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Meet Casey Castro of Astor Farm to Table in Katy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Casey Castro.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Casey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started when I decided to leave my home in Africa to come to America to pursue my dream of going to law school, but as we all know god laughs as we make plans! It had always been my dream to come to America, back home in Africa we hear how it’s full of opportunity, promise and the chance to work hard in order to become the man you choose to be. When I arrived unfortunately I hit a rough patch sense the family who was going to host me and assist me to adapt to the American culture and way of doing things did not show up for me, but I have always been resilient and would not allow this hiccup to affect my experience. I made other plans and ended up in Texas instead of my original plan of Atlanta. I have always been a faithful man and knew in my heart that God would never try me in a way that I would not come out as a stronger believer. With help and determination from our savior I decided to start working different jobs in the Katy area and a Year later I started my first business. My first business was in the fitness industry, I became a trainer and would host different fitness boot camps around the Katy/ Houston area. That business allowed me to sustain myself and my family for a good 14 years and I will forever be grateful for all that came of it. I developed a loved for the kitchen when I started my fitness journey, and one thing led to the other and a new dream began I had made up my mind that I wanted to open my own restaurant. When I decided to start the first concept of Astor farm to table which was a Café / Bakery I had no Idea the amount of work a restaurant would be but I had this sense of determination to make it work not only for myself but for my family’s future. I have been working 16-18 hours a day just praying to god for help and will to move forward with our vision. At the beginning we were left with red numbers and even though it was extremely frustrating given the amount of work I was putting in to it I decided to keep going and find ways to down size and make this work. We ended up downsizing to the point where it was 2 staff members and myself to run our little place. I became the chef, a job I had never performed before but had assisted in the kitchen long enough to try and make it work by myself. I remember when we had to let go our head chef he said: “you will close down once I leave” and I’m thankful to Good that his words did not become truth. We worked even harder to develop a concept that was authentic to what the people of Katy had loved so far and what felt authentic to me and my roots. That’s when I picked up the phone and made a phone call to my mother and asked for her guidance. My mother is very hardworking and has thought me everything I know about life and if someone would have answers it would be her. I explained to her my hardships and asked for her blessing to use her recipes in our restaurant to showcase South African cuisine in our new concept of a global kitchen. Let’s Remember I did not cook at all back home so she was very hesitant to allow me to use our family recipes at our restaurant, but she gave in and believed in me. My mother had one condition, a very intimidating one, she said to make sure that that my food tasted like home that my food tasted like she would prepare for us when we were growing up. I set out to practice and prepare myself for a presentation of our South African menu that I would showcase in front of 25 of our most frequent costumers, the pressure was on! Thankfully they loved it and were very welcoming to the idea of changing and adapting the menu to what it is now a global cuisine that showcases Venezuelan, Argentinian and South African Food. I’m so proud of our Menu and our little Astor Farm to Table, it’s been hard work and thankfully god as made it happen.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The restaurant business is not for the weak of heart that’s for sure. This has been the most challenging experience I have ever encountered. I’m a one man show in this place, I wear my hats manager, chef, helper, dishwasher, bus boy, bartender and you name it! Even though things have not been easy I wouldn’t change it! I have had the freedom to not only own my mistakes but learn from them. I have been able to develop a truly unique concept by listening to my intuition and feeling empowered to make my own choices, for that I will be always be grateful.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Astor Farm to Table story. Tell us more about the business.
Astor Farm to Table is a global cuisine restaurant in the heart of Katy with a unique concept that centers its menu in dishes from South Africa to Latin America. I like to think that our menu is a vast and impressive showcase of authentic flavors. We have a full bar and have a daily brunch that caters to a variety of palettes. I like to think that what sets us apart from the rest is the love we have for our customers, the love we cook with and the fact that you are family. The moment you walk in to Astor farm to table you became part of my vision, you are part of my dream and therefore you are my family. We strive for all of our customers to feel at home the moment they walk in!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not sure if I believe in luck, I truly think I owe it all to god and my faith. I trusted him in this journey, believed he was guiding my steps and it has paid off. It’s amazing what you can do with a lot of Faith, determination and sheer will to never give up.

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