Dressed as an ear of corn, Humble ISD physical education teacher, Dean Paris, is living out his dream. That dream was to sell roasted corn and souvlakia, a shish-kabob marinated in a Greek sauce, out of a shack in Kingwood. “It all began three years ago when friends and I went to the rodeo in Houston,” said Paris. “We ate roasted corn and we all loved it.” That experience started the wheels in Paris' head turning, as he pondered a series of “what ifs.” “Wouldn't people buy this if they could get it close to home?” asked Paris. “Wouldn't it be great to eat this stuff year round?” His wife and friends agreed, selling roasted corn in the suburbs was a great idea. From the beginning, a part of his vision involved selling roasted corn out of a cute, little road side shack. He wanted a cute name to go along with the business. “My friend's name is Chuck, which rhymed with shuck,” said Paris. “I wanted a shack and that rhymed with Jack, which became Chuck-n-Jack's Shuckin' Shack.” A year passed. He visited the rodeo again and enjoyed the same roasted corn, the same visions and had the same conversations. For Paris, It was an idea whose time had come. “I had a lot of ideas, but I didn't know how to put them into action,” he said. By then, he and his wife, Katie, were in charge of concession sales for the Kingwood High School Band. He decided to do a market test to determine whether Kingwood was ready for his product. Sure enough, the idea took off and was a big hit at the Friday-night football games. The band sold 75 to 100 ears of corn each game. The corn is fresh shucked, soaked, roasted and seasoned. Today, his fledgling business operates out of an 18-foot trailer designed to look like the shack in his original vision. Of course, there were some alterations to that vision. Chuck is not part of the endeavor and there never was a real Jack, but just the same, Chuck-n-Jack's Shuckin' Shack has been opened for business since June on North Park Drive. Paris took baby steps with his business. He began selling under a tent in the parking lot of Flowers of Kingwood. The trailer that houses his business came later, as did an addition to his menu. “The souvlakia was an afterthought,” said Paris. “It comes with a tzaziki dipping sauce made with yogurt, cucumber, dill and garlic.” He said that his dad gave him the secret family recipe, which is the trick to making great souvlakia. His brother-in-law, Mike, joined him in business and they were able to afford a mobile unit to take to festivals. “We sell only three things,” Paris said, “roasted corn, souvlakia and drinks.” Paris said that his business is off to a strong start, due in part to a large circle of friends. His wife knew many people from her former job at the YMCA and he had made many friends over his 22-year teaching career. He currently teaches at Foster Elementary, but loves providing something out of the ordinary to his community. “I do it to provide the people in this area with a healthy food they can't get anywhere else,” said Paris. “I also wanted to make a few extra bucks. Did I tell you I was a teacher?” PHOTO: Dean Paris runs a small business offering roasted corn and souvlakia on North Park in Kingwood. Photo by Kathy Parks

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