“This Is It!” founder and CEO Shelley “Butch” Anthony III has always marveled customers through his artistry with food. Now he is stepping into a new lane by telling his story in his new book, “God Has A Plan for the Underdog.”
On March 27, Anthony was honored by the Georgia House of Representatives. Anthony was in attendance as he was recognized by District 72 Representative Josh Bonner. Each member of the GA House received a copy of his testimony.
“It was an amazing day and something I wouldn’t have never dreamed of happening,” Anthony said. “It was a part of God’s plan as I really wasn’t supposed to be there from a world’s perspective.”
Anthony’s story began over 50 years ago when he worked at his family diner in Tampa, Florida. He learned the tricks of the trade and found the desire to carry the business forward. In 1977, he relocated to Atlanta and opened his first restaurant. In 1983, he opened This Is It! BBQ and Seafood with his family by his side.
“The Lord told me that I had to tell a story about how we were able to take the business from one perspective to another,” Anthony said. “My philosophy is I do kingdom-building work first and then I sell food. This business is all God, and he entrusted me with this restaurant.”
Now the restaurant is flourishing in the community. It also serves as a place to provide jobs and help to those in need. Workers come from all walks of life as they continue to push the business forward.
“I knew it was something different to what I was doing,” Anthony said. “It is a vehicle for people to come through and gleam hope. This Is It is a place people have used to come through and get a second chance.”
In the book, Anthony chronicles his story and offers encouragement for those looking to take a leap of faith in their life. He starts at the beginning and highlights areas that have shaped his business. Readers will get a sense of family, togetherness, and faithfulness in Christ.
“This is an amazing story of how a high school dropout eventually built up a multi-million dollar restaurant empire,” Bonner said.
As they look to enter a new avenue with the business, Anthony says the story will continue to follow God’s footsteps. He has plans of franchising the company and taking it across the country.
“We signed a deal to do 300 locations in the United States and that is next on the horizon for This Is It to start building out these locations,” Anthony said. “The franchise arm is going to expand the brand throughout the United States of America.”