Albert DeHart Washington III
Albert DeHart Washington III can't remember a time when the family business wasn't a part of his life. In fact, Albert says he started helping to make sweet potato pies, apple pies and chocolate layer cakes for his family's Pleasantville-based catering and café business back when he was only seven years old. Today, Wash's Inn and Catering Service is a time-honored business in the area, with regulars coming to the place to chow down on soul food favorites and luscious dessert offerings.
The 17-year-old is a senior at St. Joseph's High School in Hammonton, and now works part-time at the catering hall and eatery. During the school year, Albert comes into Wash's only on the weekends or in the case of emergencies. He puts in more hours during the summer. He began working for Wash's Inn and Catering Service officially about three years ago, helping the cooks on the café side of the business. "I can make the best fried chicken, barbequed ribs, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, or whatever you can name," he says. "I learned it all from my dad and from my aunt, the co-owners of the business." Customers can eat in or take out their favorite treats.
Wash's opened its doors in 1935, and was started by Albert's grandfather and granduncle as an Atlantic City sandwich shop. The family's last name was shortened for the business name. Albert notes, "Now, we can cater to hundreds, with a catering hall here that seats about 300, and we'll cook almost any kind of food that the customer wants."