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'I love how I get to stand out!'

Get to Know… Denetria “Shai” Nichols, owner of She's On A Roll Signature Eggrolls

Denetria "Shay" Nichols
Denetria “Shai” Nichols.
Contributed
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Are you originally from the Rochester area?

I am not originally from Rochester, I was born in Chicago, but we moved to Rochester when I was just 2 years old. We moved to Minnesota because my mother and father wanted a better life for their children. I mean can you imagine back in the 90’s Chicago was considered “rough”? I would say then was very minimal compared to today. 

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What do you like best about Rochester? 

If I'm honest, I love how I get to stand out! How I get to make a difference in my community as a woman of color. I love that I can bring new ideas and build relationships that shift cultural differences and draw us closer together. I am honored to be  a local resident with the #1 ranked hospital, Mayo Clinic, right in my backyard. I love the many opportunities that are offered here from expanding knowledge, to the volunteer opportunities, and the many new organizations being created to meet the needs of the community.. 

What changed do you think still need to be made? 

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I believe that Rochester is continuing to evolve, but I think we still need to work on the welcoming of cultural differences and how we build those relationships within our community. I think we need to continue to work hard at finding more and building  more things in our community for families to do locally as well. 

What’s do you do for a living? Why did you chose that for your career? 

I am a new business owner with an upcoming business coming soon to Rochester. She’s On A Roll Signature Eggrolls is a family-owned business specializing in mouthwatering eggrolls filled with some of the American favorites. I decided to go into the food industry after losing my mother who was the best cook I knew! She was so versatile in the kitchen and could make good quality meals with the most basic things. Being in the kitchen cooking, I feel very connected spiritually to her. I also work in Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic as a desk operation specialist. Being with patients going through something so life changing during their duration of their stay we become family. I am the face they see everyday speaking life and encouraging words into them. They are so grateful for that and it warms my heart that’s the reward of the work being done. 

What’s one piece of advice you would give someone looking to pursue the same career? 

Do the things you love and do it humbly. Go into your career expected to learn new things, and even when you feel like you’ve mastered in your career, KEEP expanding your mind to new things and don’t lose focus of the WHY you decided to go into your perspective field! 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and what has been your greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome? 

In 2016, I lost my mother, which still to this day is one of the hardest challenges I’ve had to overcome, but God seems to always be on time because I’d say my greatest accomplishment would be parenting my two daughters Sophia Saige and Siannah Skye who were adopted as newborn babies. My mother was the one who believed in me and saw fit for me as a parent. Biologically, they are my first cousins. There were days early on when I was afraid of the what ifs, what if I’m not the best mom, or what if I don’t do it right, but I’ve learned that the reality is there is no manual to being a parent. You just have to never stop being a parent and love your children with your whole heart because they love you even when you think you’re doing things wrong. Their love doesn’t change and I was blessed with two of AMAZING little girls.

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Get to know ... is a feature in Rochester In Color, a special section within the Post Bulletin's website that profiles people of color in our community. Find it at www.postbulletin.com/rochester-in-color . If you know of someone who should be featured, send us an email at news@postbulletin.com

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