Drive down Main Street in Stone Mountain Village and you'll see businesses at a variety of stages. Newly opened businesses are peppered among long-standing establishments. With the economy in a constant state of flux, there seems to be no specific formula for success and longevity. One establishment beating the odds is
Named for the phonetic way "William" is pronounced up North (the owner's name is William), Weeyums has been serving Stone Mountain-Redan for over a decade. I recently spoke with William Dawson, owner of Weeyums Philly Style, about the secret to longevity in a fluctuating economy, giving back to the community, and what makes his cheesesteak such a hit.
Patch: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. How long has Weeyums Philly Style been in business?
William Dawson: It will be 11 years in May.
P: Are you originally from Stone Mountain, or are you a Philadelphia native?
WD: I'm originally from Philly.
P: So what made you decide to sell philly cheesesteaks in Stone Mountain, Georgia?
WD: I was living here for about 10 years before I realized that was the work I wanted to do. Fifteen years prior to moving to Atlanta I worked making cheesesteaks in Philly so I decided to open a place here.
P: Your location on Main Street is ideal. What made you choose that location?
WD: I had the idea to open a place and by the grace of the Lord it turned out to be a good spot for us. We have people that regularly come from as far as Marietta and Union City.
P: I have to admit I Googled Weeyums before I decided to stop in. Your online reviews are fantastic. What's your secret?
WD: The secret to our cheesesteak is the way it's cooked. We make our phillies exactly the way they made them 35 years ago in Philadelphia. Some things have evolved in recent years - even in Philly - but we went back to the way they were made before. We use top-of-the line ingredients like sirloin and chicken breast, top-of-the-line products, and we make it worth the cost by not being stingy with the ingredients.
P: I'll have to agree with you there; the portions are enormous! With so many restaurants switching to lighter fare these days, how does Weeyums keep up?
WD: Even though our mainstay is the cheesesteak, we also have six salads on our menu for those who are watching what they eat. Also if you eat everything in moderation, things will work out.
P: Here at Patch, we're always interested in how local businesses are connecting with our community. Has Weeyums Philly Style been involved in any community programs?
WD: Previously, we've sponsored youth teams at the Ray Walker and Redan Parks. We also advertise with Stone Mountain and Stephenson High Schools. Personally, I compete with the Georgia Recreation and Park Association open league. My team - The Atlanta Speed Boys - is the defending state champ in the 35-and-up division.
P: You've been serving the Stone Mountain-Redan community for over a decade. Is there anything that you'd like to tell your current and future customers?
WD: That we appreciate their patronage. We are the neighborhood shop and intend to keep up the same quality we've always had and be there for them.