When it comes to acclaimed restaurateurs in South Florida, it can tend to be a bit of an “‘ol boys club”. And when it comes to delivering a superb, true-to-Florida oceanfront dining experience to her guests, no one does it better than South Florida female restaurateuse and entrepreneur Danielle Williams.
Defying all norms of first impressions, Williams proves that looks and age can truly be deceiving.
On the surface, she may appear to be a successful young runway model – but in reality, this statuesque, eloquent and charming 33-year old is a savvy entrepreneur, a dedicated business woman and mom. She is a fiercely keen leader engrossed in always seeking to perfect the art of hospitality for her guests.
Williams was just 22 and recently widowed when she first opened Oceans 234 in 2002. Partnering with her late husband’s parents, she helped transform what was once a sleepy oceanfront diner into the pristine waterfront Floribbean dining allure that Oceans 234 is recognized for today.
In 2007, Danielle went out on her own to launch The Whale Raw Bar in Parkland, a successful business that she sold in 2013. In 2013, she purchased Oceans 234 from her mother-in-law becoming the sole owner of the establishment.
Her vision? Williams developed Oceans 234 into more than just a successful beachfront restaurant, but a top destination waterfront dining experience for tourists and locals alike. Oceans has also set itself apart as a popular choice for special events, weddings and corporate functions. At 6,000 square feet, Oceans 234 is also one of the largest waterfront restaurants in Deerfield Beach.
Williams has a passion for the multi-faceted nature of restaurant ownership, and she instills her core values—hospitality, quality and details—into each of her 80 staff members. At Oceans, she runs a tight ship and holds monthly staff meetings to maintain her high standards across the brand. Williams believes that Oceans 234 is the total restaurant package, offering a fun experience, fresh Floribbean food and great service on the water with unparalleled views, reviving the Florida tradition of breezy oceanfront living.
Through her desire for delivering a superb guest experience and vision for success, this respected restaurateur also ensures to give back to the industry that she loves so dearly. She sits on the board of directors for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce. She was recently named a Soroptimist International Woman of Distinction in the professional category and was nominated for an Up & Comer Award by the Lifestyle Media Group and she was named Small Business Person of the Year in 2011 by the Coconut Creek Chamber of Commerce.
Through this community influence she utilizes her professional resources to support as many non-profit organizations as she is able. Oceans 234 currently donates all of their left over food to Boca Helping Hands which is used to feed the underprivileged in Boca Raton. For the last 5 years Oceans has had increased involvement with Surfers for Autism (SFA). They now host multiple fundraisers for SFA and have become a title sponsor for their annual festival on Deerfield Beach which helps bring families with autistic children together. What started as a small clothing drive in 2010 is now one of Woman In Distress’s largest clothing drives which was started by Oceans 234 and continues to grow each year. Last year alone, Williams donated over $20,000 in auction items for various charities and non-profit groups. Danielle supports the Gwendolyn Clarke-Reed Neighborhood Initiative program which employees at-risk youth during the summer time by having students intern at the restaurant.
Danielle’s philosophy is “We need to share the good work of what we do past our four walls and help those in our community. Without community we wouldn’t exist. It’s the pay it forward concept.” Each of Danielle’s team members is involved in this philosophy in order to create the good work that they strive to do for the community that we work, live and play in.
Williams is a busy mother and step-mother who maintains an active lifestyle.