Voices Discovered: Lisa Hawley

“Love it all and it will love you back.”  Heartfelt words spoken by our dear friend, Lisa Hawley, owner of Southern Roots and Founder of Feeding Lisa’s Kids.

Lisa’s locally loved restaurant has been in business for over 17 years and she has been catering for 37 years.  While her skills in the kitchen would rival any Iron Chef, many say her role as High Point’s angel – changing our community and our world by feeding one child at a time – is her greatest legacy and our greatest gift.

We had the good fortune to speak with Lisa and are honored to share it with the High Point Discovered community.

Q: How did you wind up in the restaurant business?

A. I started in the restaurant business because AB Henley asked me if I could help him design a kitchen for his new JH Adams Inn. This turned into me starting Southern Roots. I have Grace and AB Henley to thank for helping me get started. I have always cooked. I had two brother and when we were growing up we played army and I was always the cook. I also played chef at my grandparents farm in Denton out back in a shed. God has always led me in the direction of feeding people.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: What type of career would you have in an alternate universe?

A. I would be a gardener in another life. I love to have my hands in the earth. I dream of having a greenhouse.

Q: What do you know now that you wish you had known back at the beginning of your career?

A. I wish that I had known more about percentages in running a business. Mary Ragsdale was the angel sent to me to teach me about percentages. What a gift.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A. I have not eaten gluten in 24 years. I do not like chocolate. I have not eaten sugar in 24 years. I do not drink coffee.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: What motivates you?

A. God motivates me.

Q: Best career advice you have ever received?

A. Pay attention to everything in your business. From the bathrooms being clean to the balancing of your checkbook. Watch it all. Love it all and it will love you back.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: Favorite book (business or pleasure)?

A. I don’t read because when I sit down to try I fall asleep.

Q: Best vacation you have taken?

A. I have never been anywhere but the beach and the mountains. My best vacations are spent at either one of these places surrounded by my family and friends.

Q: Where would we find you on a Sunday afternoon?

A. Sunday afternoons are usually spent outside, weather permitting.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: Your go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?

A. I am a mocktail gal.

Q: What makes you truly happy?

A. I am truly happy when I am feeding people. People coming into my restaurant and getting to know them and people that we are serving for FLK. This is what my life is about. This makes me happy. And going to see my children every chance I get, they are my heart and soul. Just talking about my children makes my heart so happy.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: As you know, HPU is right here with incredible students looking to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. What three pieces of advice would you give them?

A. 1. You might not always love what you are doing, but do it anyway, it will lead you to something better.

2. Give back to your community.

3. Love everyone.

Inspiring words from an amazing woman.


Voices Discovered is a series where High Point Discovered asks questions to High Point business leaders and entrepreneurs to share their view. Consider it a peek into the heart and soul of our local businesses. We hope you will be inspired to investigate more. Past guests have included Dr. Nido Ruben and Jeremy Walley.

Discover our High Points,

The HP Discovered Team