The Summit Cafe

by Tonya Dixon | May 10th, 2014
Malik Thompson (Photos by A2S Photography)

Malik Thompson (Photos by A2S Photography)

Most people fold under pressure. They simply give up or throw in the towel when faced with adversity. Nevertheless, there are always a small percentage of individuals that not only refuse to give in, but somehow excel in stressful situations. They get knocked down, but ultimately rise above the fray.

Reginald “Malik” Thompson personifies the term “overcomer”. Life has forced him to face some very difficult and trying times, but it also forced him to find a way to make it.

Thompson has been “making it” on his own since a young boy. He has always owned his own business of some sort. From the time he was able to push a broom or shovel snow, the Washington, D.C. native has always been a business man and had an entrepreneurial spirit.

He was raised to be the “man of the house” by his mother, Irene Thompson and two sisters, Roachell and Angela Thompson. He learned to be a provider for himself and his family; it’s a characteristic he still carries today. “I’m kind of old school; I think a man should provide for his wife and children,” says Thompson. “That’s not to say a woman can’t do anything. It’s just that when it comes down to the wire, the man should be able to take care of things.”

Thompson was always able to “take care of things.” He took on the name “Malik” because he says, at the time, it sounded cool and it means king. Kings take care of business and get the job done. Nevertheless, his financial resources were often procured through ill-gotten means.

He admits that he became blinded by the idea of quick money he could acquire; albeit often illegally. However, he maintained a legitimate business if for no other reason than for appearance. Yet the cover wasn’t enough to make him impervious to the law.

Ultimately, he spent 13 years “growing up.” He had nothing but time to think about the mistakes he had made and determined within himself that when his freedom was restored he would live his life differently. He would become a productive, law-abiding, contributing citizen. He says his ambition was to get what he wanted the right way.

His resolve was sincere but much easier said than done. He did all he could to find consistent employment, but his efforts proved to be mostly futile. Even though Thompson had become a certified HVAC technician, carpenter and brick mason, he was still competing with individuals with a clean record.

He did have brief stints of employment, like when he sold meats door-to-door and with temporary services, but ultimately he was trapped. His determination prevailed and he began seeking the advice of others, like Barrington “Icy Man” Riddick, who was already succeeding as a food street vendor.

Thompson took all the money he had, $800, and invested it into buying cell phones, which he would turn around a sell for a small profit. It was legitimate and profitable. The business took off and he was able to invest into more. As time passed, he began looking for other businesses to calm his entrepreneurial itch.

He says whatever he wanted to do he always reminded himself he was just as smart as the next guy and had what it took to be successful. If someone else could do it, then he could too.

The opportunity became available for Thompson to purchase a small restaurant he frequented. It was a great business venture. He had previously owned a restaurant in Washington, D.C., so he wasn’t a complete novice.

“I just wanted to do something to make a difference. I wanted something to pass down to my kids. It’s small, but it’s mine and it’s a place of comfort for me,” says Thompson. “I used to come here [to the restaurant] all the time. They had good food and good people. I saw something’s that I would change and that I knew would make the place better, but at the time I was still cool with it.”

Thompson realized he could turn the fledgling business around and that’s exactly what he has done. On June 07, Thompson will be having a grand opening of the new and improved Summit Café. He wants people to stop by and get reacquainted with the restaurant.

One of the first things he improved was customer service. He notes, “I may not know a lot, but I know good customer service will make up for other things.”

Additionally, he took great efforts to renovate and make much needed improvements inside the café. However, he has still managed to maintain the down-home atmosphere he fell in love with himself. Of course, the food is still delicious. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and customers should try the famous fried fish, grits and eggs combo.

Thompson isn’t content with only one venture. He is currently in the final stages of opening his latest business project. In just a few short weeks he plans to open The Firm – a social lounge for business professionals. It will be strictly for businesses; a facility where professionals can meet and hold interest meetings or even give presentations.

In addition to the Summit Café and The Firm, he is just as dedicated to his other business, OTG Wireless Service and Repair located in Greensboro. It’s a partnership with Derrick Leach, who handles all repairs. Customers can get on-premises repair of cellphones, computers and electronic devices.

Understandably, Thompson is very proud of what he has been able to do, but he has much more he wants to accomplish. With a fiancé –Fedoria Bynum, three kids: Reggie, Rico and Ramsey-and one on the way, baby Royal; he works hard to make sure they are all provided for.
“I’m not fearful of failure,” he says. “I’m fearful of not trying. I’m motivated by a desire for a better future.”

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