Nineteen-year-old Tyla-Simone Crayton is behind the first Sienna Wings restaurant at Harvest Market in Missouri City, Texas. She first started selling wings with her mom in 2017– every Friday– out of their home. They lined chairs in their dining room as a waiting area, Crayton told Houston Chronicle. The teen recalled going to school with her clothes and hair smelling like chicken as she was not only the cook but the manager, cashier, and dishwasher.
Today, she has opened a restaurant fueled by the amazing response from people in her local area. “It’s a great experience when people taste our wings for the first time and fall in love with them; I want to share that with as many people as possible,” said Crayton, according to Black Business. “I also want to encourage other young people to follow their dreams.
She continued, “Harvest Market was one of the first stores to carry Sienna Sauce, and the neighborhood has supported us from the beginning. So, it’s a full circle moment for me and it’s important that we remember our roots and start with the first location right here in our community.”
Prior to launching Sienna Wings, Cryayton founded Sienna Sauce, a sauce company, at the age of 14. She subsequently made an appearance on Shark Tank in 2021 where she pitched her Sienna Sauce brand to a panel of investors on the show to showcase her business venture for possible investment.
Impressed by her pitch, one of the Shark Tank investors, Kendra Scott, immediately made an offer after her presentation and said she would give Crayton $100,000 for a 20 percent stake in her company. Crayton accepted the offer, and her appearance on the show also helped her to sell about $300,000 worth of products in 24 hours, InsideEdition reported. Now 19, Crayton said in February this year that she is yet to receive the $100,000 from Scott.
“We didn’t receive the $100,000 because we’re still in due diligence. We’d love to have her. We’d still be interested but it just hasn’t come into fruition,” she told Inside Edition. Representatives of Scott also said at the time that they are doing due diligence on the deal made on Shark Tank, and added that they are yet to come to an agreement as it relates to the financial investment.
As a result of the delay, Crayton decided to raise the capital on her own. In February, she said she had raised $100,000 on Wefunder in order to keep her business running and is running the company while schooling.
Her new restaurant menu will feature wings tossed in all 4 signature flavors of Sienna Sauce, including Lemon Pepper, Sweet & Tangy, Smokey Brown, and Spice It Up. Also, the menu includes chicken bites for kids, fries, and macaroni & cheese as side options, Black Business wrote.
For now, Crayton’s mother will run the restaurant while Crayton completes her education at the University of California, Berkeley.