Photography by Kathy Tran.

Teri and Kam De Leon fittingly met in food service.They both were waitresses at Chili’s in the Love Field airport 22 years ago. 

“We were babies waiting tables together and always kind of said that we should someday open a restaurant,” Kam says. 

While their first date was rocky, their reluctant second date proved much more successful — and they’ve been together ever since. 

It was 17 years before they felt it was the right time to start their own venture. They spent a year in New York while Teri attended the Culinary Institute of America, the top culinary school in the U.S. In a full-circle moment, Teri then spent many years at Chili’s, developing menu options worldwide, while Kam was a professor at Texas Woman’s University.

“There was this perfect moment a few years ago where we were like, OK, now’s the time,” Kam says.

DeLeon Provisions, a catering company, launched in 2019 to serve East Dallas.

“Catering gave us an opportunity to create our own hours,” Teri says. “When you’re a restaurant, you’re set to when people want you. How do we build the dream that we want to have and make the rules for how we want to live our life?”

When DeLeon Provisions opened, most of its business was delivering meals to families.

“As women and as mothers, there’s a need for helping people feed their families, and there’s a need to help people plan their parties,” Kam says. “The majority of our client base is women.” 

When the pandemic struck, they made the decision to double down on the meal delivery aspect of their business. They developed the hugely popular “local box,” a grazing box that features products from various East Dallas food businesses.

Now that people are gathering again, they have paused their meal delivery service and now focus on catering parties and events. A large pull of their business is their grazing boards. 

“Charcuterie boards are great because you can serve everyone’s dietary needs with one dish right there,” Kam explains. 

She even offers a course to show people how to assemble their own boards.

Teri and Kam work together to run DeLeon Provisions. Teri manages everything food related — from creating menu items to managing the kitchen and staff. Kam handles everything public facing — networking, social media and client development.

“It works perfectly because neither one of us wants to do or is capable of really doing the other person’s job,” Teri says.

Now, Teri and Kam are announcing their newest project. They purchased the old Keller’s location on Samuell Boulevard and will be developing it into what they have described as a “food park.”

“We like the term ‘food park’ because we want it to be family friendly. We want our client base of family to continue,” Kam says.

The vision for the property is to tear down one of the buildings and create an outdoor venue where large groups can gather and local food businesses can do pop-ups.

“If we can provide a space that’s large, kids can still run around, parents can sit and talk on a Friday night after a football game, and there’s other small businesses here providing food — food trucks, food trailers, pop-ups — it makes it easier for all the East Dallas families. This area needs a place where large families and groups can gather,” Teri says.

The space will include a full bar and a stage for live music and other events. 

Teri and Kam have always been dedicated to supporting and highlighting East Dallas businesses, and this new venture is no different.

“I don’t think I have ever used the word ‘competition,’” Kam says.

DeLeon Provisions will continue operations as usual. One of the buildings will be converted into a private commercial kitchen for the business, as they have outgrown shared commercial spaces. Ideally, they will be ready to begin hosting groups in the fall. 

Teri and Kam are already looking forward to what their next project will be.

“We’re dreamers,” Kam says. “We truly wake up every morning, like, ‘Let’s go build this empire.’”