Huckleberry’s stirring up all kinds of “goodies.” In April 2012, she began serving a full breakfast and lunch menu six days a week. By May 2013, Michaila had hired an Executive Chef, to join her in bringing you the restaurant’s fine international cuisine. She also expanded to seven days a week in the Lake Lure location.

   In December 2014, she opened another location in Tryon, NC, “Huckleberry’s Tryon.” The Tryon facility took off so fast and furious, that in April 2015, she decided to close her Lake Lure location and move to Tryon, NC full time. 

   Fast forward to September 2022, Michaila and Executive Chef Tony Lawter welcomed their son home! As life took off and became even busier with a new baby at home, they decided it was time to re-focus their professional lives to match their personal goals. Hence, we now have now entered the world of to-go dinning, meal prep, specialty events, weddings and catering full time!

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