PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Two Peorians are taking their passion and turning it into a business.
Azadia and Alicia Boyd say it all starts with a dream, and if you’re persistent in your pursuit, it can become a reality.
Owner Azadia Boyd says his favorite sauce is a fan favorite.
“Try Buffalo Ranch,” Boyd said.
Azadia was born and raised in Peoria, and now the Richwood High grad is taking his passion for cooking, and turning it into a restaurant located inside Northwoods Mall.
“I’ve always had a dream of having my own restaurant. I love to cook, I was always in the kitchen with my parents. Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was always creative, I love making sauces and I love cooking wings,” Boyd said.
Wing Work will also have quesadillas, nachos, and chicken tenders.
But Boyd says he’s got one item that’ll make your mouth water.
“Buffalo chicken fries,” Boyd said.
The Boyd’s journey to opening their business hasn’t been easy.
“You have this plan and then God says another thing, then here you are.” Alicia Boyd said. “It was like, we’re almost there, then the pandemic hits us.”
“(COVID-19) has slowed it down. It stopped the process. It put a small halt to it, but we’re pushing forward and making sure we follow the guidelines so all our customers know we’re keeping things the way it’s supposed to be done,” Azadia said.
Northwoods Mall has not yet opened back up, but Alicia Boyd, Azadia’s wife and business partner, says the wait will be worth it.
“But we did not get discouraged, we grinded even harder. Coming up with more fresh ideas,” Alicia said.
The Boyds hired five people in the last week. They say they’re trying to help high school and college students get a head start on their careers.
Azadia and Alicia want to help train their employees while also encouraging their kids to pursue their dreams.
“My motivation was my kids, my family. Being able to provide for them and for when they get older, their kids, and so forth,” Azadia said.
Azadia says the freshness of the food and the fact they’re local owners will entice people to stop by.
“These are the main doors of the mall, they come in, they smell that good chicken. Let me stop here, let me see what’s going on here,” Azadia said.
The Boyds, along with other store owners at the mall are now awaiting direction from Gov. J.B. Pritzker on when they can open.
They’re hoping for early next week.
The Boyds are very active on Wing Works’ social media pages.
While Azadia’s favorite sauce is the buffalo ranch, Alicia’s is the honey barbecue.