As Kyla and I plan each issue of Richardson Life, we get energized talking through the issue’s potential and bouncing ideas off each other. We brainstorm stories for the different sections of the magazine (Sports Spotlight, RISD Educators’ Corner, etc.) and make a list of people to contact for each one.

We’ve decided to shake things up a bit. We’ve chosen to spotlight the “foodies” of Richardson for our May issue. Richardson has truly become a culinary hot spot and we’re all in when it comes to celebrating our city’s epicurean success.

We’re most excited to introduce you to Justin Box, one of our favorite Richardson chefs. His culinary creations are exciting, artistic and delicious. But it’s not just his food that impresses us. Justin is 14 years sober after diving off the deep end into heavy drug use and destructive behavior in his teens. Now a husband and father, Justin has found peace and he’s excitedly pursuing some big plans for the future, including his new catering venture aptly named Good Guys Cooking Co.

Have you discovered La Casita Bakeshop yet? If not, it’s time. And did you know that RISD has a Culinary Arts Magnet with opportunities for students to create and serve a variety of foods in real-world settings? For those of you into craft cocktails, Sueño has started hosting “block parties,” most recently for Cinco de Mayo. They share some of their mixology secrets with us in this issue.

Even though we’re focusing on food, we still like to shine a light on notable Richardson stories unrelated to our theme. Former Richardson mayor Gary Slagel is now Chairman of DART and Richardson Reads One Book just made its 2024 selection. These and other exciting topics await as you turn the pages of our magazine.


Patti Otte

Patti Otte

Editor in Chief

Featured Story


Richardson Movers and Shakers

Justin Box

By Patti Otte

Justin Box has been cooking for almost thirty years, a love affair that began atop a black wooden stool in his great-grandma Lareda’s kitchen. As a young boy, Justin lived with and was raised by his step-grandma Jimmie (whom he called Mom) and his Granddad CJ. Jimmie, Lareda’s daughter and Justin’s best friend, worked for Granddad CJ, an attorney/CPA.
Since his grandparents were working, care for the young Justin fell to Lareda. She would take him to Heights Elementary in her silver Chevy Impala smoking a cigarette from a pack of Misty menthols. After school, Lareda would start cooking. She taught Justin how to make all kinds of Southern food from scratch: coffee cakes drenched in butter, biscuits and gravy, sausage and more.
On days when Jimmie would do the cooking instead of Lareda, Justin would eat ground beef out of the pot as she prepared dinner. They ate “hash and eggs,” Vienna Sausages straight out of the can, and…

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