Trendsetter to Know: Dana Dumas, Restauranteur & Founder of SugarJam The Southern Kitchen

Name: Dana Dumas  

Twitter: @sugarjamtsk 

Facebook: SugarJam The Southern Kitchen

Instagram: @sugarjam1

Website: www.sjsouthernkitchen.com 

Age: 47 

Title: CEO & Founder / Restauranteur 

Married/Single: Married 

Kids: 2 (Fraternal Twin Boys – Brody & Brayden), now 12 years old 

City you live in: North Phoenix, AZ (Desert Ridge Area) 

A typical day in my life includes… AM Meditation & Pilates, taking boys to school, opening The Market by SugarJam, working with the kitchen staff, working with the front-end staff, meeting with general manager, operational work, meeting and greeting with customers, working with vendors and in the retail store. Picking the kids up from school. Going to kid’s sports activities, helping with homework, dinner, reviewing final emails, seeing kids off to bed, an hour of me time and then passing out. 

I was born… Manhattan, New York.

My favorite thing about Arizona… Arizona has such beautiful landscapes, but the culinary movement is exploding which is awesome! This is a great state to become an entrepreneur! 

I’m listening to… The Weekend, LIZZO, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Maxwell, Chris Brown, Usher, Sade it’s a mix.

My family… is the heart of who I am! 

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… with my grandma & grandfather. Mr. & Mrs. Maurice and Thelma Thompson.

One thing I cannot live without… I cannot live without my family, friends, and LOVE! 

When I was younger, I wanted to be… a model, a hairstylist, and a makeup artist.

I’m inspired by… B. Smith (Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, model, and nationally known lifestyle maven).

The one person who motivates me is… not just one person, but my ancestral heritage is a legacy of strong African American people who paved the way for me to accomplish what I am doing today. It is their example of faith, dedication to family, the importance of education, the prevalence of challenging work, the continuous pursuit of ownership and being your own person, having your own business, having your own home, and building a foundation to make the forth coming generations be better and enriched to pursue their dreams. I revere past generations and know what amazing accomplishments they had during some of the most turbulent times in history.  

I don’t rest on my laurels; I have more work to do. I am paving the way for anyone with a dream, a goal, passion, and dedication to know through my example “YES, THEY CAN!”  

I am consistently thinking of what I want to do next. What I need to accomplish now. I work tirelessly to complete projects and like to see things through. Motivation is a key to pursuing goals.  

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… Stop the mass shootings, clean up the homeless situation in America and rid us of Hate and racism. No divide, we need unity, we need to work together to be a better UNITED States! 

The perfect day would be… spending the day with my entire family watching movies, playing games, having great food, desserts, and fun. No phones, No social media, just us time! 

My first job was… Babysitter 

My favorite escape… A relaxing day at the spa near the beach with a delectable cocktail, delicious food a great massage and a nap!  

My life… thus far has been full of varied experiences which has built me up for the person I am today. I am always growing and learning.  

I’m currently working on… new restaurant concepts.

Always… be humble, be kind, be present and be appreciative! Nothing is guaranteed and arrogance gets you nowhere! 

Never… stop believing in yourself! Work on developing your skill sets necessary to get closer to your goals. Do the work! Never surround yourself with negative people who bring negative vibes. This will cause you to lose!  

Favorite Quote… “Dreams without goals are just dreams. And ultimately, they fuel disappointment. On the road to achieving your dreams you must apply discipline and more importantly consistency because without commitment you will never start, but without consistency you will never finish!” – Denzel Washington  

Biggest Dream… is to launch a restaurant or sweet shop concept that can go national.

My Pet Peeve(s)… is not being organized, neat and not following through with promises.  

Bio-on yourself/company: Dana Dumas is the CEO, Founder, Head Chef and Baker at SugarJam The Southern Kitchen, a local restaurant, bakery and bar located in North Scottsdale that serves Southern-based brunch, lunch and baked goods. For the past 11 years, Dana Dumas has been growing the SugarJam business from a small at-home cookie-centric bakery to one of the hottest brunch places in the Valley! 

The SugarJam brand started in December 2011, when Dana Dumas combined her business background and love for baking into SugarJam Cookies, LLC.

Since then, Dana has been growing the SugarJam brand through local farmer’s markets, food festivals, food truck events, art shows and craft fairs to then open her first brick n’ mortar SugarJam Bakeshop & Bistro in the Scottsdale Airpark in September 2014. Dana grew her following for 6 years during which her business expanded to catering. Dana has catered events from 50 people to 1,500 people. In January 2021, SugarJam The Southern Kitchen opened, and in July 2022, Dana opened her own gift shop, The Market by SugarJam. In addition, she opened her vintage-style Ice Cream trailer. With more than 5,000 square feet, there is a lot to experience at SugarJam The Southern Kitchen! For more information on the SugarJam The Southern Kitchen and The Market by SugarJam, please visit www.sjsouthernkitchen.com.  

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