Former homeless man finds success with BBQ business - WKRN News 2

Former homeless man finds success with BBQ business

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A formerly homeless Nashville man has picked himself up from a life on the streets to a life in the business world.

Frederick Waller told Nashville's News 2 he once lived on a couch under some trees while doing and selling drugs.

"I've gone from living under the trees, to in a house with trees all around it," he said.

Waller spent the last 30 years in and out of prison on drug related charges. The last time he walked out of the state prison, Waller was a brand new man.

"One of the things I knew I didn't have experience in was working. I had never really had a job," Waller explained.  

He continued, "I had to learn how to go about that. So I went to Goodwill and Goodwill really helped me to understand the workplace."

Waller enrolled in Goodwill Career Solutions last December where he learned enough about computers and business that he went out and started his own BBQ drive-thru.

"I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to work for myself. So I decided I wanted to open this place up and I did," Waller said, standing by the smoker at Ooh Wee BBQ on Jefferson Street.

"I always thought I was a wise man," Waller said adding, "But I proved it otherwise. Now I'm trying to prove I am a wise man by doing things productive."

Waller said his new business is off to a "fairly good start" but that he knows it will get better. He is working to open a second location in west Nashville.

Waller was recently honored by Goodwill for his success.

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